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MySQL Quietly Drops Support For Debian Linux [UPDATED] 339

Posted by kdawson
from the any-color-as-long-as-it's-black dept.
volts writes "MySQL quietly deprecated support for most Linux distributions on October 16, when its 'MySQL Network' support plan was replaced by 'MySQL Enterprise.' MySQL now supports only two Linux distributions — Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. We learned of this when MySQL declined to sell us support for some new Debian-based servers. Our sales rep 'found out from engineering that the current Enterprise offering is no longer supported on Debian OS.' We were told that 'Generic Linux' in MySQL's list of supported platforms means 'generic versions of the implementations listed above'; not support for Linux in general." Update: 12/13 20:52 GMT by J : MySQL AB's Director of Architecture (and former Slash programmer) Brian Aker corrects an apparent miscommunication in a blog post: "we are just starting to roll out [Enterprise] binaries... We don't build binaries for Debian in part because the Debian community does a good job themselves... If you call MySQL and you have support we support you if you are running Debian (the same with Suse, RHEL, Fedora, Ubuntu and others)... someone in Sales was left with the wrong information"
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MySQL Quietly Drops Support For Debian Linux [UPDATED]

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  • And yet... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by merc (115854) <slashdot@upt.org> on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:42AM (#17223402) Homepage
    They're more than happy to be a SCO/Canopy partner.

    I know where I'll not be spending my IT budget next year.
  • Get Ready... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eno2001 (527078) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:43AM (#17223426) Homepage Journal
    I see that a definite split of "Premium Linux" vs. "Unsupported Linux" is coming soon to a vendor near you. That doesn't mean that Linux will die, it's just going to smell funny (possibly like pee).
  • by maynard (3337) <[j.maynard.gelinas] [at] [gmail.com]> on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:44AM (#17223446) Journal
    While I don't currently have or need a support contract from MySQL, I wouldn't transition away from Debian within our machine room just for their sake. I can't say this is a mistake for them, as I don't know what sales numbers they see, but here's one potential customer that's gone as a result.
  • by Professor_UNIX (867045) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:46AM (#17223474)
    I guess it time to dig in and learn another tool to replace it.
    Meh, I'd rather replace MySQL than my Debian distribution. If I was truly concerned about commercial support for my database then I'd buy a commercial database like Sybase or Oracle. People use MySQL because it's free, not necessarily because it's better, or even comparable, to commercial offerings.
  • Re:Generic, huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LWATCDR (28044) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:47AM (#17223494) Homepage Journal
    Simple. Every nickel and dime hosting company uses MySQL so every CMS blog, and forum supports MySQL.
    Up to and including Slashcode.
    It is now catch 22. Everybody uses MySQL because everyone uses MySQL.
    Heck I use MySQL for our CMS because not every module supports PostgreSQL.
    I would much rather use PostgreSQL for everything but I don't have time to re-invent the wheel.
  • Linux (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Archangel Michael (180766) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:50AM (#17223532) Journal
    "Generic Linux"???

    Isn't "Linux" "generic" almost by definition. The only differences between packages are choices and package manager and usually only a few homegrown eye candy pieces.

    No really, I'm not trolling. I'm serious. I've used all sorts of different "distros", Redhat, SuSE, Debian, Slackware etc and I am able to quickly move between them because at the core of it, its all but the same. And I'm not a Linux expert by any stretch of the imagination, so if I can manage, why can't the big boys who do nothing but Linux?
  • by Bright Apollo (988736) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:57AM (#17223674) Journal
    SUSE and RedHat are also the only IBM supported distros. Is IBM going for MySQL, ala Oracle grabbing Innobase and Sleepycat?

    -BA

  • Re:Let's fork it! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by suntac (252438) <[gro.tluclanimret] [ta] [srewuoL.nahoJ]> on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:59AM (#17223692) Homepage
    Mmm fork MySQL? Why? There is nothing wrong with the code. You could try to fork the support and start a company specialized in MySQL support on Debian.....

    I think there is a market for this. The only thing you need is a couple of good people. You/we(the community) could also create a company GPL style. Create a pool of people willing to devote there time on solving MySQL Debian support problems. Create a ticket like system and assign questions to people in the pool.

    This way you can quickly create a non-profit company with little to non investments. The biggest "problem" is that you have to attract people willing to become part of you expert pool.

