Bonum Certa Men Certa

IBM is Selling Complexity, Not GNU/Linux

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Sep 25, 2023

Problem Solved

THE Fedora Project, judging by the recurring Fedora reports and CPE Weekly update [1], has truly stagnated. There are neither many people nor a lot of activity in it. The CentOS Board Meeting Recap [2] shows not much either; many people resigned after what IBM had done to CentOS. The main "progress" seems to be dumping things and removing options, e.g. X11 and KDE.

Red Hat-sponsored sites and Red Hat's own site [3-6] keep harping about "clown" (cloud, misnomer) with bloated frameworks and large stacks (OpenStack, OpenShift etc.) because that's what sells large and unique contracts, costing a lot of money and never quite ending. A software-defined network (SDN), Red Hat might hope, is enough of a niche that companies will take the dive and remain indebted to Red Hat staff. used to sell (or promote) GNU/Linux, but now it's their own flavour of containers, Kubernetes, and so on. Podman, Ansible, OpenStack... (even on very small systems when none of these should be needed, except for vanity, like putting pertinent dot files in a Git repository).

IBM Thinkpad Trackpoint

Many companies just need to keep their systems simple. The simpler they are, the more people can manage/support them, even in-house staff. But this isn't what IBM wants; speaking from experience (at work), some people come to a company and deploy a lot of complexity ('exotic' things), only to leave the company some time later, with colleagues in the former company unable to maintain its own infrastructure. Microsofters and Red Hat-certified people leave behind them quite a mess that few people are capable of supporting. One thing the companies might then do is sign some large contract with Microsoft and/or Red Hat, due to desperation. MVPs and equivalents act like corporate Trojan horses, slinging buzzwords and mottos like "digital transformation".

To summarise, IBM has abandoned or vandalised alternatives to Red Hat, including cost-free RHEL alternatives. Now it's eager to sell not GNU/Linux but a whole bunch of other stuff. It's not about the clients, it's about money. IBM makes more money when users of IBM stacks (Wayland, systemd etc.) are not confident and cannot find support anywhere but IBM. They hate commodification.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Fedora Community Blog: CPE Weekly update – Week 38 2023

    This is a weekly report from the CPE (Community Platform Engineering) Team. If you have any questions or feedback, please respond to this report or contact us on #redhat-cpe channel on

  2. CentOS Board Meeting Recap, September 2023
    The recording of the August CentOS Board meeting is now available. Watch the recording Read the minutes The recording has timestamps so you can skip to the parts that interest you. Here are a few highlights of the meeting: After much discussion, the wiki has been archived.
  3. Red Hat Previews OpenStack Integration With OpenShift Platform

    Red Hat previewed an instance of the OpenStack framework tightly integrated with the control plane used to manage Red Hat OpenShift environments.

  4. Red Hat Previews OpenShift Platform for AI Models

    Red Hat previewed a platform for running AI workloads based on the Red Hat OpenShift platform the company built atop Kubernetes.

  5. Network testing with testpmd and noisy_vnf

    Developers of software-defined network (SDN) frameworks and applications often use the DPDK utility testpmd to test DPDK features and benchmark network hardware performance. In the upcoming DPDK release 23.07, we've extended the functionality of the noisy_vnf module in testpmd to allow better simulations of heavily loaded servers or complex workloads. This can allow for more realistic benchmarks.

  6. Red Hat rebrands OpenStack Platform for building and managing private clouds
    Red Hat Inc. said today it’s rebranding the Red Hat OpenStack Platform, which will now be known as Red Hat OpenStack Services on OpenShift. The rebrand follows a years-long effort by the company, owned by IBM Corp., to integrate Red Hat OpenStack Platform more tightly with Red Hat OpenShift.

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