Oracle, SUSE, and CIQ form Open Enterprise Linux Association to compete with Red Hat.

Oracle, SUSE, and CIQ form Open Enterprise Linux Association to compete with Red Hat.

OpenELA: Collaborative Innovation in Enterprise Linux

OpenELA

In a groundbreaking move, CIQ, Oracle, and SUSE have joined forces to create the Open Enterprise Linux Association (OpenELA) with the aim to foster the development of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) compatible distributions1. This collaborative trade association serves as a response to Red Hat’s recent alterations to RHEL’s source code availability. The formation of OpenELA provides an open and free enterprise Linux source code for organizations looking to build RHEL-compatible distributions2.

The roots of OpenELA lie in Red Hat’s changes to RHEL’s source code access. Mike McGrath, Red Hat’s Vice President of Red Hat Core Platforms, announced that CentOS Stream would be the sole repository for public RHEL-related source code releases, making it difficult for RHEL clone vendors to create perfect RHEL variant distributions3. This decision prompted different responses from various vendors, with AlmaLinux trying to work with the new rules, Oracle reigniting its rivalry with IBM/Red Hat, SUSE announcing an RHEL-compatible distro fork plan, and Rocky Linux finding alternative ways to obtain RHEL code. Now, SUSE, CIQ, and Rocky Linux have come together to strengthen their efforts4.

Collaboration is highlighted as a key driver of innovation by Thomas Di Giacomo, SUSE’s Chief Technology and Product Officer. The creation of OpenELA marks the beginning of a new era for Enterprise Linux, according to Gregory Kurtzer, CEO of CIQ5. The association focuses not only on providing open-source code but also on upholding the spirit of open source and guaranteeing continuity for all Enterprise Linux downstream distributions6. This initiative addresses the demand from large organizations that expressed the importance of community-driven source code as a starting point for compatible distributions7. Wim Coekaerts, Oracle’s Executive VP of Software Development, stated that OpenELA is a response to this need8.

The OpenELA’s primary objective is to provide source code, rather than its own binary distribution. Members, as well as anyone interested, can use the code to create their own RHEL-compatible distributions9. The association will deliver several components, such as all sources necessary for EL-compatible versions, security errata data, compatibility guidelines for downstream distributions, a branding kit, and user/administration documentation10. OpenELA’s commitment to indefinitely ensuring the availability of sources to the community further emphasizes its dedication to transparency and inclusivity11.

Dirk-Peter (DP) van Leeuwen, SUSE’s CEO, firmly believes in the power of choice. OpenELA aims to give everyone open access to source code that will bring the industry together while continuing to support SUSE Linux Enterprise12. The formation of OpenELA offers a promising opportunity for vendors to download and build their own distro, with community members such as Rocky Linux continuing to produce distros as before13. Rocky Linux and the Rocky Linux Enterprise Software Foundation (RESF) remain separate entities with an awaiting announcement14.

The ethos of OpenELA revolves around providing a secure, transparent, and globally accessible Linux source. The core tenets of the association emphasize transparency, community inclusivity, and public benefit15. The OpenELA board of directors initially includes representatives from CIQ, Oracle, and SUSE, with plans to welcome other organizations and community members who can contribute to building a robust, community-driven standard in the RHEL ecosystem16.

As for Red Hat’s perspective on OpenELA, Mike McGrath underlines that enterprise Linux encompasses not only implementation standards but also the expertise, support, and engineering that back an operating system17. Red Hat remains committed to welcoming ongoing contributions to the broader Linux community and acknowledges the value of contributions that advance enterprise-level Linux rather than merely replacing one logo with another18.

In conclusion, the formation of OpenELA marks a significant milestone in the world of Enterprise Linux. This collaborative effort by CIQ, Oracle, and SUSE aims to provide open and free enterprise Linux source code, ensuring compatibility with Red Hat Enterprise Linux distributions. OpenELA embraces the spirit of open source and community-driven development, emphasizing transparency, inclusivity, and public benefit. By offering secure and globally accessible Linux source code, OpenELA opens up possibilities for innovation and choice in the RHEL ecosystem.


References:


  1. ZDNet. “OpenELA: The new Linux association for the Red Hat ecosystem is formed.” Link↩︎

  2. ZDNet. “OpenELA: The new Linux association for the Red Hat ecosystem is formed.” Link↩︎

  3. ZDNet. “OpenELA: The new Linux association for the Red Hat ecosystem is formed.” Link↩︎

  4. ZDNet. “OpenELA: The new Linux association for the Red Hat ecosystem is formed.” Link↩︎

  5. ZDNet. “OpenELA: The new Linux association for the Red Hat ecosystem is formed.” Link↩︎

  6. ZDNet. “OpenELA: The new Linux association for the Red Hat ecosystem is formed.” Link↩︎

  7. ZDNet. “OpenELA: The new Linux association for the Red Hat ecosystem is formed.” Link↩︎

  8. ZDNet. “OpenELA: The new Linux association for the Red Hat ecosystem is formed.” Link↩︎

  9. ZDNet. “OpenELA: The new Linux association for the Red Hat ecosystem is formed.” Link↩︎

  10. ZDNet. “OpenELA: The new Linux association for the Red Hat ecosystem is formed.” Link↩︎

  11. ZDNet. “OpenELA: The new Linux association for the Red Hat ecosystem is formed.” Link↩︎

  12. ZDNet. “OpenELA: The new Linux association for the Red Hat ecosystem is formed.” Link↩︎

  13. ZDNet. “OpenELA: The new Linux association for the Red Hat ecosystem is formed.” Link↩︎

  14. ZDNet. “OpenELA: The new Linux association for the Red Hat ecosystem is formed.” Link↩︎

  15. ZDNet. “OpenELA: The new Linux association for the Red Hat ecosystem is formed.” Link↩︎

  16. ZDNet. “OpenELA: The new Linux association for the Red Hat ecosystem is formed.” Link↩︎

  17. ZDNet. “OpenELA: The new Linux association for the Red Hat ecosystem is formed.” Link↩︎

  18. ZDNet. “OpenELA: The new Linux association for the Red Hat ecosystem is formed.” Link↩︎