CentOS Drama -- Any insight/Thoughts?


New Member

July 30, 2009 04:39 UTC

This is an Open Letter to Lance Davis from fellow CentOS Developers

It is regrettable that we are forced to send this letter but we are left with no other options. For some time now we have been attempting to resolve these problems:

You seem to have crawled into a hole ... and this is not acceptable.

You have long promised a statement of CentOS project funds; to this date this has not appeared.

You hold sole control of the centos.org domain with no deputy; this is not proper.

You have, it seems, sole 'Founders' rights in the IRC channels with no deputy ; this is not proper.

When I (Russ) try to call the phone numbers for UK Linux, and for you individually, I get a telco intercept 'Lines are temporarily busy' for the last two weeks. Finally yesterday, a voicemail in your voice picked up, and I left a message urgently requesting a reply. Karanbir also reports calling and leaving messages without your reply.

Please do not kill CentOS through your fear of shared management of the project.

Clearly the project dies if all the developers walk away.

Please contact me, or any other signer of this letter at once, to arrange for the required information to keep the project alive at the 'centos.org' domain.


Russ Herrold
Ralph Angenendt
Karanbir Singh
Jim Perrin
Donavan Nelson
Tim Verhoeven
Tru Huynh
Johnny Hughes
Has KnownHost given any thoughts or played out any "what ifs" or is it still too early?
It is too early to react/decide what to do, we'll see how situation will develop.
I call Windows 3.11!

Seriously, even if the domain were to disappear, if the developers and community around CentOS are serious enough, then I doubt we'd even see any kind of major disruption of CentOS development. And if such a thing were to happen, the community will find a way to deal with it.

The CentOS Development team had a routine meeting today with Lance Davis in attendance. During the meeting a majority of issues were resolved immediately and a working agreement was reached with deadlines for remaining unresolved issues. There should be no impact to any CentOS users going forward.

The CentOS project is now in control of the CentOS.org and CentOS.info domains and owns all trademarks, materials, and artwork in the CentOS distributions.

We look forward to working with Lance to quickly complete all the agreed upon issues.

More information will follow soon.

Last Update: August 1, 2009 04:34 UTC by Donavan Nelson

Facts Regarding CentOS and the Open Letter:

CentOS is not dead or going away. The signers of the Open Letter are fully committed to continue the CentOS Project. Updates and new releases will continue.

Most of the Issues have been resolved, there is an action plan with agreed upon dates for any outstanding issues.

The CentOS Project now owns the CentOS.org and CentOS.info domains and there will be no disruption in services.

We thank the people who have stepped forward and want to donate to the CentOS project. We ask that you hold off for now until issues surrounding our new donation policy are put into place.

The CentOS Project is run completely by volunteers and we are aware that this requires a different management style. We have been and continue to work to prevent issues like these from occurring in the future. We will continue this effort in the future, look for some new policy information soon

Last Update: August 1, 2009 04:36 UTC by Donavan Nelson

Curious, what other Linux OS's are supported by Virtuozzo besides for CentOS?
Scientific Linux

I have been following this closely, as not only do I have VPS running here with centOS, but I have several office desktops and servers running CentOS.

Interesting article today about the CentOS problems:
lwn .net (sorry can not post the link yet)

I was also just the victim of the meltdown a few months ago with the PClinuxOS ( mandriva based ) distribution project that I had been using as a base for my office desktops and even one of my servers for better than three years. That distro project blew apart in a very big and sudden way, as all the fighting was happening in the backroom and none of the normal users had as much of a hint as to anything being wrong (besides long release delays) until a similar letter popped up on the web one day. Half the devlopers walked away, and several of the child distributions with them. The updates started going out the door with lots of things breaking, and it was overall too unstable and risky to continue to use for buisness purposes.

I won't get in to the whole 'will centOS survive' thing. However as systems admins and people responsible for the IT infrastructure of buisness, we need to make buisness decisions. That means plan B-Z on the shelf (you have plan B-z right).

My plan B that I am implementing in my own office is migrating all internal systems to
Scientific Linux as the opportunity arises. They have serious big boy backing with the likes of CERN and FERMILAB under them:
scientific linux .org

My question is, will known Host assist now or in the future in doing conversions of VPS to SL? Would they make freshly loaded VPS with SL available perhaps as an option?

As far as I know there should be no serious issues SL replacing CentOS with compatibility for things like cpanel and the like, but perhaps there is some hidden bigger consideration. Have the guys at known host been looking in to potential replacement?

At this point, this centOS just looks like a piece of bad PR, but it would be irresponsible for all of us not to have some backup plans in place should it go nuclear in the way PClinuxOS went nuclear. I have just been around open source software for the better part of 8 years, and seen too many of these sorts of signs to ignore it (e.g. public in fighting, debates about money, delayed updates). Imagine, it does go south and someone does pick it up to spin it off, but it takes them 3-6 months to get organized again and updates stop happening and things start breaking. What do we do?

Thoughts, comments, gripes please.
But yes Knownhost can definitely, should they choose, start deploying alternative Virtuozzo supported OS's.
scientific Linux

With that list of supported OS, I see no technical reason there then that scientific linux would not be able to handle it. Definitely as a guess system at least.

the guys on the SL mailing list talk about centOS like they where bunch of bleeding edge radical hippies.

I take it the boys at CERN, FERMILAB, and other universities need to stay truer to Red Hat because they have contracts with them for their production machines.
new twists

since this thread originally opened over the letter (first sign something was going really wrong with centos), today we get announcement of centos 5.6 finally being released. Meanwhile both red hat and scientific linux have released 6.0, and we are getting a whole lot of "it is ready when it is ready" from the developers (which I have also seen in other projects as a sign things are in bad shape) .

Our office is currently in the process of creating a conversion path internally to SL while there is clearly time to do it, as centos is simply not something we can bet our biz on over the next few years.

All the signs of a dying volunteer open source project are in the wind, and have moved well beyond a momentary spat or communication problem. The serious discussions on the forums over at centos, looks a lot like a lot of other projects that have fully imploded rather than just had a momentary crisis.

Is there an escape plan, in the event centos does implode for KH?