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From: Mike Savage (Mike.Savage_at_datastream.net)
Date: Thu 27 Mar 2003 - 16:04:27 GMT

>From this page http://www.redhat.com/software/whichlinux.html

RedHat says:

"Red Hat Enterprise Linux is sold through a one-year subscription and it
does have a licensing agreement. But before you mention the "p"-word
("proprietary"), understand that the code is open and protected by the GPL
license. It's not proprietary. We're licensing the services, not the
software. The source code files can be downloaded by anyone, and you still
have the right to use the software after the license and services expire."

If I run a vserver kernel, which was produced using RHAS kernel sourcecode,
I admit that technically, it is not a RHAS system anymore. I have spoken
with Oracle representatives about this issue. They stated that others have
asked about modifying the RHAS kernel for whatever reasons...the answer is,
you can modify the kernel for you own needs if you so desire. However,
should any problems arise with any Oracle products, you would need to boot
back into an unaltered, stock RHAS kernel to perform any troubleshooting.
This to prove that your modified kernel wasn't causing the problem.

As far as enterprise quality code is concerned, I feel the vserver code can
be put in this category, based on my observations in using vserver in
production environments. Granted, the systems I have run vserver on, in the
past and the present, are/were all RedHat 7.x systems and not RHAS systems.
However, they have proven to be extremely stable and run at an
enterprise-capable level IMHO, running for months at a time under heavy
loads with not one problem. If we were to acheive a RHAS vserver patch, I
would first test the system out inhouse for a couple of weeks at load levels
far and beyond what my systems would see in the real world. I realize this
might technically break any service agreements with RedHat, but as long as I
have my stock kernel to boot back into for troubleshooting, everything is

Other releases of RedHat previous to and after RHAS (as well as other
distributions of Linux) can be made to be stable, supportable, as well as
enterprise-capable. RedHat's engineer's aren't the only ones who have the
knowledge to do that. And while RedHat has stated that their motivation
behind RHAS is to achieve a stable, supportable, enterprise linux, the
reality is that they needed a release of RedHat for those in upper
management positions (who control the purse strings and are accountable when
things go wrong) to be able to sleep soundly at night in the blanket of the
RedHat service agreement...just my opinion...I could be wrong.

Apologies if I strayed into a rant.


-----Original Message-----
From: John P. Eisenmenger [mailto:jpe_at_eisenmenger.org]
Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2003 6:43 PM
To: 'vserver_at_solucorp.qc.ca'
Subject: RE: [vserver] RHAS2.1 With vserver

If you hack the RHAS kernel, then are you really still running RHAS?

Given the intended result of a stable, supportable enterprise Linux, I
would think an activity like this would effectively void support.

I'm not a RH customer and have never read the RHAS license, support
contract or anything. It's just that doing this stikes me as being
counter to what I understand the motivation behind RHAS to be.


On Wed, 26 Mar 2003, Mike Savage wrote:

> I too would greatly appreciate a RedHat AS 2.1 vserver patch...I would
> attempt to do it myself, but I am not a proficient kernel programmer.
> The 2.4.9 kernel that is supplied with RedHat AS 2.1 is far from a vanilla
> kernel. In particular it, includes the 2.4.9-ac10 patch, as well as
> backports of various subsystem components from kernel versions up to
> This kernel also includes substantial internal reworkings, including async
> io support, among other things.
> RedHat has released an updated kernel SRPM for RedHat AS 2.1. It can be
> found here:
> 2.4.18-e.25.src.rpm
> Using rpm2cpio and then cpio, one can crack open the SRPM and take a look
> the code and patches for the latest RedHat AS 2.1 kernel. This kernel
> would probably be a better candidate for any potential vserver patches,
> anyone to undertake this endeavor. It appears that RedHat has started
> a vanilla 2.4.18 kernel and then applies the 2.4.19-pre10-ac2 patch before
> including various other subsystem patches.
> My reason for wanting a RedHat AS kernel is that my company uses Oracle
> products that require RedHat AS 2.1. I have SCSI arrays with hundreds of
> GBs of space...but I have limited physical machines. It would be great to
> use vserver to partition up different machines into separate vservers for
> different Oracle products. Also, some products I also use, ie. JBoss
> have no way to bind to a single IP address. Thus, I can not run multiple
> installations of JBoss 2.4.x on a single server without using vserver to
> compartmentalize my physical server into separate JBoss vserver
> I started a similar thread a while back, however, I got no takers on
> to get anywhere with achieving a vserver patch for RedHat AS 2.1. Any
> takers this go around? If I can assist anyone in this goal, please let me
> know. I am not a hardcore C/kernel programmer, but I am willing to assist
> in any way I can.
> Thanks,
> Mike
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Herbert Poetzl [mailto:herbert_at_13thfloor.at]
> Sent: Saturday, March 22, 2003 2:07 PM
> To: vserver_at_solucorp.qc.ca
> Subject: Re: [vserver] RHAS2.1 With vserver
> On Sat, Mar 22, 2003 at 07:25:01PM +0100, Bobby wrote:
> > The reason kernel changes cannot be made, is due to support issues, and
> > management has requested these kernels not be touched, I have my view on
> > this issue but thats another story :^)..
> > The main goal of using vserver, is to set up 2 instances, of an
> application
> > server in a controlled state, trying clustering etc. The other would be
> > set up development environments, without having to use real system
> accounts,
> > and resources etc.
> you would always use real (system) resources ...
> > If anyone is willing to make a patch for the RHAS2.1 kernels please do
> > :^)
> this would not help you, because it would require
> to change the kernel too ... *G*
> (get rid of the management or provide better reasoning ;)
> best,
> Herbert
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Herbert Poetzl" <herbert_at_13thfloor.at>
> > To: <vserver_at_solucorp.qc.ca>
> > Sent: Saturday, March 22, 2003 2:08 PM
> > Subject: Re: [vserver] RHAS2.1 With vserver
> >
> >
> > > On Sat, Mar 22, 2003 at 01:41:03PM +0100, Bobby wrote:
> > > > Hello all,
> > > > Im trying to set up vserver on RedHat Advanced Server 2.1, problem
> here
> > is
> > > > that I cannot upgrade the kernel.
> > >
> > > - why is that so?
> > > - what is the problem with upgrading the kernel?
> > >
> > > > Thus im stuck with the kernel version that
> > > > comes out with this system, (2.4.9-XX). Has anyone tried to use
> vserver
> > with
> > > > RHAS2.1, or does anyone know if there is any patches for this
> > >
> > > I do not know any reasonable advanced patch for
> > > this kernel version (2.4.9 is one and a half year ago)
> > >
> > > > I Would really like to try this out on our enterprise servers and
> > > > applications.
> > >
> > > what benefit do you expect for your 'applications'?
> > >
> > > best,
> > > Herbert
> > >
> > > > Thanks in advance,
> > > > Rob
> > > >
> > >
> >

John P. Eisenmenger

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