Re: Linux (free s/w) support

Norbert Veber (
Tue, 30 Sep 1997 09:43:59 -0500 (CDT)

> If I have a prlbem with Linux, I have no _guarantee_ that anyone will look at
> it, never mind actually solve it.

No, but frankly, having been in situations where we had support contracts,
I can tell you that having a support contract with Sun (the one I have some
experience with) isn't much of a guarantee of actual support. It just means
that some nice man or woman at the other end of a telephone line will
listen very sympathetically to your problems, as opposed to a bunch of
grouchy Kernel developers at the other end of the linux-kernel list :-) The
nice man or woman at the other end of the telephone will then log your call
into some vast database of other, similar calls, and promptly forget you
ever existed. Meanwhile, the development team will eventually see the bug
report and probably ignore it in favor of implementing some really cool
feature Marketing has been pestering them for.

You said:

> If I were a Sun customer, with a support agreement/contract, I could say
> to them "there's this rsh-ioctl problem and I need a fix" and if they don't
> then they've got have a good reason why not.

And I say that there is never, ever, any GOOD reason not to fix a bug
reported by a paying customer. Ever.

With Linux, if it comes to the worst, you at least have the option of
fixing it *yourself*. You don't have that option with Solaris, Digital
Unix, AIX, etc.

I and others I work with have successfully sold variations of this argument
in several different environments, particulary after the first time one of
the Big Boys fails to deliver a needed fix for a bug reported on a
ridiculously expensive service contract.

Michael Scott Shappe <>
Web: <>
Addicting the unsuspecting to the Net since 1987