The Direction of linux

Hello everyone,

I was wondering if anyone has noticed the shifting of approaches with RedHat and Canonical in the commercial space? I see them morphing alot of their open source products to be geared at enterprise business and in turn marketing them in ads.

I personally see nothing wrong with this on it’s face but I do feel that these entities are skating a very narrow border into becoming more invested in taking what once was open source and spinning them into proprietary products, abandoning the further support and developement of their free equivilants.

I feel this is something that makes Haiku and other OS projects of it’s type important in alot of ways.

I was curious if any one had thoughts similar to this?

1 Like

Well, I’m worried about that, too. And yes, it makes Haiku more attractive, but only in theory. In practice users will stay at GNU/Linux, there are plenty of distributions left, which are completely libre. Fortunately Haiku is interesting on its own, with its “no extravagance” approach. (With extravagance I mean the linuxy featuritis.)


Businesses need to make money, as long as they honour the legalities of the Copyleft, I don’t care what they do - I won’t be using their products anyway. :wink:

Haiku is aimed fair & square at the desktop, exactly what a majority of Linux users actually use, especially those who have turned their backs on MS Windows, so there is potentially a big section of the desktop computer market to be had. :slight_smile:

EDIT: Linux users such as myself have another alternative, BSD, those of us who started at the command line have no fear of BSD. :smiley:


What did you expect from RedHat and Canonical? They are for-profit companies, their goal is to make money.
Things were a bit relaxed for a while as inflation was low. This time is gone now, and companies that are not making enough profit will disappear. And so they are all reviewing their business models from that angle.

In the case of RedHat, it also doesn’t help that there was a change of owner (they are in IBM now).

But that is not really a problem for Linux: you should just pick one of the distributions that does not depends on a for-profit company for its survival. I’ve been reasonably happy with Debian for example.

It is not the first time that companies and distributions come and go.


From a personal/consumer Linux user domain, I started with Red Hat Linux 2 (after trying out Debian & Slackware since RH had better drivers back then). When Red Hat discontinued their consumer “Red Hat Linux” product line back in the early 2000’s to focus their RHEL instead, I switched to Mandrake Linux since it was a originally a derivative from the consumer “Red Hat Linux” code.

Mandrake developed from there and it became a separate product from Red Hat. I really enjoyed how easy it was to install and update through its versions. After that it became Mandriva Linux, which I used for a bit where I later converted fully to ZetaOS.

Sometime in 2014, I came back to Linux using openSuSE because they still maintained high quality software. I really like openSuSE and, more recently, I was looking for another KDE Linux OS to play with and discovered Mageia, a Mandrake Linux decendant, IMO is the most popular successor to Mandrake/Mandriva.

Hence, the business moves regarding Canonical and Red Hat mean nothing to many Linux users like me. Since we do not use their software, it is just media background noise. I do not like Ubuntu and its derivatives–though many do enjoy them.

My opinion is that these two corporations have financial issues to resolve and they are making moves to generate more revenue–especially Canonical. I wonder how much influence on what RH is doing is from IBM.


I really like haiku, but unfortunatly it is missing quite a lot of features to replace linux for me (in descending Order):

  • Disk encryption
  • Multi Monitor
  • Samba
  • Nextcloud Integration
  • even better browser
  • Virtualisation
  • 3D Accel
  • Suspend

I completely agree with thos needs listed. Multi Display is one of the things that I am sorely missing. I am using this OS from a computer that is disconnected from my local ecosystem right now and it is very limiting to not be able to throw something up on my larger displays for viewing.

The lack of acceleration also keeps me from putting Haiku on my normal desktop. It would be pointless to use an OS that completely ignores the AMD card in there right now.

I do feel Haiku at this time gets single user, desktop OS replacement right for limited casual use. I installed it on a Dell Latitude laptop last night and it all installed easily and it as useful as the gateway I am typing on right now. I don’t believe Haiku can or should be a direct replacement for Linux.

The intent of my original post was to ask if anyone felt like the temptation to monetize is going to creep into other distros as it has Redhat and Ubuntu. I installed Ubuntu for a friend and recently had to do a repair. I was completely taken aback by the cruft that was installed on the machine because my friend’s Windows laden tendancies were able to be fulfilled. They had steam installed with applications that adverised a system cleaner, antivirus that they promptly downloaded. Chrome had been completely destroyed by search bars and some really 'helpful’shopping plugins. I had to sit and really take it all in for a moment that I was using a Linux computer that was functioning like a Kiosk model Walmart computer!

I feel Haiku’s future poise will be as a 'normal users non-Windows replacement. To do this I feel like a robust UI customization, enhanced browsing and Multi Monitor support will need to be cultivated.

Disk enryption, NextCloud, Virtualization and the like in my view fall into power user territory that Linux already has down pat and is out of the scope for the use case Haiku is already primed to start fulfilling.

