I had promised a little more info on Scientific Linux. This is a form of Linux with a name that changes faster than my shirt when I realize I’ve got it on inside out. Form the Fermi LInux site:
Fermi Linux is the generic name for linux distributions that are created and used at Fermi National Accelerator Lab. These releases have gone through different names: Fermi Linux, Fermi Linux LTS, LTS, Scientific Linux Fermi, SLF. At the time of this writting, the only officially supported Fermi Linux is Scientific Linux Fermi.
But the inside story is both less and more interesting than you might expect.
FermiCERNLTSScientificSLFETC Linux is …. wait, I have to explain something else first top make this clear …
Among the major distributions of Linux, one is Red Hat. Red Hat is actually a commercial distribution that has a fully open source ‘wing’ called Fedora. You buy Red Hat Linux, and they give you support and stuff. Or you buy the support and they give you the software. Whatever. (It is a subscription service.) Fedora is the open source version of Red Hat.
Well, Red Hat has two interesting characteristics: 1) It is very very good; and 2) almost every bit of code that is used to make Red Hat is available in an Open Source form if you know where to look.
So the geegazoids at Fermi Lab and other places apparently got together to generate a version of Linux that is as close to Red Hat as you can get and still be Open Source legal. It is Red Hat. Yet it is not.
That is sort of cool, in a way. But I’m a little disappointed because it does not seem to have anything especially ‘scientific’ about it. It’s just Linux. Oh well.