LINUX Blues with Red Hat

For a very long time (especially when I was working for another huge computer company), I resisted the LINUX revolution preferring to use and promote commercial UNIXes (Solaris, HP-UX, OS X,…oh yeah I guess we could include AIX if we were willing to call it UNIX :). Now that I am doing lots of VMware and I still am not a big fan of Windows (still waiting for some hands-on with Server 2008 but no time or opportunity yet), I have been trying to get into LINUX. My partner only works with Red Hat Enterprise LINUX so I have been starting there.
My reservations to using LINUX before were:
1/ Lack of support
2/ Mix-n-match of drivers and such

Well, each of these is in fact an issue for me now that I am actually trying to use LINUX. First off, the support is not easy – especially patching with Red Hat and the ever elusive Red Hat Satellite Network licenses. I had great luck with CentOS (the license-free Red Hat) but hit issues where lots of the different software puzzle pieces were unsupported there so once I hit a snag I was up a tree. Once I resolved the licensing issues with Red Hat (after lots of pain and still life is a bit bumpy), I hit the mix-n-match problem. Various pieces of software I needed to install had both documented and undocumented dependencies which were sometimes easy, sometimes hard and sometimes impossible to find. I am still not out of the woods in fact.

I guess the moral of the story is that commercial UNIXes are still better friends of mine than LINUX despite its attractiveness as an “independant” and “grass-roots” operating system.


About mfinocchiaro

IT Architecture Guru for large PLM software company but dabbling in Web 2.0 and other stuff.
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