Red Hat making life difficult for Rocky Linux

Red Hat & IBM are trying to make life difficult for Rocky Linux & Alma Linux. Though there could be legal action as it is likely a breach of the GPL license.
I’ll just grab my copy of Hitchhikers Guide and remember “Don’t Panic”

Who knows, Flame on Ubuntu could be on the cards.

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I understand that there used to be at least 3 flames in Atlanta that were running on Ubuntu but I never saw any evidence of it and was not given the recipe for making it work.
Life is already short enough…

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interesting! I wonder why they had it installed on ubuntu. I’ve installed flame on fedora before, its not too tricky as the package manager is the same. You have to install a few extra dependencies too but nothing that isn’t readily available. Never used it for actual work, though

The past 2/3 years, ADSK has been pretty good about equalling VFX Platform OS. It would be foolish to deviate from this spec. I don’t see much benefit moving to Ubuntu or even Fedora. You’d just be adding a massive headache, and support would deny any case.

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The original article is also from mid last year, and things have evolved since then. I haven’t followed it closely, but source access for Rocky hasn’t made the press since…

That said - for paid software like ADSK it would be good to have an option that is based on a commercial edition of Linux, not the open source one. Anytime you make open source a required component of a commercial solution, you have elevated risk.

Not that any of us would want to pay a RHEL license on top of ADSK per se. But it should be at least be considered as a clean and reliable path.

You could do this now if you wanted with no adverse side effect.

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What is a “commercial edition of linux”? Maybe are you talking about payment support? I only know Redhat , and it’s open source. Support is a different concept than open source.
I sincerely don’t understand what are you meaning. :thinking:

On the other hand, I guess except for fun, I don’t see useful “running” flame on ubuntu. Fedora could be interesting, but although I read a lot of people talking about fedora as a friendly desktop environment, I have always seen very very few differences with centos/rocky.

Yes, I was referring to RedHat. It is built around open source, but with the resources of a commercial enterprise that you can rely on. While many open source products have almost equivalent support of commercial products (sometimes even better), it’s a fallacy to equate the two.

There is a fascinating take on this topic in this write-up:

The writer attends a conference on an EU initiative to have an alternative to big cloud providers. The initiative produced a very large proposal and many papers and concluded with

“We created all the concepts and ideas and we’re now looking for the Open Source community to build the software for an autonomous European Cloud”

When the author asked the presenter what funding was associated, she was confused and responded “No, the Open Source community should implement it now.” When asked if she knew how open source worked or ever written parts of it, or contributed, her answer was ‘No’.

I think open source is a fascinating concept. It does empower developers and provides a counterweight to all software roadmaps being controlled by for profit enterprises. It does allow everyone to benefit from the opportunities of software without being rich themselves. That’s a huge win for society.

But I find the reliance of the commercial enterprises and commercial users on the open source community to provide much of the critical infrastructure as misguided. Yes, many of these companies do in fact fund some of the effort or contribute head-count. Which has somewhat perverted the whole concept of open source, as it’s again at the whim of big corporations. But nevertheless, that was never the intention or the goal.

A product like Flame and a company like ADSK should first and foremost support a commercial edition of Unix (as it did with Irix), or at a minimum a commercially supported open source project, like RedHat. And big studios should use that version of OS.

It is a nice to have that Rocky exists as an equivalent free version, and that allows freelancers, students, and small businesses to optimize cost and benefit from the flexibility of a Unix environment.

So ADSK should first offer a RedHat version of Flame, and then also a Rocky version of Flame. It could of course also offer an actual commercial version, but then duality would be more complex.

RedHat is built on top of an open source OS. While I don’t know the full breakdown, I do assume that a portion of the revenue and effort logically also flows into the improvement and maintenance of the code base, it’s not just a resale operation by the nature of it.

Keep in mind that you are paying for MacOS as a commercial flavor of Unix. Not as a separate line item, but implicitly via your Mac hardware purchase. It was not long ago that Windows was an OS that was shrink-wrapped software that just came pre-installed by the OEM. In my software career I’ve worked on HP-UX as an engineer, and used SunOS, AIX, and other flavors over the years. I worked on OS kernels before Linux existed - your choices were FreeBSD or SystemV.

Another way to illustrate the dichotomy of open source and free software. It does not take much to get artists - starting with stills photographers who are the worst in this regard, but I’ll include Flame artists and anyone in between in this grouping to go on that ‘you shall not work for free’ and that any client that wants you to work ‘for exposure’ or otherwise undercuts your fair rate is a cheat, and worse. They all demand fair pay for the valuable work they do. And they should.

But doing so while using the completely open source Firefox browser and many other open source tools who are the sweat equity of software engineers, who are artists in their own field, is a contradiction extra-ordinaire. And most do so with full ignorance of the matter.

While many here are righfully appreciative of the contributions made in the form matchbox shaders, python scripts for ML timewarp, etc. you do find the occasional comment that ‘expects’ these products to exist. Such expectation is misplaced. These are free contributions.

And any commercial enterprise, from the companies to the studios, should be the last one to expect such free contributions and use them readily. And there have been multiple comments over the months that were critical ADSK for Timewarp ML having to be a community solution rather than an officially developed solution. Rightfully so.

I write all of this as someone who has spent 15 years of my working years as a software engineer, and now 15 years as an artist in several different roles, and run my own business. Thus I have skin in the game on both sides.


The resources or support that a company can provide and if it’s open source or not, are in a different level. Open source is not equal to free software created or maintained by a team of hard-working volunteers perse. There are greats open source like chromium, blender, Redhat… maintained by professional and payed engineers within (more or less) large companies. The example of the linked article about EU is another misunderstanding between open-source and “open-source community”.

That said, I also miss better support for the OS . CentOS had a small but more or less active community. Rocky linux is a desert. I remember poking around the redhat support in those years. I don’t know if it would be very useful for our needs.

Yes, there are some previously proprietary software packages that have been open sourced (i.e. published and accessible for use by others) vs. tools that have been entirely developed by the community.

However, you’re making exactly the point - RedHat is maintained by professional and payed engineers. They’re building on top of and around a large amount of open source code that has been contributed by a wide variety of folks over the years. RedHat engineers didn’t write all the code for RHEL, but they add to it, and they make it better for the needs of their users.

How do RedHat engineers get paid? By revenue from companies that pay for the use of REHL. Do they pay as much as it would cost to develop and fully maintain an OS like RHEL? Not quite, but that’s a different matter.

So when ADSK and the studios use Rocky instead of RHEL they do not contribute a single cent to the cost of advancing and maintaining Linux. They’re free loading. Unless they have an equivalent number of paid engineers that are in fact contributing in other ways to the Linux code base. Whether ADSK does, I don’t know. But less likely. Studios most certainly don’t.

So my point remains - you have commercial users benefiting from other people’s efforts. Whether that is community contributed code, or code that was done by paid engineers. RHEL has to keep the sources open source as part of the GPL since otherwise they wouldn’t have access to what they need.

This is not a value judgement on the quality of RHEL support. It may be good or bad. Maybe we need a competitor that does something similar to make it better.