Red Hat Stops Public Release of RHEL Source Code to Customers Only, Faces Fierce Criticism from Linux Enthusiasts Who Have Centered on Free Software Principles

Red Hat, which provides a Linux distribution called `` Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) '' for companies, has announced that it will limit the distribution of RHEL source code, which has been publicly available, to customers. Developers with a free software philosophy have criticized the announcement.

Furthering the evolution of CentOS Stream

Free software is software that has the following four “freedoms”:

Freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose
Freedom to study how the program works and modify it if necessary
Freedom to redistribute copies to help others
・Freedom to distribute modified versions

A project to spread such free software started in 1983 at GNU , and GNU aimed to create a Unix compatible system composed only of free software. The license to protect the freedom of software created by GNU is ' GPL ', and the GPL stipulates that the source code must be distributed along with the binary, and even when modifying and distributing the program provided under the GPL license There is a provision that the GPL license must be applied.

From the GNU project, a large number of software such as the C compiler `` GCC '' and the library `` glibc '' appeared and improved the programming environment, but the development of the kernel, which is the basis of the OS, was difficult. 'Linux' fills in the missing piece. In addition to the Linux kernel itself being distributed under the GPL as free software, the software necessary to actually use it as an OS was imported from GNU, and GNU and Linux spread together.

A distribution is a product that builds the necessary software on the Linux kernel according to the purpose of use and makes it ready for general users to use. is one of the options.

The definition of free software is that it is also free to do business using free software, regardless of whether it is free or for a fee. Red Hat has so far benefited from providing maintenance and support services for RHEL distributions to companies, while contributing to the development of the Linux kernel and releasing the generated RHEL code to the community. have contributed.

However, Red Hat announced in a June 22, 2023 blog post that it would limit the release of RHEL code to contracted companies. The limitation in the GPL is ``It is OK if the user who is actually using the binary can access the source code'', so it is not a license violation, but many developers have criticized the decision that goes against the philosophy of free software. increase.

Red Hat has set the conditions for developers to use RHEL free of charge , but some people who develop software for Linux say, 'Application for developer subscription is an unnecessary act for other distributions. Why do we need to do it?” Some people expressed their anger on their blogs . In addition, a comment has been posted pointing out that ``blocking the OS from the Linux community will have a large negative impact, such as a decrease in the number of people who will flow in in the future, even if profits will temporarily improve.''

The distributions 'AlmaLinux' and 'Rocky Linux', which were developed using the RHEL source code, both commented on future development in response to the announcement. We will provide security updates as fast as we can, but we want to find a way in the long term.” Rocky Linux made a similar statement, saying, “Open source should always be freely available and completely stable.” It shouldn't be hidden behind a paywall, nor should it be controlled by a single company.'

Rocky Linux criticizes Red Hat's actions on the official blog as ``violating the spirit and purpose of open source'', while Red Hat also criticizes downstream projects as ``a threat to real open source''-GIGAZINE

in Software, Posted by log1d_ts