Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Library at the End of the Universe

There are now a handful of efforts that provide free, enterprise-level Linux releases -- releases that work for folks who don't want to mess with the bleeding edge, but don't have the bucks to pay lots of copies of fully-supported versions like Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Tellingly, these are being done with assistance from Red Hat engineers:
they're not competing, they're helping.

The recent announcement of White Box Enterprise Linux makes two charming points.
White Box Linux's initial creation has been sponsored by the Beauregard Parish Public Library in DeRidder, LA USA out of self interest. We have several servers and over fifty workstations running Red Hat Linux and were left high and dry by their recent shift in business plan. Our choices were a difficult migration to another distribution or paying RedHat an annual fee greater than the amortized value of our hardware. So we chose a third path, made possible by the power of Open Source.... White Box Linux.

First, necessity is the mother of invention, and the Linux community is performing some very active midwifery.

Second, take a look at where this inventing is being done. See how far you have to zoom out before you can figure out even where this is.

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