Linux license for hosting companies?
One of my friends is interested on opening a hosting company and he asked me about using linux as their OS of choice.
My question is, is there any cost for linux when using it at a hosting company? I know that you would have to pay if you go with something like RedHat Enterprise or SuSE Enterprise, but if you were to use Ubuntu or Debian, will he be violating any licenses?
Thanks for any info.
DigitalXeronThere is a lack of sanity
There is no licensing cost for utilizing "free" linuxes commercially. There may be costs for support however but if you can provide internal support, there is no cost to operate linux commercially and you do not need to even indicate to any vendors you're operating Linux commercially either.
But if you're mass deploying Linux in a datacenter it may be advisable to deploy a local software repository on-site that all servers refer to to avoid rushing the vendor's repos and to provide faster speeds to download/install packages, plus have your own in-house packages available by those repos as well.
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West Point, GA
|reply to PToN |
From what I can gather, no he wouldn't be violating anything. Ubuntu's "server" OS page mentions things like no licensing costs, free upgrades, etc. The only thing you appear to pay for is commercial support. Ubuntu's "licensing" page seems to indicate that he wouldn't be violating anything either.
I also looked at the GPL Wiki page to see if I could glean anything from there but nothing jumped out at me (in either direction). I suspect he will be OK but unless someone else can provide concrete info, I suspect a quick call or email would answer it (Googling "Ubuntu hosting company" was less than helpful for I assume obvious reasons lol).
|reply to PToN |
Short answer: no, there's no up front licensing restrictions when using Linux as the base OS install.
If you're talking about licensing the virtualization infrastructure (KVM/Xen), no there's no license. (Well, technically the GPL yes...) However, Red Hat's subscription service and access to the updates and support are paid, but the source code is free.
If your friend wants "Red Hat" - sans support of any kind, and without compiling from source, CentOS or Scientific Linux are clones.
Ubuntu (Canonical) has paid support as well.
KVM/Xen are available on any modern kernel, so it really doesn't matter which distro your friend chooses; Red Hat based or Debian based (ProxMox for example) platforms are available - all completely free.
As long as the hardware infrastructure supports virtualization (Intel/AMD's AMD-V/VT-X), even if your friend wanted to go with services similar to EC2 or AWS, there's Eucalyptus which is free, and can utilize KVM/Xen, so again, 0$ licensing.
Now, after the infrastructure part, things like Cpanel/Plesk, I believe require licensing, but I have no further details on how they license their software.
Of course, if one hosts Windows based VM's, there's licensing involved there.
What specific type of hosting is your friend going to start?
|reply to PToN |
Yeah, that's what i was thinking. The only thing that he would have to pay for is if he decides to get support for whatever distro he deploys.
I am not 100% sure on what he is trying to host as we had a brief conversation. He'll be telling me more later on the week.
Thanks for the info!