[ILUG-BOM] Can Red Hat Enterprise products fall under FOSS?

Pravin Dhayfule dhayfule at gmail.com
Sat Jul 4 15:56:00 IST 2009

Hi Folks,

One of my friend was arguing me that RED HAT is superior to any of the
FREELY available Linux Distro as it provides Support (although in form of

However I told him that he can get free community support  for many other
free distros and more over they are Open Source.

Now for this he said that Red Hat too is open Source, and he has got one
installed in his home through a CD provided by his institute where he is
studying REHL.

I asked him, whether he needed to enter Serial Key like Windows, he replied
no, but he wont be able to use their support. So I told him that he is using
a PIRATED version of LINUX. HE said yes.

I went ahead to cross check Red Hat License Agreement, and saw it to be
similar to Microsoft's EULA that states, you cannot install it on more
computers than the licensed purchased for etc.
Secondly if the Subscription expires, the OS will no longer be Legal until
its renewed (similar to Norton Anti Virus)

So my question is... Can Red Hat enterprise products be really considered as
Open Source (as their website claims) http://investors.redhat.com/index.cfm
*Red Hat is the world's leading open source provider. Bringing the choice,
collaboration, cost savings and value of open source to enterprises
worldwide. Solutions include our Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating
platforms, JBoss Enterprise Middleware and other Red Hat enterprise
I am a bit confused on this argument... When we refer to Open Source
philosophy, it says "FREEDOM", but REHL EULA looks similar to Microsoft
EULA, then is also Red Hat play a role in giving rise to "PIRATED LINUX"


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