Definition

Red Hat

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Red Hat Summit 2017: Inside the latest with open source tech

Red Hat is a leading software company in the business of assembling open source components for the Linux operating system and related programs into a distribution package that can easily be ordered and implemented.

Red Hat was one of the first companies to realize that "free" software could be sold as a product. After examining the successful marketing campaign of Evian water, Red Hat executives concluded that in order to be successful, the company had to create more Linux users and brand Red Hat as the Linux name that customers preferred. Today, the  "Red Hat Plan" is often discussed in business schools as a model for making customer support a company's primary product.

On October 28, 2018, it was announced that IBM would be acquiring Red Hat. According to IBM, Red Hat will become a business unit of  IBM’s Hybrid Cloud team and continue to preserve the independence and neutrality of Red Hat’s open source development heritage.

Current Red Hat products include:

This was last updated in October 2018

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