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Re: How compatible are RHEL and clones?

On Fri, Oct 21, 2005 at 01:31:38PM -0500, Chris St. Pierre wrote:
> We're looking at installing a pair of boxes to do LDAP in a
> load-balanced environment, and I was considering putting RHEL on one
> with the corresponding license, support, etc., and then putting
> CentOS, White Box Linux, etc., on the other and keeping the config
> files, software, and everything else synchronized across the two in
> order to save money on the RH license.

First, you can't legally copy the software from one system to the other.
You can rebuild from sources but you can't take a binary RHEL rpm and
install it on your rebuild.  Please read the subscription agreement

> 2.  Is it a good idea, or out-and-out stupidity?

I personally wouldn't do it.  Either have both running RHEL or neither.
If you want/need support, run RHEL.  If you're going to rely on free
support, then run a rebuilder.

> 4.  Are any of the RHEL clones any better than any of the others as
>     far as compatibility is concerned?

All of the "clones" are going to have some issues.  They're not clones -
they're generally compilations of the source rpms.  There have been
cases where some 3rd party software won't install and there have been
cases where compiler bugs have made it impossible for you to generate a
fully functional binary from the source rpm because Red Hat had not at
the time released the updated compiler.

In general, the rebuilds work and I run one at home for non-critical
work.  At the office, all of my systems have RHEL subscriptions.

Do not expect a clone on CentOS, White Box Linux, or any of the others.
They're rebuilds of the source and they all have limitations.  Some may
have varying life cycles and differing delays in getting security
patches to you.  Some may simply wither away and die tomorrow and leave
you scrambling.  It depends on what you're comfortable with.


Ed Wilts, RHCE
Mounds View, MN, USA
mailto:ewilts ewilts org
Member #1, Red Hat Community Ambassador Program

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