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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article refers to a software company. For other uses, see Red hat (disambiguation).
For hats of other colours, see Coloured hat (disambiguation).
Red Hat, Inc.
Type Public (NYSE: RHT)
Founded 1993[1]
Founder(s) Bob Young
Marc Ewing
Headquarters Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
Key people Matthew Szulik, Chairman
Jim Whitehurst, CEO
Industry Computer software
Products Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Red Hat Directory Server
Red Hat Certificate System
Red Hat High performance Computing[2]
JBoss Enterprise Middleware
Revenue $652.57 million (2009)[3]
Net income $78.72 million (2009)[3]
Employees 2800 (2009)[4]

Red Hat, Inc. (NYSERHT) is an S&P 500 company in the free and open source software sector, and a major Linux distribution vendor. Founded in 1993, Red Hat has its corporate headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina with satellite offices worldwide.[5]

Red Hat has become associated to a large extent with its enterprise operating system Red Hat Enterprise Linux and with the acquisition of open-source enterprise middleware vendor JBoss. Red Hat provides operating-system platforms along with middleware, applications, and management products, as well as support, training, and consulting services.



In 1993 Bob Young incorporated the ACC Corporation, a catalog business that sold Linux and UNIX software accessories. In 1994 Marc Ewing created his own Linux distribution, which he named Red Hat Linux. Ewing released it in October, and it became known as the Halloween release. Young bought Ewing's business in 1995, and the two merged to become Red Hat Software, with Young serving as chief executive officer (CEO).

Red Hat went public on August 11, 1999, the eighth-biggest first-day gain in the history of Wall Street.[6] Matthew Szulik succeeded Bob Young as CEO in December of that year.

On November 15, 1999, Red Hat acquired Cygnus Solutions. Cygnus provided commercial support for free software and housed maintainers of GNU software products such as the GNU Debugger and GNU Binutils. One of the founders of Cygnus, Michael Tiemann, became the chief technical officer of Red Hat and by 2008 the vice president of open source affairs. Later Red Hat acquired WireSpeed, C2Net and Hell's Kitchen Systems.[7]

In February 2000, InfoWorld awarded Red Hat its fourth consecutive[8] "Operating System Product of the Year" award for Red Hat Linux 6.1. Red Hat acquired Planning Technologies, Inc in 2001 and in 2004 AOL's iPlanet directory and certificate-server software.

Red Hat moved its headquarters from Durham, NC, to N.C. State University's Centennial Campus in Raleigh, North Carolina in February 2002. In the following month Red Hat introduced the first enterprise-class Linux operating system: Red Hat Linux Advanced Server,[9][10] later re-named Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Dell,[11] IBM,[12] HP[13] and Oracle Corporation[14] announced their support of the platform.[15]

In December 2005 CIO Insight magazine conducted its annual "Vendor Value Survey", in which Red Hat ranked #1 in value for the second year in a row.[16] Red Hat stock became part of the NASDAQ-100 on December 19, 2005.

Red Hat acquired open-source middleware provider JBoss on June 5, 2006 and JBoss became a division of Red Hat. On September 18, 2006, Red Hat released the Red Hat Application Stack, their first stack that integrates the JBoss technology and of which is certified by other well-known software vendors.[17][18] On December 12, 2006, Red Hat moved from NASDAQ (RHAT) to the New York Stock Exchange (RHT). In 2007 Red Hat acquired MetaMatrix and made an agreement with Exadel to distribute its software.

On March 15, 2007, Red Hat released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, and in June acquired Mobicents. On March 13, 2008, Red Hat acquired Amentra, a provider of systems integration services for service-oriented architecture, business process management, systems development and enterprise data services. Amentra operates as an independent Red Hat company.

