John.Banister writes: SUSE announced that they’re spending $10 million on maintaining a fork of RHEL, with the source code of the fork to be freely available to all. I don’t know that people who want to copy RHEL source will necessarily see copying the source of a fork as furthering their goals, but it could be that SUSE will build a nice alternative enterprise Linux to complement their current product. And, I reckon, better SUSE than Oracle, since I keep reading comments on people getting screwed by Oracle, but not so many on people getting screwed by SUSE. ZDNet’s Steven Vaughan-Nichols writes: This all started when Red Hat’s VP of core platforms, Mike McGrath, declared, “CentOS Stream will now be the sole repository for public RHEL-related source code releases. For Red Hat customers and partners, source code will remain available via the Red Hat Customer Portal.” That may not sound like much to you, but those were fighting words to many open-source and Linux distributors. According to Linux’s fundamental license, the GPLv2, no restrictions can be placed on distributing the source code to those who’ve received the binaries. In the view of many in the open-source community, that’s exactly what Red Hat has done.

Others see this as the latest step in the long dance between Red Hat’s business licensing demands and open-source licensing. Red Hat has had conflicts with the RHEL clones since 2005, when Red Hat’s trademarks were the issue of the day. Usually, these fights stayed confined to the RHEL and its immediate clone rivals. Not this time.

Dirk-Peter van Leeuwen, SUSE CEO, said this: “For decades, collaboration and shared success have been the building blocks of our open-source community. We have a responsibility to defend these values. This investment will preserve the flow of innovation for years to come and ensures that customers and community alike are not subjected to vendor lock-in and have genuine choice tomorrow as well as today.” What does that mean? While SUSE will continue to invest in and support its own Linux distributions, SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) and openSUSE, SUSE plans on creating its own RHEL-compatible clone. Once completed, this new distro will be contributed to an open-source foundation, which will provide ongoing free access to alternative source code.

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