Faking Open, Debian Influence, Da Linux

by Ostatic Staff - Feb. 13, 2016

Matt Asay today said that there is no money in Open Source software because the "open source companies" that get rich don't do it with Open Source software. The big story today must be the Russian government's plan to dump Windows for Linux. Debian 6.0 will reach its end-of-life at the end of the month and Tecmint.com recently looked at the influence Debian has had on the Linux community. A new website helps you decide what you can do for Fedora and I Love Free Software day approacheth. New openSUSE Board member Bryan Lunduke sees some problems in KDE Neonland and Swapnil Bhartiya shared his picks for best distros of 2016.

Matt Asay, Open Source executive and author, today said that "there's no money in open source." Max Schireson wrote an article for TechCrunch.com saying Open Source is a profitable sector these days. "Open-source technology — once the province of radicals, hippies and granola eaters — has gone mainstream." Red Hat was his main example but Asay said that's his only one and that's because there are no true Open Source companies, except maybe Red Hat. Red Hat may have become so in 2008, according to Asay, when it released the source code to Satellite. By then all the other Linux competitors "were toast" after Red Hat had become successful on proprietary software. That's Asay's point. All the other companies listed in Schireson's examples as "open source companies" make their profits from proprietary code in some way or another. He called them "fake open." There's nothing wrong with making money using Open Source software with "proprietary value" but where it starts to look evil is when "pretends to an openness that simply isn’t there." Asay concluded:

Entrepreneurs shouldn’t try to monetize open source ... ever. The companies that make the most money from open source software don’t sell it: Think Google, Facebook, and other giants that heartily embrace open source without having to sell a single line of it. Instead they sell services based on open source. That’s where the real money is: proprietary value built on top of open source."

Many tech sites covered the news that Russia's Internet adviser said the state was thinking of switching from Windows to Linux for political reasons when it broke a few days ago. Many more covered it today as well. Bloomberg published excerpts from an interview with German Klimenko saying, "Klimenko said forcing Google and Apple to pay more taxes and banning Microsoft Windows from government computers are necessary measures best explained in terms of barnyard economics and marital infidelity."

The best distros of the last six weeks include openSUSE who, Swapnil Bhartiya wrote, is the comeback story of the year since moving to the enterprise code-base and announcing Tumbleweed. Arch is the most customizable, elementary OS is the best-looking, and Linux Mint Cinnamon is best for desktops. He found Debian to be the best for servers and Plasma Mobile for mobile.

While a Kubuntu-based KDE distro made Swapnil's list, Bryan Lunduke doesn't think KDE should be tied to a distro from that end. He also thinks there are licensing issues with Ubuntu code and so, not a good idea to build. what Lunduke lists as the other problem, another Kubuntu under KDE's umbrella. Riddell did say the team thought Ubuntu was their best bet. 'That's right, Arch users. And openSUSE users. And Gentoo, Fedora, Debian, Mageia, and Slackware users (among others). KDE now has a FAQ declaring that Ubuntu is "the best technology."' He said there's way too much that just doesn't make sense about the Neon project and that it's a "bad move every way possible. This is going to fully blow up in the face of the KDE project." Either that or Neon was an early April Fool's joke.

David Edmundson said not to worry, "Plasma is and remains distro-agnostic. It's in our interest to help all of our distribution channels. As long as distributions continue to keep up with the dependencies we need and work well with us, we support everyone as best as we can."

In other news:

* Debian 6.0 Long Term Support reaching end-of-life on February 29

* The Influence of Debian in Linux Open Source Community

* Want to Help Fedora?

* Open Source Leads on the Desktop

* Share your love for Free Software