    While writing this, it might even be a good challenge to start this..... I will think some more about this. :-) Anyone in? ;-)

    Regards,
    Johan Louwers.
  • by Stumbles (602007) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @12:05PM (#17223792)
    Wadya mean? Postgresql is pretty easy to compile from source and I've had zero problems installing it from RPMs, etc. As for it's documentation I have found it to be very useful. What do you mean by configure anyway? You got your conf files that normally live in /var/lib/pgsql and their annotations are pretty clear. So I think your just blowing smoke.
  • Re:Solution (Score:5, Interesting)

    by virtual_mps (62997) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @12:06PM (#17223814)
    you think that mysql support will buy unlimited legal/financial liability for costs incurred by downtime of your mysql installation?

    really?

    seriously?

    hahahahahahaha

    What your support contract buys you is the ability to call someone on the phone. If it makes your boss happy to have someone to call and yell at when shit breaks, well, ok.
  • by dsci (658278) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @12:16PM (#17223960) Homepage
    Then again given the amount of helpful people around not wanting a dime for the help they provide, the only people giving a damn are those people paying for an enterprise version of Linux.

    Community support is a great thing, and hopefully all of us that USE F/OSS software give back to that in some way. But the business world, and many individuals, operate on the principle of "you get what you pay for." Most of the time this is a good guideline, but F/OSS is an exception. There are QUALITY products out there, and quality support, available for no upfront financial cost. But in the minds of many business types, if you pay nothing, it must be worth nothing.

    (car analogy to follow)

    Think about it this way; would you take a FREE car without ANY suspicion that there's something wrong with it? Perhaps, if you knew the seller and trusted him. You and I trust the seller (the OSS community) to provide good products and services, but the average PHB does not know this community - he cannot trust his enterprise with such an unknown.

    Another way to put it is that you and I can see the VALUE, independent of price, of OSS, but many others don't. They associate the value with the price tag. Without PAID support, the support is worthless.
  • by tcopeland (32225) <.moc.dnalepoceelsamoht. .ta. .mot.> on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @12:20PM (#17224018) Homepage
    > This looks liike an opportunity for Postgres

    Right on. And with the excellent performance of the newly-released PostgreSQL 8.2 [blogs.com], it's a good time to make the switch.
  • Re:Solution (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @12:22PM (#17224044)
    I could, but it would make basically no change for us (because we're not in the business of selling dinky php scripts for blogs). 99% of our customers use and want MSSQL/Oracle/DB2, and the few left mostly want PostgreSQL. I doubt we'd get a single request for supporting MySQL.
  • Re:Let's fork it! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Orange Crush (934731) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @12:27PM (#17224132)
    but without the ability to buy support for it on that platform, you're not going to get approval to put it on that platform in any sort of business-critical environment.

    . . . without the ability to buy support from MySQL for it, that is. Third parties, system integrators, etc. will continue to support whatever their customers pay them for. So while this is a blow for Debian in big enterprise, let's face it, how many big enterprise environments were running straight Debian in the first place? Red Hat's king with SUSE buzzing around their ankles. This won't affect small to mid sized organizations with outside IT people.

  • by brokeninside (34168) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @12:32PM (#17224220)
    It may not be an ACID compliant transactional DBMS. It certainly isn't a fully relational DBMS. But the definition of a database is pretty much a system for storing data which MySQL certainly qualifies as. And if we're going to start being pedantic, we also have to consider that none of the mainstream enterprise databases are truly relational. While they may have many relational features, none can consistently enforce proper relational behavior. In fact, any database that fully supports SQL cannot be a fully relational database. The only difference between Oracle, SQL Server, DB/2 and MySQL is one of extent, not of kind.
  • Re:Solution (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Shawn is an Asshole (845769) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @12:35PM (#17224254)
    So, how successful are you from getting money for downtime from Microsoft when a computer gets a virus? Or breaks due to an update?
  • Re:Let's fork it! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Vlad_the_Inhaler (32958) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @12:43PM (#17224368) Homepage
    The other explanation would be that Debian has done something to seriously piss the MySQL people off (my speculation).

    I *know* that they went this way with the Seamonkey crew. Here is a reproduced Newsgroup response from a Seamonkey developer on the subject of Debian and Iceape (the previous thread entry is in italics and the developers response is bold:

    The "SeaMonkey" trademark is held by MoFo, but AIUI, they allow the Council to grant people the right to use it.

    Well, MoFo applied for the trademarks, but doesn't hold them yet, as they've not yet been granted. They applied for them representing us though, and they will leave management of the trademark in the hands of the SeaMonkey Council.

    But AIUI, Debian has moved past caring about using MoFo's trademarks.
    And AFAICT from this thread, the level of bitterness on the SeaMonkey side seems even higher than in the Mozilla community in general.


    That may very much be true, as they pre-judged us of being the same as MoCo and not even listening to what we wanted to say. Us being legally backend by MoFo was enough for them to not even really discuss this topic, i.e. not even asking what the terms for using the SeaMonkey trademarks would be.

