Fallout in Linux Land

Yesterday, Eric S. Raymond (ESR) publicly dumped Red Hat Fedora and made the switch to Ubuntu:  Eric S. Raymond Gives Up on Fedora, burning bridges left and right behind him.  In Eric’s words:

Over the last five years, I’ve watched Red Hat/Fedora throw away what was at one time a near-unassailable lead in technical prowess, market share and community prestige. The blunders have been legion on both technical and political levels. They have included, but were not limited to:

  • Chronic governance problems.
  • Persistent failure to maintain key repositories in a sane, consistent state from which upgrades might actually be possible.
  • A murky, poorly-documented, over-complex submission process.
  • Allowing RPM development to drift and stagnate — then adding another layer of complexity, bugs, and wretched performance with yum.
  • Effectively abandoning the struggle for desktop market share.
  • Failure to address the problem of proprietary multimedia formats with any attitude other than blank denial.

In retrospect, I should probably have cut my losses years ago. But I had so much history with Red-Hat/Fedora, and had invested so much effort in trying to fix the problems, that it was hard to even imagine breaking away.


The only puzzling question to me is why he didn’t switch to Freespire, since he moved over to become a member of their Leadership board last year (Open Source Guru Eric S. Raymond Joins Freespire Leadership Team, Sept 06).  Well, they’re both Debian based, so maybe that’s it… because he seems really down on the Red Hat/Fedora model.

UPDATE:  Puzzled resolved.  I had missed this news from a couple of weeks ago, Linspire switches to Ubuntu.  So that means that Linspire = Freespire = Ubuntu moving forward …


About the Author
Jeff Jones

Principal Cybersecurity Strategist

Jeff Jones a 27-year security industry professional that has spent the last decade at Microsoft working with enterprise CSOs and Microsoft's internal teams to drive practical and measurable security improvements into Microsoft products and services. Additionally, Jeff analyzes vulnerability trends Read more »