How Big is Your Red Hat?


There are operating systems, and then there’s Linux distros. Here at MYRA, we are partnered with Red Hat and know the difference can be huge.

Is Red Hat Enterprise Linux an operating system? Well, yes, but that’s like calling a Rolls-Royce a chassis, or the Spirit of British Columbia a hull. The interesting point is how much more than just an operating system it is.

Out of the box functionality

The Red Hat package management software (included with your RHEL6Server subscription) lists 7,363 software packages. Granted, some of those are pretty tiny packages. But many, many packages are software that you might expect to have to buy on top of your operating system elsewhere.

Let me pick a quiver of examples. Say, you need a directory and authentication server. RHEL6Server comes with OpenLDAP and Kerberos included. Maybe you need a webserver. RHEL6Server comes with Apache and Tomcat included. Database? MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite. Email server? Sendmail. File server? NFS, SAMBA. Code repository? CVS, git, Subversion. Compiler? GCC. Provisioning? Kickstart. Office suite? OpenOffice. Photo suite? GIMP. Backup server? AMANDA, Bacula. Videoconferencing? Ekiga. Print spooler? CUPS. Firewall? iptables, SELinux. VPN server? Openswan. Runtime performance analyzer? SystemTap. Proxy server? Squid. FTP server? vsftp. ISP session manager? FreeRADIUS. Desktop virtualization? SPICE. Hypervisor? KVM. Hypervisor multi-host manager? virt-manager.

Batteries included

All included. If anyone out there in the open source community imagines it could be on a server, and the Red Hat QA team can make it run smooth, it’s probably just plain included – and supported. No more downloads, no separate installation procedure, no Client Access Licenses, no license renewals, no mismatched SLAs. Just included with your “operating system”. You have a problem with any of it, you call one number and you’re speaking with a tech – not a call-centre script. 7,363 packages.

Why, that’s a mighty big hat you got right there.