Support Services

With the growing popularity of Linux and BSD, consulting services are supporting and recommending them to customers wishing to set up Internet servers. As mentioned above Compaq is now shipping and supporting Red Hat Linux-based servers. Compaq may be contracting with Red Hat for the support.

1999 startup LinuxCare provides commercial support for Linux, including 24 x 7 telephone support. That is, you pay money and get support like (or probably better than) a commercial software product. They also plan to maintain a large, free knowledge base as a way to give something back to the Linux community by sharing accumulated Linux wisdom with the world.

Red Hat Software, Inc.
The Red Hat company is the best known for commercializing Linux products and services. They provide free and on CDROM a broadly-known Linux operating system distribution, sell applications such as the Applixware Office Suite, offer commercial support services, publish books about Linux.

Cygnus Systems
Another example of commercial support for free software is Cygnus Systems which provides commercial support for the MIT-based GNU project. GNU software includes editor environments and systems development tools such as Emacs, C and C++ compilers, debuggers, etc.
Next: The Future