Sean’s Obsessions

Sean Walberg’s blog

Grrr… RedHat Is on My Nerves

Red Hat 9 is out. Am I running it? No. I can’t even download it.

Normally this is to be expected, it’s the first day. But Red Hat has been on a big campaign – “Become a RHN subscriber and get it a week early!” Now, yours truly isn’t an idiot and wouldn’t think about paying $60US to get RH 9 a week earlier than he could download it for free, but the gist of the marketing campaign seemed to be at people who would (not that the $60 isn’t worth it for patch management service, but that wasn’t mentioned in the emails).

Since we use a fair bit of Red Hat at work, our boxen are on RHN meaning I can access RH9 early. I try at 6:40AM CST today, and get a notice that “RHN is currently down”. I get to work around 7:50CST and I can’t even get in to RHN. A little over an hour later and I’m in, but downloading the images is pathetically slow (according to the time projections, I’d be able to get it off a mirror before it finished). Part of the problem seems to be that the url is an HTTPS one, which is fixed a couple of hours later.

Two things piss me off here. The first is that Red Hat hyped up the “instant ISO” part of RHN in preparation for this rollout, and it fell flat on its nose. If I’d have paid $60 in anticipation of having RH 9 a week early, I’d be furious.

Secondly, for those of us who use RHN to keep our boxes in shape, if a major patch had come out at the same time, there’s no way I’d get it rolled out. The RHN interface has been either unavailable or absurdly slow, not to mention download speeds.

Red Hat’s Instant ISO page tells you how to use curl to download the image, even saying that you can do download resumptions. It works, but the URL you get is time limited. You can’t just push “up” and hit enter, instead you have to go back to RHN, log in, and get the new url.

I’ve been a staunch supporter of Red Hat for a while, but it won’t take many more of these incidents to make me find a new favourite for my boxes, and my wallet.


I’m trying something new here. Talk to me on Twitter with the button above, please.