Free software: Red Hat gives away RHEL to developers

Who doesn't love free?

Red Hat RHEL
Credit: Kelvin Goh

It’s no joke: Red Hat is literally giving away its popular Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system to developers.

Who doesn't love free software? The idea is to spur developers to use RHEL when building applications. It will be available to anyone who’s a member of the Red Hat Developer Program, which takes just an email address to sign up for.

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Red Hat is offering a fully-baked version of RHEL, including access to the Red Hat Container Development Kit, which are handy tools for building tools in the company’s OpenShift PaaS using Docker containers. Red Hat has other free versions of its software available to developers, including its JBOSS Middleware. Red Hat is convinced that it can give away its software to developers, while still earning plenty of money supporting customers who use the programs in production.

Red Hat announced the news at Microsoft’s Build conference in San Francisco on Thursday afternoon.

RHEL is one of the most popular enterprise operating systems, and has been a key OS in the open source world. Last month Red Hat announced that it had surpassed $2 billion in sales in 2015, fueled largely by RHEL.

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