On July 27, 2009, Red Hat replaced CIT Group in Standard and Poor’s 500 stock index, a diversified index of 500 leading companies of the U.S. economy.[19][20] Many see this as a major milestone for Linux.[21][22]

On December 15, 2009, it was reported that Red Hat will pay $8.8 million to settle a class action lawsuit related to the restatement of financial results from July 2004. The suit had been pending in a U.S. District Court in North Carolina. Red Hat reached the proposed settlement agreement and recorded a one-time charge of $8.8 million for the quarter that ended Nov. 30. The agreement is pending court approval.[23]

Fedora Project

Red Hat sponsors the Fedora Project, a community-supported open-source project which aims to promote the rapid progress of free and open-source software and content. Fedora aims for rapid innovation using open processes and public forums.[24]

The Fedora Project Board, which comprises of community leaders and representatives of Red Hat, leads the project and steers the direction of the project and of Fedora, the Linux distribution it develops. Red Hat employees work with the code alongside community members, and many innovations within the Fedora Project make their way into new releases of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Business model

Red Hat partly operates on a professional open-source business model based on open code, development within a community, professional quality assurance, and subscription-based customer support. They produce open-source code, so more programmers can make further adaptations and improvements.

Red Hat sells subscriptions for the support, training, and integration services that help customers in using open-source software. Customers pay one set price for unlimited access to services such as Red Hat Network and up to 24/7 support.

Programs and projects

One Laptop per Child

Red Hat engineers work with the One Laptop per Child initiative (a non-profit organization established by members of the MIT Media Lab) to design and produce an inexpensive laptop and provide every child in the world with access to open communication, open knowledge, and open learning. The XO-1 laptop, the latest machine of this project, runs a slimmed-down version of Fedora as its operating system.


Red Hat sponsors Mugshot, an open project building "a live social experience" based around entertainment. It refocuses technological thinking from objects (files, folders, etc) to activities, like web browsing or music sharing.[25] These topics form the focus of the first two features in Mugshot, Web Swarm and Music Radar. These had already started before the announcement of the project at the 2006 Red Hat Summit. The original Mugshot instance hosted by Red Hat has been removed, and redirects to Red Hat's website.


Dogtail, an open-source automated graphical user interface (GUI) test framework initially developed by Red Hat, consists of free software released under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and is written in Python. It allows developers to build and test their applications. Red Hat announced the release of Dogtail at the 2006 Red Hat Summit.

Red Hat Magazine

Red Hat produces the Red Hat Magazine as an online news publication. It brings together issues of interest from inside and outside the company, focusing on in-depth discussion of the development and application of open source technologies. It covers news from Red Hat and the Fedora Project, it updates readers on public licensing and the Creative Commons, and it features interviews with some industry leaders and open-source people.

The company originally produced a newsletter called Under the Brim. Wide Open magazine first appeared in March 2004 as a means for Red Hat to share technical content with subscribers on a regular basis. Under the Brim and Wide Open magazine merged in November 2004 to become Red Hat Magazine.

Red Hat Exchange

In 2007 Red Hat announced that it had reached an agreement with some free software and open source (FOSS) companies that allowed it to make a distribution portal called Red Hat Exchange, reselling FOSS software with the original branding intact.[26][27]

Other Projects

Red Hat has some employees working full time on free and open source software projects, such as two full-time employees working on the free software radeon and one full-time employee working on the free software nouveau graphic drivers.[28]

Utilities and tools

Over and above Red Hat's major products and acquisitions, Red Hat programmers have produced software programming tools and utilities to supplement standard Unix and Linux software. Some of these Red Hat "products" have found their way from specifically Red Hat operating environments via open-source channels to a wider community. Such utilities include:

  • Disk Druid (for disk partitioning)
  • rpm (for package management)
  • sosreport (gathers system hardware and configuration details)[29]
  • systemtap (tracing tool for linux kernel, developed in collaboration with IBM, Hitachi, Oracle[30] and Intel.[31]

The Red Hat web site has a list of their major involvements in free and open source software projects.[32]


Red Hat India

Red Hat India is a subsidiary of Red Hat, Inc., USA. Red Hat India says it "has been at the forefront of bringing the latest open source and Linux technology to India". Red Hat India also claims to have "enabled adoption of open source technology across segments -- government, enterprise and education."

Offices, partners

Red Hat India has six offices in India at Mumbai, Pune, New Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, and Chennai and one in Sri Lanka at Colombo. It says its "OEM partners" include IBM, DELL, HP, HCL Infosystems, Wipro Infotech and Acer, among others. And "SI partners" include Wipro Infotech and HCL Infosystems.

