On 2/19/21 8:19 AM, Johannes Meixner wrote:
where most of the money ends up, but Thorsten
is probably right that most SUSE customers have more
the support and maintenance in mind when they pay you.
All of them are right
(otherwise things won't work for a longer time):
Customers pay SUSE for support and maintenance and
SUSE's paid kernel developers provide that for the kernel
and other SUSE people provide that for other components.
In particular customers with specific hardware in their data center
and specific software requirements for their special environments
that no free software volunteer would ever have at home
can pay someone who can provide support and maintenance
for their specific needs.
I'm pretty sure that paid SUSE developers work on support for new
hardware and not just on the stuff that we are selling to enterprise
Takashi, for example, is the primary maintainer of the Linux sound stack
and he is being paid for that work. In Debian, both the toolchain and
the kernel maintainers are paid professionals. Many Debian developers
work for companies like Canonical, Credativ or Collabora.
But I wasn't so much focusing on SUSE or other distribution vendors only. A
Linux distribution is the result of the work of thousands of developers with
most of the work share being done by upstream projects and very often by
So why you don't have to pay for openSUSE itself, it's still very much the
result of paid work which was cross-subsidized by customers buying hardware
or support contracts.
Try projects like OpenBSD as a counter-example which don't have large corporate
backings and as a result, OpenBSD's hardware support is very limited as compared
to Linux - something which you can't blame them for given the lack of corporate
funding and manpower.