Printable Version of Topic

Click here to view this topic in its original format

Linuxhelp _ News _ Enterprise Linux Projects

Posted by: hughesjr Nov 23 2003, 07:48 PM

As alot of you already know, RedHat has stopped releasing their product RedHat Linux. RedHat 9.0 is the last release. RedHat is concentrating on their Enterprise products only, while providing support for

The major differences between Fedora Core and the old RedHat Linux are the shortening of the Release Cycle to 1 year vice 18 months and the stability of the software (Fedora Core is sort of like a cross between the old RedHat Rawhide and the RedHat released version ... with RedHat providing guidance, but the Fedora people controlling the software).

RedHat has sent an to their customers explaining the new policies, as well as on their website.

I had posted an earlier concerning some of these issue here at LinuxHelp.

I've been doing some research and I have found another very good solution to this problem. One that I think leverages the stability/compatability of Enterprise Linux with a cost I can live with (namely FREE)!

RHEL has an EULA that allows for the Source RPMs to be downloaded and rebuilt, producing a version of GNU / Linux that is freely usable and redistributable. There are some items that are in the source that are not allowed to be used (the comps file {the file that says what files are on which CD}, RedHat Icons and trademarks, and some others)....but functionally the file versions are compatable with the Enterprise Linux products.

I found two projects that are currently progressing nicely towards the goal of a stable Enterprise GNU/LInux that has a long release cycle and will support many third party applications.

The projects are and (Community Au-courant Operating System).

WhiteBoxEL already has an RC1 downloadable, and although there are a couple minor issues, it is pretty much usable right now. It is based on the RHEL 3 source packages.

cAos expects their to be available in about 2 weeks. It is based on the RedHat Advanced Server 2.1 core. Thier GP-2 will be available when the 2.6 Kernel is released.

cAos also has a that will be based on the RHEL 3 source packages.

Both of these projects will produce a quality product that should be freely deployable and redistributable based on the RHEL 3 source packages .... including security releases.

One thing I want to make clear is that I am not suggesting that you should deploy these solutions instead of RHEL on a critical production systems that require 24/7/365 technical support. RedHat has extremely an capable staff and support plans that will ensure your critical installations stay up .... and as my daddy always told me, "Son, you get what you pay for"! But if you are like me, on a shoestring budget, willing to provide your own technical support, willing to ask for help on mailing lists, and willing to take a chance, these projects may be just what the doctor ordered.

Posted by: hughesjr Dec 4 2003, 05:47 PM

Current status of the above projects are:

Whitebox Enterprise Linux has released of their product.

cAos has released

At this point, I like the WhiteBox product better.

Posted by: hughesjr Dec 12 2003, 01:41 AM

cAos has renamed their Enterprise products Community ENTerprise Operating System (CentOS). They have a CentOS-2 (based on RHAS 2.1 SRPMS) and based on RHEL 3 SRPMS. They haven't yet released either of these products. They have released an Alpha of They also have several mirrors now. This OS looks very promising too.
White Box Enterprise Linux is moving forward very quickly ... the RC2 is going well. I have it installed personally on 1 laptop, 1 dual processor server (with the SMP kernel) and 2 single processor machines ... and it is working very well indeed. This distro should be released fairly soon (RC2 is available now) ... it is based on RHEL 3 and has a working up2date/yum repository that has all the RHEL 3 errata already created ... and several mirror sites (currently four). In the mailing list today I saw that there have been 1327 ISO's of RC2 downloaded for December on bittorrent and that doesn't include the mirrored FTP's or Rsyncs.

I have had no real issues with any of my boxes that have it ... and it feels and acts like RHEL 3 ... I tested Oracle 9iR2 on the Dual Processor server ... the install following RHEL 3 instructions went perfectly.

