FC5 in a commercial product (was Re: Wanna give me a hand debunking this?)

Eric spamsink at scoot.netis.com
Wed Nov 21 14:47:33 UTC 2007

At 06:46 PM 11/20/2007, Les Mikesell wrote:

<LM>>>>>The piece that it misses is that there are (so far...) 3 releases 
of fedora for every RHEL.  As the RHEL cut time approaches, fedora becomes 
increasingly reliable, so RH resources are doing something.   However, 
after the cut (which will have pretty much the same versions of everything 
the concurrent fedora has minus some kernel features), fedora returns to 
its wild and crazy ways for its next 2 releases.<<<<

Where did FC5 fit in the sequence?  If the 3:1 ratio is more or less 
absolute, I'd guess that FC5 was Wild And Crazy #2B and FC6 was Sorta Quiet 
And Stable #2.

(We use FC6 for our company's Asterisk PBX server and it has been rock 
solid so far.)

We have a new client who is using FC5 in a commercial coin-operated 
entertainment machine.  Now, obviously a software failure in a machine like 
that isn't going to cause any direct injury (might cause indirect injury 
when the user gets pissed and throws a chair through the front of the unit) 
but neither will it help the company's reputation in any measurable way.

I have already told them that using Fedora (any Fedora) in a commercial 
product is probably Not A Good Idea, for reasons elucidated often in this 
and other forums.  Are there any articles or white papers written by 
members of the Fedora team, or others who know far more than I ever will 
about this stuff, that I can download and show to our client?

I have suggested that they move to RHEL or CentOS... any others that are 
specifically targeted to reasonably-high-reliability commercial systems?

(There are no hard real time requirements in the system.)

But now, let's back off for a minute and think about this.

The kernel is pretty much the same across all distros, isn't it?  Isn't 
F7's 2.6.21 pretty much the same as RHEL's 2.6.21 or CentOS's 2.6.21 except 
for some differences in configuration?  And are the kernels still following 
the convention of the even-numbered releases (2.4.x, 2.6.x) being the 
stable ones and the odd-numbered releases (2.3.x, 2.5.x) being the unstable 
"development" releases?

If that is true, and understanding that individual kernel releases may have 
problems unique to that release (e.g. 2.6.23 might have broken something 
that worked fine in 2.6.22), what else is it about Fedora that makes it 
not-quite-ready-for-prime-time?  The applications and utilities, and 
perhaps some of the drivers and daemons, right?  So, if our client's 
application isn't using any of the distro's applications, and only a 
minimal number of drivers and daemons (that can be individually validated, 
or perhaps rolled back to previous stable versions), what is it about 
Fedora that's likely to cause trouble?

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