I am a linux user since ~1997, i have played around with BeOS for a while in the early 2000s.
I do not expect Haiku to get a lot of linux marketshare, but i like and would love to be able to use it more.
Unfortunatly things like Disk Encryption and Multimon are essential for me so for now i only use haiku as a hobby.
I think IBMs / RedHATs move was quite stupid, RedHAT did quite well financially with its open source policy.

1 Like

Along your main point, I seem to remember similar questions back in the early 2000’s when Novell bought SuSE. It turns out that was a good thing over time since SuSE prospered. In 2018, I wondered about similar impacts when EQT Partners bought SuSE. SuSE has suffered nothing from these transitions business-wise and they served their customers well. openSuSE has improved every release, as well as, their main product line SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES).

As a professional SysAdmin and DBA for over 20 years, in my previous job, SELS runs great with MS SQL Server, Oracle, Neo4j, and PostgreSQL databases. Personally, on my openSuSE PC, I run MS SQL Server, Neo4j, and PostgreSQL databases.

In Haiku, I tested PostgreSQL and SQLite database products. I stress-tested PostgreSQL by installing the FreeDB database into it and running SQL queries–pretty good performance and results. Likewise, I tested SQLite and created multiple databases and ran SQL queries–it tested good. Wish I could run Neo4j–maybe one in the future.

Back to my point, if SuSE Inc. prospered under Novell and EQT Partners acquisitions, I hope IBM will not leach off Red Hat Inc. where it negatively impacts them. IBM recently moved the development of their AIX OS to India, which surprised many of us SysAdmins. This makes us question IBM’s business decisions.

As for Canonical, they are always in financially stressed or in trouble based on the annual reports.

We will soon see what happens with Red Hat–I hope they will prosper where they maintain and improve their Red Hat products. IMO, Canonical will continue limping along as they usually do.

The difference between redhat and suse is not who bought them, but how they planned to make money in the first place. RedHat is trying to sell licenses (including support) for software that the GPL basically also forces them to distribute for free (or, if they don’t, one of their customers will do it).

This, of course, doesn’t work very well.

If you want to make money off open source software, you will have better success giving the software for free, and then selling separately the support and custom developments for your customers. This is also good for the engineers, because they get paid to work on the most tricky and exciting stuff that is not part of the baseline linux distro yet.

It would seem Suse unoerstood this better than RedHat, and ensured a source of money to keep their company running.



In your opinion would it be permissable to throw pre-configured hardware into this?

1 Like

You don’t need my opinion or permission.

What RedHat did (trying to sell licenses for software that their customers are legally allowed to redistribute freely because it includes GPL code) won’t work, because some of their customers used their rights and redistributed the thing for free.

Selling hardware will work, but it depends what you do exactly. For example you can read about Saleae logic analyzer. They built hardware that costs only a few dozen euros to manufacture, but they sold it for a much higher price (several hundred euros) because they shipped software to use it as well. People soon found that they could use their software with much cheaper clones of the hardware, so that didn’t go well either.

If you plan to do a for-profit business, just take some time to think about where your value is, and how you can invoice your customers for it. If you try to sell a thing which is not the one where you bring value, and the thing you try to sell is available cheaper or free elsewhere, you have to consider it. The exact solution is different in each case.

So, if we imagine someone selling preinstalled machines with Linux. What will their value be? One part will be selecting the hardware, like any other hardware distributor. Another part will be making sure the machine runs well in Linux (or whichever software they package with it). Maybe there can also be a warranty (replacing the hardware if it breaks), or a support offer (having a hotline to help buyers figure out Linux issues).

If the company is just installing Linux without testing that it actually works, on hardware designed by someone else, and trying to make a profit from it? Soon enough people will find out that you can buy the same hardware from the manufacturer directly, and install Linux on it yourself. And the company can complain that they invested a lot of time in making sure Linux works on that system, and they should be paid for this, but people will not care once the work is done. They will get the cheaper machine, get the Linux patches, and install Linux themselves.

So, what can you do? Maybe you can sell the things that’s valuable (the work in porting Linux to a new hardware) separately. For example, make a crowdfunding campaign to fund that effort. Or just be a company that does Linux porting and support for other people, and don’t make or sell any hardware yourself (some of my paid job is like this). Or do your business plan so that you get money from your warranty and support offers for fixing people’s laptop, rather than from the hardware and software sales. Or, you could also design your own hardware and make it so it is not easy to clone by other manufacturers who will cut the price down.

Or, you can accept the risks of just trying to sell the thing anyways. Just be aware of it when problems will happen.

And likewise when you buy something, you can ask these questions as well. What I am paying for? What am I not paying for? Why is such product so much cheaper or more expansive than another? How much am I ready to pay?


I really enjoy everyone’s insights here.

1 Like