RH Server Development Project  

Linux is a very "Do-it-yourself" Operating System and sometimes installing applications comparable to commercial packages can be somewhat involved.  The RH Server Development Project aims to make this easier by providing set-ups for the Open Source equivalent to popular applications. These 'set-ups' or Meta-Distributions orchestrate various Open Source programs to produce an easy-to-use installation and configurations with functionality matching popular commercial products.

All of the Server setups here are currently based on Red Hat 7.2, so start by clicking the Red Hat logo at the bottom and downloading the Operating System.  If you've already have a copy, select an application below and download! 

Why Red Hat 7.2?  Red Hat happens to be one of the most recognizable Linux distributions and would arguably be the most easily accepted within corporate circles.  Why 7.2?  Well, it happened to be the current version of Red Hat when the project began and is still considerably current.  Projects may work on newer versions, but 'your mileage may vary'.  The project aims to keep the project up to date with major Red Hat releases. Is RHSD associated with Red Hat?  No.  While we use Red Hat Linux as a standard base for our projects, we are not at all endorsed by them, or receive any sort of compensation from them for our work.

NEW!: The RH Server Development Project has migrated the projects to Red Hat 8.0! We are going to be keeping distributions 1 major version away in order to avoid compatibility issues, and hitting a moving target.

Future Projects 
Administrator Logging Server: The Administrator Logging server is  designed to facilitate communications between Enterprise application and Server Administration groups.  - ScreenShots:    1   2


Unfamiliar with Open Source? 
Many Systems Administrators that have traditionally used Commercial Products may have questions and marketing strategies from commercial companies often do their best to discredit the free alternatives to their products by encouraging uncertainty and doubt.  To explain a little more for folks that are new to Open Source, we can cover some of the areas of concern here.

Myth:  Open Source is hard to Install.

Fact:  Anything can be difficult to install.  The RH Server Development Project aims to provide easy to install configurations of open source projects to provide complete solutions.  Installation is as easy as running 'setup.sh' and answering a few customization questions.  In fact, some projects, such as the Email Server, are actually EASIER (and quicker) to install than it's commercial equivalents.

Myth:   Open Source is difficult to use.

Fact:   Again, Anything can be difficult to user.  And again  the RH Server Development Project aims to provide easy to use interfaces for both Administration and User interface.  The project as a whole aims to have the same common interface for all projects.  With this interface, RHSD-adm, all projects can be administrated from a secure website.

Myth:   Open Source is insecure.

Fact:   This is a commonly perpetuated myth.  Open Source means that the source code from the programs being used can be freely downloaded and examined and that this means that someone could easily find a loop-hole in a program to exploit it.  The code is indeed open, but this added access means that exploits can be found and patched quicker than closed-source projects. The issue of "Back Doors" (such as the rumors surrounding Microsoft and the U.S. Government) is not an issue as any attempts would be easily detected.

Myth:   Open Source is Older Technology.

Fact:   Open Source is actually the origin of many developing technologies - and Open Source software functions on more hardware types than any other type of software.  As a matter of fact, there are many instances where commercial products are grossly behind the times.  Microsoft's recently released "Services for Unix" for example, comes with a 10 year old version of the X-Windows Server and still includes clear-text telnet for remote command line access - even though a secure option, SSH, has been available for years.  

Myth:   Open Source is written by Amateurs and Students.

Fact:   Although the Bulk of Open Source is written by individuals in their spare time, the development community is, for the most part consummate professionals.   In a number of cases, the same programmers who work for closed development companies write open source versions of the same projects in their spare time.  The RHSD Project is actually partially born of efforts to migrate several large networks to Linux.  The Email Server project, for instance,  is running on a number of commercial and educational networks with users numbering up to 10,000!  These projects were written FOR professionals, BY professionals.

Myth:   Open Source is not "ready for prime time" / not used commonly "in the industry".

Fact:     This is one of the most amusing myths, as many, many commercial projects use Open Source code.  Most of the Internet uses Open Source for DNS and web servers (BIND, Apache) and in fact, many of the common product implementations and standards begin with Open Source projects. LDAP , for instance, began as an Open Source project, and many of the folks who work on the OpenLDAP project not only wrote the protocol specifications, but also work on commercial versions, such as the Netscape / I-Planet LDAP server.  More examples?  Oracle uses Open Source programs in it's Application Servers, Novell has included Open Source in Netware 6 and even Microsoft is selling products with Open Source code included (Such as "Services for Unix") and even uses the Open Source operating system, BSD, to server it's Hotmail email service!  (And what does that say about Exchange?)


Additional References 
systemtoolbox.com    For Tips and tools for the Art and Science that is System Administration, be sure to check out System Toolbox.   System Toolbox is the only website dedicated to System Administration regardless of Operating systems.




Contributing Resources
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