What’s the difference between a community Linux distribution and an enterprise Linux distribution?
That’s the question that Tim Burke, vice-president of Linux Engineering at Red Hat, answered during a keynote address at the LinuxCon conference. Burke began by telling the audience that he originally came to Red Hat from the Unix world. Unix to Linux migration is a key starting point in the discussion about what an enterprise Linux is all about.
Burke said that the difference between Unix and Linux is that Linux enables user innovation, and provides freedom from vendor lock-in.
While Red Hat is the leading enterprise Linux vendor on Earth, recently passing $1 billion in
revenues, they aren’t building Linux alone. Burke said that there are literally hundreds of thousands of projects in the open source world, with only a subset being pulled into Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).
Part of the job of being an enterprise distribution is picking and choosing the right projects to pull in. The way Red Hat does that is by being an active contributor and participant in thousands of communities.