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Enterprise Linux Server

Anand Jayaraman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2004
Posts: 104
Hello Chaps!!

I have been researching Enterprise Linux. When I came across RedHat's Enterprise Linux 3, I thought I'd test it before making a plunge. Anyways, being a not-so-experienced-with-Linux-kind, that I am, I was stumped when they advised Fedora... What is this Fedora? As far as I understand, it is what people use to build their kernel from source. Is that right? Or is there something that I need to know more about.

Also, say I decide to use Fedora, can I build a functional RHEL3?? I had looked at one site where steps were outlined to use Fedora. Unfortunately, I found a 'to be continued...'

Has anyone tried it out before?? I'd really like some more information on the whole works...

Cheers!!
Joe Ess
Bartender

Joined: Oct 29, 2001
Posts: 8971
    
    9

Originally posted by Anand Jayaraman:
Hello Chaps!!

Greetings.

I have been researching Enterprise Linux. When I came across RedHat's Enterprise Linux 3, I thought I'd test it before making a plunge. Anyways, being a not-so-experienced-with-Linux-kind, that I am, I was stumped when they advised Fedora... What is this Fedora?

"Linux" is a UNIX-clone operating system kernel. It provides basic interaction with hardware and doesn't do much on it's own, so it is grouped with GNU software and other utilities to make a complete operating system called a "Linux distribution". There's hundreds of distributions, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora are two distinct examples.

Also, say I decide to use Fedora, can I build a functional RHEL3??

What distinguises one Linux distribution from another is philsophy more than anything else, since they are derived from pretty much the same code base. An "Enterprise" distribution strives for stability and performance, and will have patches applied to the kernel and will contain software to support data center and other business operations. It will often be sold with a support offering, as is the case with RHEL, and can be extremely expensive (RHEL ranges from $179 for a desktop to $18000+ for mainframe editions). Fedora is a community-supported desktop distribution (as most distributions are) which Red Hat sponsors as a testing ground for new features. It has some bleeding-edge features so there may be some stability, compatability or performance issues. It's free, but the only support you get is from other users, so you'd post to the news group and pray.
It's unlikely that you could install Fedora and patch it to be RHEL since the Fedora project has different goals, but there are other distributions which strive to duplicate RHEL, for example White Box Linux.
If you want the absolute easiest Linux distribution to fool around with, try Knoppix. It's a bootable CD, so you don't even have to install it.

[ July 15, 2004: Message edited by: Joe Ess ]
[ July 15, 2004: Message edited by: Joe Ess ]

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Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 16250
    
  21

Red Hat discontinued its desktop and workstation versions of Linux about a year or so back. However, the Fedora project is virtually the same thing except you can't go down to the store and buy it. Aside from the tell-tale way that things are organized (redhat-style) in Fedora, the fact that the master distribution site is http://fedora.redhat.com should be a pretty good clue.

RHEL is Red Hat's commercial Enterprise server distro. Although the same sources were generally used to build both it and Fedora, the goals are different. For one thing, RHEL doesn't attempt to be the "latest-and-greatest", but concentrates on what business customers want. Like not having to do an OS upgrade every 6 months.

Commercial products such as Oracle are ONLY certified to run on systems like RHEL (and SuSe). Although a little hacking can make Oracle 9i or 10g run under Fedora, don't expect to call Oracle Support and have them fix any problems you may encounter.

OTOH, I have a Fedora-based system that acts as a Personal Video Recorder. It required a lot of "latest-and-greatest" packages to get running, so Fedora was a much better choice for that particular task.


Customer surveys are for companies who didn't pay proper attention to begin with.
Anand Jayaraman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2004
Posts: 104
Hi Tim!

When you say
Red Hat discontinued its desktop and workstation versions of Linux
, as I understand it, you mean RedHat Linux 9.0 was the last version RedHat ever released. That goes fine with me. But then, is RedHat Desktop Linux the same as RedHat 9.0 (or other versions of RedHat Linux) ??

Also, I would need to run DB2 on Linux and IBM have proposed specific flavors of Linux that are cretified to run their product. RedHat Linux 9.0 and RHEL3 are also mentioned in the list. Thats effectively saying, DB2 can run on both of these "distros" (as you call it), but if ever you need to make a decision on performance, stability (Thanks Joe!!), you are better off going for RHEL3! Is that right??

Anways, I'd thank Joe and you for your insights....


Cheers
Joe Ess
Bartender

Joined: Oct 29, 2001
Posts: 8971
    
    9

It is not an easy situation to unravel because Red Hat announced a major change in its product line around the beginning of this year. Instead of providing a free Linux distribution (Red Hat Linux), selling a boxed version of it with manuals, and selling a fully supported enterprise Linux distribution, they would concentrate on their Enterprise edition. Red Hat is very aware that the open source community makes it possible for them to sell services, so they have continued to sponsor a free linux distribution called the Fedora Project. The philosophy behind Fedora is not exactly the same as that behind Red Hat Linux. Fedora aims to be a beta-test of cutting edge features. Red Hat Linux aimed to be a stable desktop.
Red Hat Desktop is yet another Red Hat product which provides a large organization the tools to manage 100's of desktop computers from a central location. Probably not what you are looking for, since it comes in packs of 10.
As for deciding between RHL9 and RHEL3, remember that RHEL3 is not cheap and RHL9 is no longer supported. If your employer is footing the bill, RHEL3 may be the one since it is supported and it's on the DB2 "recommended" list. If you are just doing this in your free time, you may want to save the money and go with RHL9 (which was stable and easy to set up for me, Your Mileage May Vary) or maybe even SUSE Pro, which is half the price of RHEL3 and on the DB2 list. Best of both worlds.
Stefan Wagner
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 02, 2003
Posts: 1923

my experience with oracle was: official support only for redhat and suse.
Uninstallable on my 3� computer-magazine knoppix-linux.

But reading and searching the forums, the main issue was, to place a file 'redhat-release-xy' in the appropriate place, and installation proceeded to 95%. It took some time to figure out the last 5% but now oracle is up and running.

So I would first search the forums for DB2 if I decided to choose an uncertified release.


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