    And their choice of name for the clone they are shipping is an insult in my ears anyways, but that's just my personal opinion.

    BTW, I really think their inconsistent treatment of trademarks is enough reason for not understanding them anyways. Their own trademarks are protected with one of the strictest possible policies (no use except explicitely granted by Debian) and then they accuse other of being too strict - and it seems some of their responsible people have not yet understood that trademarks and copyright are two completely different things legally.

    Anyways, for me, that discussion is over and Debian itself is dead meat in this regard for me personally (note that ubuntu even departs from Debian's path for MoCo trademarks already).


    Elsewhere in the thread, IceApe was described by the same person as a 'Crappy Clone'.
  • Re:Let's fork it! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by smellsofbikes (890263) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @12:49PM (#17224454) Journal
    >Companies don't normally kill off profitable products and services, not even evil/stupid corporations.

    I'd have to disagree with that. I've watched three large companies for whom I've worked -- all Fortune 500 companies -- kill off profitable products and services that were not as profitable as they wanted. The company I'm working for right now sold off three business units because they didn't have a profit margin above 30%. We're only keeping the parts of the company that can beat 30%: if you don't, you're out the door. There are probably a lot of fields where companies can't afford to throw away marginal profit, but there are plenty of fields where it's not worth chasing chump change when there's a 50% profit margin to be hunted down and seized.

    If that's the case, it's quite possible another, smaller and more agile, company could live very comfortably on the profits from this discard.
  • by eno2001 (527078) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @12:57PM (#17224580) Homepage Journal
    Huzzah! Let me rephrase the question: "Besides the obvious Microsoft, who is the second or third premium Windows vendor"? There is no law or rule that says there must be three or even two premium Linux vendors used by the IT industry. In the end, Novell Linux will likely get more help from MS to be the number one leader. RedHat might die off or just become so irrelevant that it won't matter. Whatever the case, the last thing Microsoft really wants to see is a strong and unified Linux community. The way I see this playing out is that businesses begin to tepidly embrace Novell Linux which increases their market share. The developers who work on high profile projects (like Gnome, KDE, MySQL, etc...) are more and more driven by the business needs than the original "itch" that needed scratching. So there are some forks on major projects... However, the non-premium versions that come out of these forks have a lot of difficulty in attracting talented developers as they are mostly busy working on the premium versions that were part of the old guard Linux camp. There are good developers who would work on some of the forks, but not as many as there were previously. Therefore the forks are buggier, more prone to security holes, and in general don't work as well as the MS blessed versions from Novell.

    This is part of Microsoft's campaign against what they term "hobbiests". I use Linux both at work and at home and although I find the term hobbiest insulting, that is what people would probably consider me. I find the uses that I apply Linux to at home to be quite serious. Calling a professional IT guy who uses Linux at home for day-to-day stuff a hobbiest is akin to calling an electrician or plumber who does work on his house an amateur. The fallout that I see is that potentially in another four or five years, I may find it very hard to use Linux at home unless I want to buy into the commercially blessed versions. And if I do buy into them, I'll have a second rate Linux that makes Windows look good. (You know that MS won't allow any MS blessed Linux to outperform or outdo Windows in certain key arenas) If I continue to try and use the non-premium Linux distros I'll probably find that support for new hardware and functionality is just as bad as it was in the early days because the developer mindshare will not be there. At least that's what I'd term a worst case scenario.

    In reality it probably won't be THAT bad, but it will hurt. Even though the code is free/open for many of these projects, I've seen what a lack or very low count of talented developers can do to slow down or kill an otherwise decent project. We all have. It's likely that I'll be able to use non-premium Linux at home in the future, but not without even more headaches and hassles than I experience today. The premium versions will likely offer a better experience but always at the expense of being a step or two behind Windows (which is not the current situation). MS is likely doing this because they see that Linux has already surpassed Windows on many fronts. It's more clever maneuvering from MS. If only the FOSS world could think that way sometimes...
  • Re:Generic, huh? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @01:22PM (#17224934) Homepage Journal
    Add in that Bindings for MySQL are available for just about every language.

    Caveat: those bindings link against GPLed libraries. It's not possible to use MySQL as a backend to proprietary applications without shelling out some cash. Whether that is good or bad is another issue. Note that even Oracle allows restribution of their client libraries [oracle.com] under those conditions; this restriction seems to be unique to MySQL.

  • Re:Indeed... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by lyz (988147) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @01:51PM (#17225344) Homepage Journal
    I was reading a Microsoft EULA yesterday and saw something about this. Basically, it said that you were entitled for damages for up to US $5. It's most likely not worth the lawyer fees.

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