Distribution network

Red Hat India says it currently has a distribution network of more than 70 channel partners spanning 27 cities across India. Red Hat India's key channel partners include Efensys Technologies, Embee Software, Allied Digital Services, and Softcell Technologies. Key distributors listed by it include Ingram Micro, GT Enterprises, Sonata Software and Integra Microsystems.

Red Hat Learning Services, says the company, are available with "over 70 training partners at over 300 locations across India."


Red Hat's main competitors include the companies Canonical Ltd., IBM, Mandriva, Microsoft, Novell, Oracle Corporation and Xandros, along with the communities of Debian and FreeBSD.

See also


  1. ^ "". Retrieved 2009-12-21.  
  2. ^ "Red Hat High Performance Computing" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-12-21.  
  3. ^ a b "Financial Results for Fiscal Year 2009". Red Hat. 2007-06-28. Retrieved 2008-08-20.  
  4. ^ "Company Profile for Red Hat Inc (RHT)". Retrieved 2009-06-29.  
  5. ^ "Corporate Facts". Retrieved 2006-08-26.  
  6. ^ "Red Hat History". Red Hat. Retrieved 2008-10-29.  
  7. ^ "Red Hat Buys Hell's Kitchen". ChannelWeb.  
  8. ^ "Red Hat Linux Wins InfoWorld Product of Year Four Years Running". InfoWorld.  
  9. ^ "Red Hat Accelerates UNIX-to-LINUX Migration by Announcing the First Enterprise-Class Linux Operating System". Red Hat. 2002-03-26.  
  10. ^ Clint Boulton. "Red Hat Touts Linux Over Unix with New OS". Retrieved 2009-05-13.  
  11. ^ "Dell and Red Hat alliance".  
  12. ^ "IBM Linux Portal - Red Hat".  
  13. ^ "HP Open source and Linux".  
  14. ^ "Oracle adopts Red Hat Linux as its own". 2006-10-25.  
  15. ^ "Premier Partner Spotlight".  
  16. ^ "Vendor Value" (PDF). CIO Insight.  
  17. ^ Martin LaMonica. "Red Hat expands 'stack' with JBoss". CNet. Retrieved 2009-05-13.  
  18. ^ Jack Loftus. "Now shipping: Red Hat-JBoss application stack".,289142,sid39_gci1216411,00.html. Retrieved 2009-05-13.  
  19. ^ Red Hat Included in S&P 500 Index. Red Hat Press Release.
  20. ^ "List of S&P 500 Companies".,3,2,2,0,0,0,0,0,2,3,0,8,0,0,0.html. Retrieved 2009-12-21.  
  21. ^ Michael, Sean (2009-07-20). "Red Hat on the S&P 500 is a sign of Linux maturity". Retrieved 2009-12-21.  
  22. ^ Red Hat Is Now Part of the S&P 500. Slashdot.
  23. ^ (AP) – 5 days ago. "The Associated Press: Red Hat to pay $8.8M to settle class action suit". Retrieved 2009-12-21.  
  24. ^ "Overview of Fedora Project". Fedora Project.  
  25. ^ "Mugshot FAQ".  
  26. ^ Red Hat Prepares Business Application Stacks
  27. ^ "Red Hat Launches Open-Source Exchange". BusinessWeek.  
  28. ^ Mike Johnston. "Fedora 12 Review and Commentary (see Adam Williamson comment)". Retrieved 2009-12-21.  
  29. ^ "sosreport(1) - Linux man page".  
  30. ^ "SystemTap home page".  
  31. ^ "Architecture of systemtap: a Linux trace/probe tool".  
  32. ^ "Open source development list". Red Hat. Retrieved 2009-01-16.  

External links

Simple English

Red hat or Red Hat may refer to:

  • Red Hat, Inc. a company dedicated to open source software such as Linux
  • Red Hat Linux, a former product of Red Hat, Inc., now replaced by Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • Red Hat sect, a classification of schools of Tibetan Buddhism
  • Red Hat Society, a woman's social organization
  • Galero, a red hat historically bestowed upon Catholic cardinals

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