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Why Ubuntu is better supported than Red Hat?

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Old 08-01-2017, 01:08 PM   #1
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Why Ubuntu is better supported than Red Hat?

It seems to me that mainstream software for Linux are better supported on Ubuntu rather than Red Hat/Fedora/CentOS. Any idea why?

For example, most programming books, SDK tools, and major Integrated Development Environment (IDE) officially support Ubuntu. Instructions are also for Ubuntu/Debian style sudo apt-get but not yum. Proprietary software like Steam Client for Linux and GOG also explicitly support Ubuntu.

RHEL/Fedora/CentOS are seldom the officially supported distro even if it should work. But RHEL/Fedora/CentOS is the most widely used in the US government and public web hosting.

Any idea why this is the case?
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Old 08-01-2017, 11:43 PM   #2
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It seems to me that mainstream software for Linux are better supported on Ubuntu rather than Red Hat/Fedora/CentOS. Any idea why?

For example, most programming books, SDK tools, and major Integrated Development Environment (IDE) officially support Ubuntu. Instructions are also for Ubuntu/Debian style sudo apt-get but not yum. Proprietary software like Steam Client for Linux and GOG also explicitly support Ubuntu.

RHEL/Fedora/CentOS are seldom the officially supported distro even if it should work. But RHEL/Fedora/CentOS is the most widely used in the US government and public web hosting.

Any idea why this is the case?
The reason why Redhat is most widely supported is because of the enterprise support from Redhat directly. If you are not a paid customer, you are on your own. How is it not officially supported ? Even Amazon Linux is Redhat based evolved from RHEL.

I guess if u consider there is a Debian group, it makes it a possible progression into Ubuntu. While Ubuntu is also officially supported from Canonical, it seems the enterprise world didn't pick it up as a serious contender to Redhat, as far as I can see.

I didn't come across books using Ubuntu or Redhat more, just a preference of the authors actually.
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Old 09-01-2017, 09:40 AM   #3
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Just to clarify, what I mean is that many authors and software developers releasing software for Linux seems to provide instructions for Ubuntu (sudo apt-get instead of yum or rpm), and test their software for Ubuntu by default. This is the implicit better support in the community I am referring to.

If one chooses to use other distributions, the general attitude from Linux software developers seems to be "if it works for you, great. If it doesn't, you're on your own. It's not officially tested on other distributions to ensure they work perhaps with the exception of Ubuntu."

Take for example programming books from O'Reilly and Packt, the installation and setup instructions for the development environment and tools are usually for Ubuntu LTS if there's any for Linux. The impression I get is that if we're talking about Linux, assume it is Ubuntu.

Also take Steam as an example. It says, "Currently, Steam for Linux is only supported on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or 12.10 with the Unity, Gnome, or KDE desktop."

HP also officially supports Ubuntu as an OS for its personal computers, on top of Windows. But I am pretty sure their servers would run RHEL/CentOS/Debian/SUSE fine.

Android Studio is also officially tested on Ubuntu for Linux users, making it the unofficially supported Linux distribution that should work. It says, "Tested on Ubuntu® 12.04, Precise Pangolin."

I understand that there are too many Linux distributions out there, and Linux software developers have to choose which distributions to test on and support. In many cases, they choose Ubuntu for some reasons.
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Old 10-01-2017, 12:21 AM   #4
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Just to clarify, what I mean is that many authors and software developers releasing software for Linux seems to provide instructions for Ubuntu (sudo apt-get instead of yum or rpm), and test their software for Ubuntu by default. This is the implicit better support in the community I am referring to.
Perhaps these information would answer your question.
Enterprise space - Redhat http://searchdatacenter.techtarget.c...ns-for-servers

Community space - https://www.quora.com/Which-Linux-di...gest-community

So I suppose if you are an author and you want to reach out to a large number of audiences, you choose the one which most are probably using.

If one chooses to use other distributions, the general attitude from Linux software developers seems to be "if it works for you, great. If it doesn't, you're on your own. It's not officially tested on other distributions to ensure they work perhaps with the exception of Ubuntu."
I seriously don't think Ubuntu is an exception to the statement above. Generally, you are on your own if you are a geek using Linux, not which type of Linux. If you are an Enterprise, then you will get your enquiries answered with the right price from the support. If you find anyone does answer your doubt on certain distro, I would probably think it is due to you have more audiences uses the distro, not because those using that are more humane than the rest.

Take for example programming books from O'Reilly and Packt, the installation and setup instructions for the development environment and tools are usually for Ubuntu LTS if there's any for Linux. The impression I get is that if we're talking about Linux, assume it is Ubuntu.

Also take Steam as an example. It says, "Currently, Steam for Linux is only supported on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or 12.10 with the Unity, Gnome, or KDE desktop."

HP also officially supports Ubuntu as an OS for its personal computers, on top of Windows. But I am pretty sure their servers would run RHEL/CentOS/Debian/SUSE fine.

