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Another distribution?? But why?

And now for the curmudgeonly view: 

Ugh... Another distribution???  

While I'm disappointed with Red Hat's decision to pull out of the
low-end distribution market I'd have to say that the effort to make it
work they put in was way out of whack with the return they saw.  The
main reason to use Red Hat was to have the brand name and possibility of
paid support behind it.  

Trying to roll yet another distribution won't bring back the brand name
support that gives comfort to the PHBs giving the go ahead for Linux. 
If they're willing to shell out just buy the Red Hat offering.  The cost
is still relatively insignificant to their bottom line.  If they won't
or can't afford it just pick some other existing distribution like Suse
or Debian or Gentoo that fulfills your philosophical bent and technical
needs.  The maintainers of the those distros will appreciate the
support.  This is my personal view.  One of the great things I love
about Linux and Open Source is the freedom to do stuff like rolling your
own distribution.  It's just not my cup of tea.

I haven't personally used the Linux-Athena distribution but I did have
experience trying to use the earlier Athena versions with non-Athenized
applications (like Oracle) and it was pretty much a disaster.  Project
Athena solves the workstation application and file server maintenance
problem for MIT very, very well and their programmers do an amazing job
keeping things up to date.  The thing that makes Athena work well is its
elegantly engineered rigidity.  But in my experience the tweaks and
improvements they put in for their environment usually mess up services
and interfaces expected by many applications.  YMMV.

On Wed, 2003-11-12 at 11:47, Derek Atkins wrote:
> "Anand Rao" <andy at> writes:
> > I am in for it. I feel this will is a great  great Idea  Ready to help this
> > project.
> For what it's worth, you may want to look at what MIT is doing with
> "Linux-Athena".  It (currently) a Red Hat based distribution with an
> automatic (push/pull) update system which allows centralized control
> of lots of workstations with similar configuration.
> -derek

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