I think White Box is the real deal ... anyone who is currently using RH as a server, I would deploy WhiteBox without hesitation after it's official release. (I actually have 2 workstations deployed right now on RC2.)
I thought I should also mention a new Enterprise solution proposed by (founder of Debian and current owner of Perens LLC) called UserLinux. Here is the This project bears watching...

Posted by: hughesjr Dec 17 2003, 02:47 AM

White Box Enterprise Linux (WBEL) has released it's Final version. I highly recommend it to anyone who needs a stable install based on RHEL, without the RedHat support and cost. (

So far, within a day of the errata/updates Source RPMS becoming available on the RHEL 3 site, they have been modified to WBEL, compiled into binary RPMS and available on the WBEL mirrors.

As I have said before, I have multiple installs of this product and I like it very much ... it is currently only availble in x86 (Intel and AMD) 32-bit installs ... but x86_64 and AMD_64 builds are currently in the works and S/390 is planned (by some on the mailing list) in the future. I have yet to see anything in the mailing lists about a PPC build...

Posted by: chrisw Dec 17 2003, 06:40 PM

i read about having to rebuild srpms for things to be done in wbel on their website. Is this still true for their final version...or can i just install and go and then install any thing i need like web, imap, ftp servers ...etc

Posted by: hughesjr Dec 17 2003, 06:57 PM

No rebuilds necessary ... they have installable (bootable) ISOs that install just like RHEL 3.0...

They rebuilt all the SRPMS provided by RedHat for RHEL to make the CDs ... and they have a yum repository for all updates.

Posted by: chrisw Dec 17 2003, 07:02 PM

so i dont have to rebuild any srpms or do anything special...
just download/burn/install the OS and run as usual

Posted by: hughesjr Dec 18 2003, 01:45 AM

QUOTE (chrisw)
so i dont have to rebuild any srpms or do anything special...
just download/burn/install the OS and run as usual

Yep...that's it. WBEL is an awesome project.

There is a small problem with the final iso, in that it currently uses the i586 versions of glibc-2.3.2-95.3 and nptl-devel-2.3.2-95.3 if you have a i686 processor ... and when using up2date, the i586 (vice the i686) version is used as well.

So if you don't already have the -final ISOs I would wait until they release the 3.0a version later today (to fix this issue) ... if you already have the 3.0 iso's then run up2date and after that download the i686 glibc and nptl-devel (if installed on your system) update package(s) manually from the or the

use the commands:
rpm -Uvh glibc-2.3.2-95.6.i686.rpm

(and if you have nptl-devel installed do this)

rpm -Uvh nptl-devel-2.3.2-95.6.i686.rpm
Also, using Bittorrent to download the files vice FTP would be helpful to the community as well....and maybe faster for you as well!

WBEL Final can be downloaded

Posted by: hughesjr Dec 21 2003, 08:25 AM

CentOS-3 now has a available.

Posted by: hughesjr Feb 2 2004, 11:42 PM now has three Beta releases available ... A desktop version, a server version with X, and a server version with no X.

For now, you need to perform a base Debian SARGE install and then follow the directions for the version you want to install. I installed the desktop version (I'm using it right now to type this).

The new debian SARGE beta, followed by instructions only took a couple of commands and I was up and running in no time at all.

Posted by: hughesjr Apr 21 2004, 09:14 PM

OK ... I haven't updated this thread in a while.

I wrote an article for called, and are all very good distros. There is also a fairly new Linux release from Fermi Linux called Scientific Linux (, that is also very good (although it is not yet considered stable by the site ... seems just as stable as the others to me and it includes apt ... my personal favorite)...however, I am still using WhiteBox Linux on my production systems with no problems to date. CentOS is now looking very impressive as well. is also progressing, but still very beta.

Posted by: hughesjr Jul 7 2004, 08:27 PM

After 3 more months, here is what I can tell you about the RHEL clones:

TaoLinux, CentOS, and WBEL are all great products ... they are all stable and function great. They run almost everything that you can run on RHEL.

