[K12OSN] What are the "K12LTSP EL" releases?

Kemp, Levi lnkemp at bolivar.k12.mo.us
Fri Jan 4 15:52:18 UTC 2008

I second that. You couldn't have written a better explanation with all the relevant points.

Levi Kemp

-----Original Message-----
From: k12osn-bounces at redhat.com on behalf of Mel Wade
Sent: Fri 1/4/2008 6:16 AM
To: Support list for open source software in schools.
Subject: Re: [K12OSN] What are the "K12LTSP EL" releases?
Terrell,  You should add that to the Wiki...

On 1/3/08, "Terrell Prudé Jr." <microman at cmosnetworks.com> wrote:
> Brandon Kovach wrote:
> Pardon me for being dumb, but what is the k12ltsp EL?  More to the point,
> what is different between it and k12ltsp?  Is it still fedora based?  I
> think I read a post that said CentOS, but I can't find it now.  We've used
> the k12 project stuff for 4 years now and have had no trouble, but this
> year hasn't been the case.  I've had quite some trouble with it.  I was
> looking at maybe switching to something else ... Edubuntu or maybe doing a
> debian build myself.
> BK
> There are two "kinds" of K12LTSP.  The first, called simply "K12LTSP", is
> based on Fedora.  The second, called "K12LTSP EL" is based on CentOS.  Now,
> the question is, why two versions?  Why not just one?  That'll take some
> explanation.
> Hold on tight, because you're about to go for a little history tour.  :-)
> K12LTSP, back in the day, was based on Red Hat Linux, until Red Hat did
> what's known as the "Big Split" in order to actually start making money
> (this is a Very Good Thing; we want this to happen!).  That split means that
> Red Hat Linux became two distributions.
> One's a bleeding-edge, "download for free" version that's on a fast update
> cycle, where Red Hat tries out new stuff (e. g. SELinux, new eye candy, and
> so on).  Development is fast and furious.  For that reason, release cycles
> are short, as are support cycles.  You want a cool, "uber-l33t" new
> feature?  You want truly beautiful eye candy, bordering on a work of art?
> You want something that is specifically and overtly designed to be tweaked
> as heavily as your little heart desires?  This version likely has all that
> and much more.  That's Fedora.
> The other one's much more concerned with stability over the long haul, and
> it's intended to be certified for use with Big, Expensive Enterprise Apps
> (e. g. HP OpenView Network Node Manager or Oracle).  It's also explicitly
> designed for support intervals that corporations like (read: "long").  As a
> result, you get support for a loooong time, but you don't necessarily get
> the latest, greatest eye candy or apps.  Each version of this distribution
> will be supported with security updates for seven years from the date of its
> release.  Oh, and it costs a lot of money and comes with an official support
> contract.  That's Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).
> Well, we all know that the GPL requires you to provide source with your
> binaries when you distribute any GPL'd software.  Red Hat has a long history
> of not only GPL compliance, but also outright GPL promotion.  Just about
> everything Red Hat has ever written or released has been GPL'd (e. g. Red
> Hat Directory Server or Anaconda).  Thus, even though getting RHEL costs a
> lot of money, Red Hat posts all of its source code for it up on its Web
> site.  They're on record as saying that anyone can download that source code
> and re-create RHEL if they wish.
> A few groups of hackers decided to do just that.  They downloaded that
> source code, recompiled it, and came up with rather faithful clones of RHEL,
> and these groupsl let us download it free of charge.  The GPL explicitly
> permits this.  The most successful and famous of these RHEL clones is called
> CentOS, for "Community ENTerprise OS."  Since CentOS is made of exactly the
> same source code as RHEL is, CentOS is on the same *support cycle* as RHEL.
> What does this have to do with K12LTSP EL?
> Well, it turned out there was quite large demand for a "Long-Term Support"
> release of K12LTSP.  Therefore, Eric "Mr. K12LTSP" Harrison made a version
> based on CentOS.  The first one was K12LTSP 4.2EL, based on CentOS 4.  It
> will be supported with security fixes until the year 2012.  The latest one,
> K12LTSP 5.0EL, is based on CentOS 5 and will be supported until the year
> 2014.  The "EL", of course, stands for "Enterprise Linux" release.
> So, if you want the latest-greatest, and you don't mind updating your OS
> every year or so, then go for the "regular" K12LTSP, based on Fedora.  For
> years, I used "regular" K12LTSP for demos because of the extra eye candy.
> On the other hand, if you need long-term support and don't mind not living
> on the bleeding edge, then go for the "EL" K12LTSP, based on CentOS.
> NOTE!!  Unfortunately, the latest version of "regular" K12LTSP, namely
> K12LTSP 6, is based on Fedora Core 6, which just got End-Of-Lifed.  That
> means no more security updates.  That's why K12LTSP 5.0EL is the better
> choice at this point.  This is *no* slam on Eric Harrison, BTW.  Given his
> schedule, the fact that he finds time to breathe amazes most of us.
> And now you know what the "K12LTSP EL" releases are.  :-)
> --TP
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Mel Wade
"The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do." - BF

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