The Supreme Court of India Embraces Ubuntu Linux

In a bold move two months back, The Supreme Court of India decided that it should start using Ubuntu Linux as the primary Operating System across all courthouse-offices. The earlier Operating System across Indian courts was RHEL 5 (Red Hat Enterprise Linux), and that is why I call this transition a bold move. The quality of support provided by RHEL is unmatched in the world of Linux. It will be interesting to see how Ubuntu performs as a replacement, now that the transition is in process.

The Supreme Court prefers a customized version 10.04 of the Ubuntu distro for this migration. This deprives them of many new features of Ubuntu. However, Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx is the most stable one to come out after Ubuntu 8.04, so this choice is a wise one. There are over  17,000 courts in India that will be migrated over to this custom version of Ubuntu 10.04, as part of this plan.

The main problem faced by widespread adoption of Open Source software has been lack of vendor support. This issue is handled extremely well by Red Hat. However, when it comes to Ubuntu, users have to rely on documentations. Thankfully, the transition from RHEL to Ubuntu will be accompanied by user training. Additionally, a video tutorial and PDF file will be available at all times, at the Supreme Court of India website.

For a welcome change, the guideline message says,

The Ubuntu  Linux Operating System can be installed by the Judicial Officer on his own also as the installation process is very easy, intuitive and self-explanatory. In fact, it shall be a welcome change and a desired enablement on the part of the Judicial Officers if they become self-dependent in this aspect also.

This urges government officials to be familiar with the Ubuntu installation procedure and try it themselves. It also brings considerable cost cutting for the government.

The exact PDF document outlining the guidelines, features of Ubuntu and other technical details can be found at  this link. Video tutorials for demo guides can be found at this page.

CentOS 6.0 Finally Released

CentOS developer Karanbir Singh has announced the availability of CentOS 6.0 for download.

CentOS (Community Enterprise Operating System) is a Linux-based operating system that is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Unlike RHEL, it is a community project but, like RHEL, its target users are the enterprise users. One of the best feature of CentOS is its 100% binary compatibility with RHEL. CentOS is completely free and is very popular on servers.

CentOS 6.0 Desktop

CentOS 6.0 is based on RHEL 6.0 which was released in November last year. The amount of time it took for CentOS 6.0 to be released is a bit surprising as the earlier releases usually follows the RHEL releases closely.

CentOS 6.0 is not an exact clone of RHEL 6.0; it contains some packages that have been modified and some that have been removed. You can see the complete list of these packages in the release note.

Red Hat had already released RHEL 6.0. So, Karanbir Singh said that they will port all the security updates from RHEL 6.1 to CentOS 6.0 users until CentOS 6.1 is released.

Since upstream has a 6.1 version already released, we will be using a Continous Release repository for 6.0 to bring all 6.1 and post 6.1 security updates to all 6.0 users, till such time as CentOS-6.1 is released itself. There will be more details about this posted within the next 48 hours.

Download CentOS 6.0

CentOS 6.0 is available for i386 and x86_64 architectures ( or in more simple terms 32 bit and 64 bit).

You can download it from the list of mirrors from this page.

Before installing, please make sure that you have at least 392 MB of RAM as the installer will not run if it is lower. If you need a the GUI based installer, you need to have at least 652 MB of RAM.

[image credit]


Red Hat Becomes the First Billion Dollar Open Source Company

Open Source has been a much advocated part of the tech industry and is extremely popular for its ideology. However, there was a general belief of lack of profits from Open Source business and there was no top-notch Open Source company to prove this wrong.


Red Hat is out to set a record by becoming the first billion dollar Open Source Company in the world leaving Oracle behind in the competition. Almost 20% of the one billion alone comes from this quarter’s profits and Red Hat is performing remarkably well in its business. The overall revenue itself has increased by 20% and Red Hat is showing signs of immense growth.

The closest competitor Oracle’s cheap stunts have failed to impress customers enough. We all know of the cheap RHEL knockoff  it was trying to sell. Oracle is doing it once again and this time, it has claimed that the new Linux it has developed is 75% faster than RHEL. However, we know how benchmarks can be manipulated and I mean technically.

Charlie Peters, Red Hat’s Executive VP and CFO says,

Our revenue and operating income growth continued this quarter with strong double digit gains in both, despite the foreign currency head wind. It is clear that our value proposition is resonating with customers.

It feels god to see that at least one Open Source company is going strong.



Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 Released; Beta Version of RHEL 6 Coming Soon

RedHat has recently upgraded its Linux server product to RHEL 5.5 with many new features and performance improvements. The latest OS from RedHat has improved  Windows Interportability and  Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM)  Virtualization which allows running unsupported hardware through an emulator. It also includes support for newer hardware of Intel and AMD.

Tim Burke, vice president of platform engineering at Red Hat, reported to that,

We overlap on our releases as it takes many years to produce the new version – RHEL 6 – which is currently in development, Within the coming month we’ll have our beta release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.

The hardware is of nominal value until you’ve got the software to enable it and that’s what really shines in RHEL 5.5. We’ve done a huge number of scalability enhancements for both bare metal and virtualization environments.

RedHat will also announce the availability of RHEL 6 in June. This will be the next major version after the release of RHEL 5 in 2007.

One major improvement in RHEL 5.5 is the support for new processor families from Intel (Westmere) and AMD (Opteron). One major feature improvement is the Runtime Allocation which allows processes to scale their memory requirements at runtime. Interportability with Windows 7 has also been improved through improvements in Samba.

Get a 30 days trial version of RHEL 5.5 through the RedHat Network.
(Via: Serverwatch)