Microsoft And Red Hat To Bring .NET To Linux
Written by MIke James   
Thursday, 05 November 2015

It seems there is no shortage of .NET related news as the moment. As part of a general agreement to work together on Linux-related projects, Microsoft and Red Hat are making .NET available on RedHat Linux.

 

Now if you are puzzled because you thought there was already a .NET running under Linux called Mono - well this is going to be another .NET running under Linux.

Since Microsoft open sourced the .NET framework the position of Mono has been difficult to comprehend. The Mono project has been taking class definitions from the official .NET project .NET Core and has been getting better while watching the alternative grow in size and capabilities. 

It seems clear that Mono's days are numbered - or are they?

Now Microsoft has partnered with Red Hat to offer its Linux on Azure. This has prompted some to reflect on the amazing turnaround of Microsoft, once an open source Linux hater, now offering Red Hat Linux on Azure. According to the announcement: 

"Red Hat solutions available natively to Microsoft Azure customers, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux applications and workloads as well as Red Hat application platform offerings. Available in the coming weeks, this includes Red Hat Enterprise Linux as well as the JBoss middleware platform."

 readhatlogo

Actually Microsoft has been offering Ubuntu Linux on Azure for some time. It is estimated that 25% of all Azure VMs are Linux-based. 

 

OK, so we now have a choice of Red Hat Linux or Ubuntu. However, other parts of the announcement are a little more worrying:

 

"Collaboration on .NET for a new generation of application development capabilities, providing access to .NET technologies across Red Hat offerings, including OpenShift and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which will be available within the next few weeks." 

and 

  • Developers will be able build .NET applications and deploy them on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, OpenShift, Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform.
  • Red Hat and Microsoft engineers are engaged in building and certifying .NET with Red Hat technologies for enterprise use.
  • Red Hat will ship Microsoft .NET certified for Red Hat environments through Red Hat Software Collections – aimed at developers.
  • Red Hat will provide direct support for installation, configuration, and environmental issues related .NET and Red Hat technologies.

For .NET developers, what is important to note is that Red Hat Enterprise Linux will be the primary Linux distribution used by Microsoft to update and test .NET. Red Hat and Microsoft will be working together to validate compatibility and other technical issues, in real-time.


So Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is the distribution to be used by Microsoft as the target for .NET Core. This means that .NET applications will also be deployable in Docker containers on RHEL and OpenShift. 

 

 

It all sounds good until you recall that RHEL isn't a free OS. It is based on open source Linux and you can download its source, but Red Hat has long used a clever system of trademarks to stop you copying RHEL directly. Red Hat has also resorted to obfuscation to keep its distribution subscription only.

While many companies use RHEL because of the level of support available from Red Hat and are willing to pay the $800 or more per annum subscription, many are not. 

Making RHEL the primary Linux distribution for .NET Core open source it is just a more profitable form of open source and probably more the sort of open source Microsoft likes.

Perhaps Mono is still needed after all.  

net2

More Information

Enabling today's hybrid reality with broader choice: Red Hat and Microsoft

Microsoft and Red Hat partner to deliver more flexibility and choice

Red Hat and Microsoft making .NET on Linux work for Enterprises

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 05 November 2015 )