Opinion: IBM & RedHat


Should UM users have and opinion or be worried of IBM proposal (accepted) to acquire Red Hat ?
Shareholders expecting a check, aside… :slight_smile:


Nop. Ubuntu Mate core is provided by Ubuntu (Canonical). When Canonical will make some changes then we can talk about it.


It will happen at one point. Let’s hope Desktop Ubuntu survives a merger.


If canonical is being bought, the buyer will probably leave Debian behind. This could be a chance to get another core distro.

I am curious why this isn’t a topic of discussion here. We might see a massive leap forward for the Linux world.
Getting more professional and resourceful can only be of interest for the “movement”.


An opinion on the future is often 90% speculation
Study of the past is often 90% an opinion

The “movement” ? If it remains a movement vs a business with its dictates

A party wanting to buy Canonical shall beware the European anti-trust rules. If you own 40% market share from Seattle, that can become an issue.


I have friends that are working at IBM Romania and they told me that IBM bought RedHad for Cloud. But again when you are working for IBM you can choose Windows or Fedora on your work laptop that they provide but all the apps are made in house and they don’t really like Microsoft (the os and the apps).


One more link:

Mickey :slight_smile:



Actually, yes it does concern us. Why? If we stripped out all of the lines of code contributed to FLOSS projects by Red Hat employees it would be interesting to see just what was still left in working order on our Ubuntu-Mate systems. :penguin:

Do we need to panic? No.

If Canonical is purchased next I would not be surprised. That might be a game changer for FLOSS users currently using Ubuntu, one of its flavours or one of its derivatives. But that is something that has not yet happened, and perhaps never will. And that discussion will have to wait for events to unfold. :slight_smile:

Let us hope that IBM and Red Hat can combine their positive qualities and strengths and become a strong FLOSS company. :see_no_evil: :hear_no_evil: :speak_no_evil:


And article, for those interested:


It is a roundabout way of making “smack talk”. Life will be interesting, hopefully.


I’m worried about the development this year. First Google starts to develop their own OS to say goodbye to Linux, MS Azure->Linux based, Github->MS, and now RH->IBM. It feels like a war has broken out and no-one knows who will survive. Reading comments on omgubuntu, some seem to prefer Ubuntu goes to MS rather than Google. I want Ubuntu in neither of these companies. I wonder why everybody is saying “we have to adapt”, but the adaption goes only in one direction (monetizing, control, elimination).


IBM has been shipping Red Hat as its installed enterprise OS for a long time; they are contributors to the Linux Foundation, and I personally see Red Hat’s acquisition as a Good Thing.

It’s not as though Microsoft is eyeing Ubuntu. I don’t think…


You can also choose Ubuntu (with MATE installed afterwards).
The backside is that you have to take care of the support in case something goes wrong.
Officially the internal IT Support department only deals with Win and RHEL.
Fedora and Ubuntu are on you to keep in shape.
Source: I am working at IBM.


@doktorszike, how is it working at IBM, from the point of view of someone who values free software? I have close relationships with people that have been IBMers all their careers, but they are not super familiar with policies on open source use and contributions.

We keep hearing Red Hatters being concerned, but haven’t heard much from the other side, so I think your opinion as an IBMer would be appreciated.


In my opinion there are two sides.
One side is the technical guys, who can handle Linux, open-source formats and are able to tweak the OS to a certain point.
The other side is everybody else. They are either on Mac or on Windows, using Microsoft Office products, not really knowing (and caring) about formats, they just want their OS and the products behind it work. This side is of course the majority.
The technical guys care about using open-source applications and tools to get things done if there is a choice.

Fortunately IBM has the Green2Go initiative, where they evaluate and allow certain programs to be used within IBM if they are meeting their criteria. Most open-sourced projects can be found here. So if they are green, they are allowed to be used, giving you a choice.
The problem is that while servers are actively supported and contributed to, internal IBM tools and workstation programs for Linux are not really.

For example, the chance to use Ubuntu is thanks to a small and dedicated group who made certain alterations to base Ubuntu (an IBM layer) and now we have that option as well. That group is not that active anymore (the head of this left IBM as far as I’ve heard), which puts a question-mark to the future of initiatives like that. Hopefully, IBM would like to keep Linux-es as an option to be used on workstations, not just on servers. Buying Red Hat might help in these regards. If not Ubuntu, but RHEL (or Fedora) gets the support it needs, I would still consider it a win-win.
So to summarize, I really expect (and hoping) that this acquisition will enable RHEL to be supported even further.
But who knows, only time will tell.

Sorry for the long read and thank you for asking me on my opinion, I hope I got to answer your questions.
Feel free to ask away if I’d left anything out.


@doktorszike - yes! Thanks! This puts my mind at ease a bit, IBM tends to be on the secretive side regarding their internals. Knowing that there are IBMers that care and push for these technologies is a great thing! It means that when Red Hat is officially part of IBM, maybe they too can push and be heard, especially knowing that the Red Hat developer community will be more than willing to continue supporting these technologies within IBM.

Thanks for taking the time to answer :slight_smile:


Thank you for the input @doktorszike, very informative and much appreciated. :slight_smile: