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the distro kunundrum...

Well, my $.02 on the performance problems with RHEL may offend the hardworking
Red Hat employees on this list, but alas here goes:

I've been using SuSE (now 'openSUSE') since about version 6, circa ten years
ago.  I've been using Red Hat Enterprise Linux since version 4, three years
ago.  There were a lot of other distros before that, starting with the H. Lu
root/boot disk images that I first found on

The folks at SuSE, and the volunteer contributors to the community archive
called PackMan, have pushed the technology quantum leaps forward.  This year I
was hoping for another quantum leap with the 11.2 distro, and thus far have
found only small increments in a few non-work-related things I care about
(desktop issues like HDMI sound and IR remotes and stuff like that are still
complicated/broken).  The enterprise-grade quality of the product is
astounding:  the distro came out last Thursday and I've been running
production servers with it since Friday.

As for RHEL, it's simply not gone anywhere in the past 3 years.  I just
haven't seen improvements, and I've got my own share of performance woes with
it.  Resolving such mysteries through RH vendor support has not really been
possible; resolving them through community resources (newer packages, wider
groups of contributors, better QA, more overall knowledge) under openSUSE has
been vastly easier.  Things like 'git', and a lot of the Ruby gems, are /so/
difficult to shoe-horn onto a RH distro that I've opted to stop wasting team
resources on it.

The 5.4 distro which came out a number of weeks ago was the last straw.  At
this point I've convinced our CTO that it's time to green-light a wider-scale
migration off Red Hat onto openSUSE.  This posting is basically a challenge to
the Red Hat folks here:  how might this decision be a mistake?  What superior
attributes of RHEL should I be looking at, as compensation for putting up with
aging/poor-performing distro components?


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