Android Studio is also officially tested on Ubuntu for Linux users, making it the unofficially supported Linux distribution that should work. It says, "Tested on Ubuntu® 12.04, Precise Pangolin."

I understand that there are too many Linux distributions out there, and Linux software developers have to choose which distributions to test on and support. In many cases, they choose Ubuntu for some reasons.
Perhaps there are alot of cases that you see Ubuntu being in focus. The question therefore is what are the alternatives ? CentOS or perhaps Scientific Linux are the 2 popular Redhat based distro based off RHEL, but they are after all just variants. The big brother is still RHEL and if authors are writing books or designing consumer software or trying to reach out to the mass, it's like what you see "Ubuntu". I would suppose one possible reason is it's free, as oppose to RHEL which you need entitlement for it.

But I would not take "Tested on XXX" as an endorsement for support. It's just an indication that the developers uses that development platform, but I would not think if one perform a bug report when used on RHEL, that you will get the door shut in your face.

As for Steam, I think it would be an obvious choice when you look at the pie ? Cost & Effort.
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Old 10-01-2017, 12:04 PM   #5
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-snip-
I seriously don't think Ubuntu is an exception to the statement above. Generally, you are on your own if you are a geek using Linux, not which type of Linux. If you are an Enterprise, then you will get your enquiries answered with the right price from the support. If you find anyone does answer your doubt on certain distro, I would probably think it is due to you have more audiences uses the distro, not because those using that are more humane than the rest.

-snip-

But I would not take "Tested on XXX" as an endorsement for support. It's just an indication that the developers uses that development platform, but I would not think if one perform a bug report when used on RHEL, that you will get the door shut in your face.
Just looking at it from an end user perspective. I would want a software that has been tested and proven to work a distribution. At least when it doesn't work out-of-the-box, I can narrow it down to my system or configuration, knowing it is not some inherent bugs inside the software, or lack of testing.

As for Steam, I think it would be an obvious choice when you look at the pie ? Cost & Effort.
SteamOS itself is Debian-based, so I guess compatibility with a Debian-derived Linux distribution is better. Just guessing.
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Old 10-01-2017, 10:20 PM   #6
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Just looking at it from an end user perspective. I would want a software that has been tested and proven to work a distribution. At least when it doesn't work out-of-the-box, I can narrow it down to my system or configuration, knowing it is not some inherent bugs inside the software, or lack of testing.
Unfortunately you will find very little of such luxury, especially in the Unix world. The Unix world even if it's in the Linux space is founded and maintained by an aura of geekiness. As far as the distro is concern, it is really playing an aggregator. The compatibility, the correctness, the support eventually goes back all the way to the packages maintainers.

Each distro, may it be Redhat, Canonical, maybe even Debian or Arch don't maintain all packages. Even if you are paying to Redhat for RHEL, or Oracle for UEK merely governs some cores packages or for those that are developed by these companies. However some important pieces of software rarely just uses a small number of libraries. If you discover any issues in these software and if they are due to supporting libraries, the ball is still eventually in your court to resolve them. You can file bug reports to Canonical or Redhat if the software is from them, but if they uses some other open source libraries, sometimes it can takes weeks or months to just get fixes resolved. The mass may not always encounter the problem you had. It depends on case by case basis. Quite often you will find that in this part of the IT industry, you have to be the one researching and searching for solutions, keep trying between different alternate libraries or configuration or combination of software until one that suits your needs and functional.

Last edited by davidktw; 10-01-2017 at 10:47 PM..
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Old 10-01-2017, 10:44 PM   #7
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It started when Linus rip it out of Unix. It was touted to be THE OS for desktop. It got me fired up and I even tried dual boot XP and Caldera OpenLinux with KDE. But that darn thing didn't work out of the box. It was limping i.e. no sound driver, video support is crappy etc. I gave up. SCO with Microsoft's funding almost brought it down.
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Old 13-01-2017, 04:10 PM   #8
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Just looking at it from an end user perspective. I would want a software that has been tested and proven to work a distribution. At least when it doesn't work out-of-the-box, I can narrow it down to my system or configuration, knowing it is not some inherent bugs inside the software, or lack of testing.
That is the Windows style of thinking and is the biggest sign that the 'you-are-on-your-own-period' approach of Linux is not for you. There is no such thing as an 'end-user' in the Linux world.

Like how Microsoft only packages Skype for Ubuntu, Debian and Fedora, the last of which was even broken to begin with). And yet I eventually got them running on Mageia, OpenSUSE and CentOS with nothing but painful dependency tracking, piece by piece.

Or how I spent 12 hours (no freaking joke) trying to determine the cause of a WiFi issue that only showed up in Fedora.

Or how I got Android Studio to work with Mageia 2 without using a bunch of system libraries (i never want to do that again, EVER).

If you don't have the patience to do all this by yourself, Linux is just not for you. Continue using Windows; life is much, much easier over there. If you want an alternative platform with a Unix base but with the same 'everything-is-already-done-for-me' support, use macOS.

Last edited by Rock-kun; 13-01-2017 at 04:52 PM..
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