[clug] September 2017 CLUG Meeting

Paul Wayper paulway at mabula.net
Sat Sep 23 23:17:19 UTC 2017

On 23/09/17 20:43, Mike Carden via linux wrote:
> No disrespect to Paul intended, but with this week's almost open sourcing
> of Tower (awx), Insights has become Red Hat's flagship closed source
> product.
> Yay?

Heh :-)  Very glad it's a 'flagship product' to you Mike :-)

Insights core - the component that does the actual work of taking the files
and command outputs on your system, processing them, testing the rules against
them, and giving you results - is free open source source software licensed,
last time I checked, under the GPL.

Many other components - the web front end, the client, the demo rule set that
I'll be looking at next week, and more - are all open source.

You can see all these at:


What _isn't_ open source is our rules.  Why?  Basically, because they
represent Red Hat's internal, corporate knowledge of solving problems.
They're like our knowledge base (which in part they are based on) - they
represent thousands of hours or more of Red Hat's collective experience in
solving problems for customers (and ourselves).

We're an open source company - we have a policy of 'default to open' for what
we do.  But we're also a commercial company competing against a wide variety
of others, and fundamentally our value is in the quality and expertise of our
services.  Giving that knowledge away isn't good business sense :-)

However, one thing I've been really pushing (both in the Insights group and to
anyone else who will listen) is that the FOSS community also has the unique
opportunity to build community-based libraries of rules.  The SaMBa team could
create a set of rules that were specifically for diagnosing and solving
SaMBa-related problems; the PostgreSQL team could make a repository for
supporting PostgreSQL; the CLUG could make a repository of rules that would
solve problems that its members found.  Insights allows you to use any number
of rule sets at the same time, so you can easily just check out and install a
rule set and use it.  This is kind of like Ansible Galaxy or Nagios Plugin
Exchange (although the actual method is quite different) - people can
contribute code that they find useful, and others can use it, improve it, and
share it back to the community.

You really don't need Red Hat to provide its own set of rules for that sharing
and collaboration to occur.

The demo rule set we provide serves three purposes:

1) To install and run to test that Insights and its rules are working.
2) To demonstrate the basics of how rules are written, so that you can learn
from them how to write rules of your own.
3) To demonstrate the structure of a rule repository so that you can create a
new one and work on it.

Anyway, that's a long explanation for, basically: yes, Red Hat is keeping its
corporate knowledge separate from the framework.  Enjoy the free stuff :-)

Hope this helps,


P.S. Once again, I am not an authoritative representative of Red Hat here; I'm
just a contributor who works for them and knows the basics of the position the
team is taking.

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