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Meeks: Linux on the (consumer) Desktop

Meeks: Linux on the (consumer) Desktop

Posted Sep 13, 2012 3:57 UTC (Thu) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523)
In reply to: Meeks: Linux on the (consumer) Desktop by bojan
Parent article: Meeks: Linux on the (consumer) Desktop

Nope. Their enterprise kernel is most definitely NOT a branch of Fedora's kernel.

Sure, they influence each other, but they are NOT the same.


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Meeks: Linux on the (consumer) Desktop

Posted Sep 13, 2012 4:59 UTC (Thu) by bojan (subscriber, #14302) [Link]

Of course they are not the same. Once the Fedora is branched off to become RHEL, changes are made on the branch that are not in Fedora.

Meeks: Linux on the (consumer) Desktop

Posted Sep 13, 2012 5:19 UTC (Thu) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523) [Link]

Wrong. RHEL is not branched off of Fedora.

Meeks: Linux on the (consumer) Desktop

Posted Sep 13, 2012 5:46 UTC (Thu) by bojan (subscriber, #14302) [Link]

Please be serious. Are you honestly suggesting here that Red Hat engineers first build Fedora, then forget all about it and build RHEL in an entirely different way? How do you then explain changelog messages from Fedora packages in RHEL packages?

Sure, they do put some stuff that is not in Fedora in RHEL. But they are far from being idiots, so they reuse vast majority of _already_ _tested_ code from Fedora.

Here is a good article for you to read:

http://www.redhat.com/resourcelibrary/articles/relationsh...

Quote from it:

"The size and expertise of the Fedora community make Fedora an ideal incubator and proving ground for features that eventually get incorporated into Red Hat Enterprise Linux. To meet the quality and reliability requirements that make Red Hat Enterprise Linux the choice for mission-critical applications, Red Hat puts Red Hat Enterprise Linux through its own set of tests and quality assurance (QA) processes that are separate and distinct from those of Fedora."

I hope you are not suggesting that Red Hat engineers "rewrite" those features for RHEL just to make it different.

Meeks: Linux on the (consumer) Desktop

Posted Sep 13, 2012 5:52 UTC (Thu) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523) [Link]

I did say that both kernels influence each other. However, RHEL kernel is very clearly NOT branched off of Fedora's kernel. They share many patches, but RHEL gets a lot of stabilization work and backports.

That stabilization work makes it special. And it's not available to the public for exactly the same reasons - community does not help much in this case.

Meeks: Linux on the (consumer) Desktop

Posted Sep 13, 2012 6:13 UTC (Thu) by bojan (subscriber, #14302) [Link]

> They share many patches, but RHEL gets a lot of stabilization work and backports.

Well, yes. And I agreed with you there.

> However, RHEL kernel is very clearly NOT branched off of Fedora's kernel.

So, your theory is that Red Hat have a completely independent RHEL tree in house and they have some secret society test just those kernels for years, before they become real RHEL kernels. I think you are mistaken. They would not have enough man power or wide enough configurations available for that. Their "super stable" RHEL kernels would suck big time if they did that.

Instead, Red Hat let new kernels into Fedora for community to test (for instance, people running F-17 are testing 3.5.x for them right now, people running F-18 what will become 3.6.x etc.). Then, at some point, dictated by internal release schedules of RHEL (i.e. the mysterious dates RH employees sometimes slip into public domain), they branch that off and start stabilisation work, based on various patches from older/newer development.

Otherwise, what's the point of having Fedora? They are not doing it only out of being nice, I am pretty certain of that.

Meeks: Linux on the (consumer) Desktop

Posted Sep 13, 2012 6:21 UTC (Thu) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523) [Link]

>So, your theory is that Red Hat have a completely independent RHEL tree in house and they have some secret society test just those kernels for years, before they become real RHEL kernels.
That's EXACTLY what happens. RHEL kernel is branched off about a year before the first beta and 1.5 years before the final release. With lots of backports, of course.

Case in point: RHEL 6 which was released on 2010-11-10 is based on 2.6.32 which was released on 2009-12-03 (and that's unusually quick turnaround for RHEL).

And they're supporting it until 2018 (at least), with backports of new features and bugfixes.

>I think you are mistaken. They would not have enough man power or wide enough configurations available for that. Their "super stable" RHEL kernels would suck big time if they did that.
They employ a lot of kernel developers precisely for that very purpose.

And that's the reason why RedHat is a big company.

Meeks: Linux on the (consumer) Desktop

Posted Sep 13, 2012 6:27 UTC (Thu) by bojan (subscriber, #14302) [Link]

> RHEL kernel is branched off [...]

Branched off what exactly? Fedora, of course.

Meeks: Linux on the (consumer) Desktop

Posted Sep 13, 2012 6:29 UTC (Thu) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523) [Link]

Actually, no. They begin with the mainline kernel and start applying patches on top of it. Some of these patches, of course, were in Fedora.

But by the time they start a new development cycle, Fedora is already several kernel versions in the future.

Meeks: Linux on the (consumer) Desktop

Posted Sep 13, 2012 6:45 UTC (Thu) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946) [Link]

"Actually, no. They begin with the mainline kernel and start applying patches on top of it."

Where did you get that idea?

Meeks: Linux on the (consumer) Desktop

Posted Sep 13, 2012 7:02 UTC (Thu) by bojan (subscriber, #14302) [Link]

Here is a changelog message from one of the RHEL5 kernels:

* Fri Jul 07 2006 <name> <email>
- Unified rhel and fedora srpm

> Actually, no. They begin with the mainline kernel and start applying patches on top of it. Some of these patches, of course, were in Fedora.

This is just playing semantic games. All the patches that Red Hat do on recent mainline kernels end up in Fedora, which are then (attempted to be) pushed upstream. So, by the time this RHEL kernel is based on some x.y.z upstream release, many of those Fedora patches won't even apply (because they are already part of mainline). Of course, features that RH decide not to support in RHEL (that would be the streamlining thing I was talking about) will not appear, will not be patched and will not be compiled.

> But by the time they start a new development cycle, Fedora is already several kernel versions in the future.

I do not see why that would be surprising at all. And, of course, this is where the "trunk" of new RHEL is being forged: by applying Fedora specific patches, testing them in the wild, getting feedback and pushing them upstream. This is how they _leverage_ the community. If they did not do that, that would be really stupid. And I think Red Hat's balance sheet speaks volumes about them not being stupid.

PS. If you are trying to suggest that RHEL kernel is physically not a branch of some SCM Fedora system, then you may even be correct. But, that is not what I was talking about when describing the non-secretive trunk of the Red Hat's distro development.

Meeks: Linux on the (consumer) Desktop

Posted Sep 13, 2012 7:30 UTC (Thu) by bojan (subscriber, #14302) [Link]

> If you are trying to suggest that RHEL kernel is physically not a branch of some SCM Fedora system, then you may even be correct.

Just downloaded a RHEL6 kernel SRPM. The spec file mentions the word "fedora" (case insensitive) in 12 lines. So, even technically, you are probably wrong.


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