Re: Linux (free s/w) support

linux kernel account (
Mon, 29 Sep 1997 23:29:43 -0400 (EDT)

On Tue, 30 Sep 1997, Darren Reed wrote:

> Are you telling me that hundreds, if not thousands of people have contributed
> code to the Linux kernel ? How many of them could fix a problem with (say)
> virtual memory or debug an obscure SMP problem ? The weight of numbers maybe
> comforting, but expertise in any particular part may be limited to a handful
> of people.

Most such problems are simple typeo.. The oops can help you find it and
get it fixed.. And I'm sure some green backs could help rearrange
someone's priorities, esp if the problem is actually important. (Alan,
David, Linus, any comments)

> Whereas with Linux, you have people doing customer support who have never
> been trained for support roles, probably scoff at it even being suggested
> that they do any sort of training and can even be hostile in response if
> it suits them.

I have never seen a for-profit linux support company first hand, but I
would be shocked if what you say above is true. Anyone here emploied by

> A good example of why _NOT_ to choose Linux (from a support point of view)
> is the lack of any problem tracking such as GNATS (well at least not to my
> knowledge - I asked Alan if there was any database of interesting problems
> reported, to which he said he had no knowledge of which I'm implying means
> a lack of this. There's also an absence of any reference to PR's in email
> on the linux-kernel mailling list...). Even FreeBSD/OpenBSD/NetBSD use
> GNATS for tracking problems.

Theirs a debian thing I think, prob a redhat one too.. I'm sure someone
will correct you here.

> You might have lots of people but there is no sense of co-ordination or
> any sort of organisation of those people for problem resolution and nor
> is there any central management of problems. An example of how this can
> be a problem is if I post a problem and get 10 different patches to fix
> the same thing. Each patch is different because nobody knows what the
> other did and there is no tracking of what anyone is doing/has done -
> unless they happen to cc an email list or others.

Thats what commercial support is about.. You can't compair free support
with commercial support.. At least with linux you actaully get more then
you pay for.

> p.s. That Caldera is providing Linux support is news to my ears. It will
> be interesting to see if they become like other vendors doing Unix support,
> over time.

There are other companys doing it too..