Red Hat Linux
Software wants to be free. After nearly 20 years in the grip of a software monopoly, saavy consumers and Fortune 500 corporate IS/IT managers are finally waking up to the reality of proprietary software: expensive, buggy, and insecure. Many users and businesses are now forced into an endless struggle against ever-growing onslaughts of new strains of network worm, software virus, and macro virus attacks.
Meanwhile, a more enlightened computing audience quietly keeps on working safely and securely, at little or no cost, using Linux. It has taken more than a half-dozen years for corporate computing to realize that the fear, uncertainty, and doubt spread by the software monopoly concerning the "Little OS That Could" was nothing more than a pack of lies and a desperate attempt (which continues today) to hold on to market share.
Linux users use free software and are not held hostage to the digital terrorism of proprietary products. Linux, the kernel of a free operating system, is licensed under the GNU General Public License - a "copyleft" license which assures perpetual freedom of software. Much of the software accompanying the Linux kernel is also free (Open Source), and is known, collectively with the kernel, as a Linux distribution.
Red Hat Linux is the premiere Linux distribution, but not for reasons of marketing, market share, or mindset. Red Hat, Inc. is a company with a conscience, and practices what it preaches. Much of its software research and development is given back to the Open Source development community in GPL'd source code form.
The advent of the latest 2.4-series Linux kernels has ushered in a new phase of rapid Linux adoption by the software marketplace. Many have found Red Hat Linux to be the desktop OS of choice and the best solution for the enterprise-level corporate computing environment. Despite the fact that Linux is public enemy No. 1 in the eyes of a hostile industry monopoly, Linux, and Red Hat Linux, continues to make inroads into the marketplace. One reason is that it works. Other reasons include source code, no royalties or licensing fees, and support for multiple CPU architectures. A grateful marketplace is responding in droves.
Linux is destined to grow in acceptance and adoption by a marketplace fed up with the expensive and insecure proprietary software treadmill. Computing professionals seeking solutions are choosing Red Hat Linux, and Red Hat, Inc. leads the industry in terms of advanced software adoption and influence on the Open Source software market.
Sams Publishing's Red Hat Linux Unleashed series has covered this Open Source phenomena since the very first days of Red Hat Linux (starting with version 3.0.3) and continues to explore and explain the latest 7.0-series of Red Hat distributions. Astute readers will find the series full of helpful Red Hat-specific information, and learn how to put Red Hat Linux to work right away.