The maintainers of all 3 distros build updates and provide them in a fairly timely fashion, after being released from RedHat. I personally do not see a downside with either of these Enterprise distros.

Two other members of the Staff at LinuxHelp are using RHEL clones in their environment (Robert83 and chrisw) as production servers. I'll let them speak for themselves, but I think they will say they are satisfied with their distros.

I am still using WBEL as all my production servers and workstations (and I will probably continue to do so) ... but I think I would now recommend that new users (for x86) use CentOS as your Enterprise distro. The CentOS guys seem to get the updates out a little bit faster, and there are more and faster mirrors for updates and downloads.

TaoLinux is available for more distros than any other (x86, ia64, x86_64, s390), while WBEL supports two distros (x86 and x86_64) and CentOS currently only x86.

Personally, If I were running a Linux server for any reason ... and I didn't want to use RHEL (because of cost) ... I would use one of the above distros.

Posted by: hughesjr Jan 8 2005, 12:27 PM

OK ... after 6 more months, here is my opinion:

There is a 4th distro that I also recommend now,

But, I think that the best distro is now CentOS. ChrisW and Robert83 both use CentOS ... and I'm not sure about Jim. I am also now the CentOS-4 project lead ... but that happened because I thought CentOS was the best distro and converted all my boxes over to it, then later I started a RHEL4 rebuild project and CentOS asked me to come be part of their distro.

There have been time issues concerning updates from WBEL, and Tao has lost their maintainer of x86_64, s390, s390x and ia64 distros ...

CentOS has many more mirrors than the other distos .. and in many more locations.

So, CentOS is the Enterprise distro I recommend.

Posted by: Hemant Jan 8 2005, 05:46 PM

Ok..what distro you would suggest for software development..
I am using FC-2..but right now i have few issues..and i think that this is not the correct distro for programming and software development.The issues are

1.MYSQL drivers for QT has been removed in FC-2.It was there in RHL-9.0
2.PHP configuration is screwed...i was recently doing some heavy PHP programming and found many differences between...FC-2 and RHEL.RHEL was damn cool.(Thanks to our IT lab,they have official RHEL)
3.Many minor things....such as few KDE programs are broken.
4.Then this multimedia issue.(try to have mp3 support in KDE,if your linux box is not connected to internet and you are a guy like me,who has to download everything and manually will have time of your life).But this is not a major issue
5.GSL(gnu scientific libs) are removed.Really bad for engineers and scientists.

So basically,what i want is a distro which would contain all the latest software and will be great for programming(So that i don't have to install all the libs manually).I know debian is there but its been old and not being updated so fast.

Posted by: hughesjr Jan 8 2005, 06:22 PM

If you like RHEL, the CentOS-3.4 is basically RHEL3-update4 (the mp3 doesn't work though ... that is a license issue.) You can get mp3 to work using dag's repo ( ). CentOS-3.x has older programs though (gnome 2.2, kde 3.1.3, gimp 1.2, openoffice 1.1.0, mozilla 1.4.3, php 4.3.2, httpd 2.0.46).

The new CentOS-4Beta is based on RHEL4-Beta2. (mp3 doesn't work with it either ... same issue). This has much newer items (Gnome 2.8.0, kde 3.3.1, gimp 2.0.5, openoffice 1.1.2, mozilla 1.7.5, php 4.3.9, http 2.0.52 ... except MySQL is the same in each 3.23.58)

If the programming you are doing is for RHEL, then CentOS would be the optimal solution.

CentOS has gsl (1.1.1 for CentOS-3.4 ... 1.1.5 for CentOS-4beta)
Debian is also good, and if you use the Sarge Distro intead of Woody, it is fairly up to date. It depends on your target audience.

Posted by: Hemant Jan 8 2005, 06:36 PM

Thanks for this scientific Linux project,i will try that.

It is not that,my programs are targeted for RHEL...basically i needed a Distro that will have most of the development libs installed.

Powered by Invision Power Board (
© Invision Power Services (