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2000

Matthew Szulik becomes CEO.

2002

The last stable release of Red Hat Linux debuts. Red Hat Enterprise Linux hits the market.

2005

Young leaves Red Hat’s Board of Directors, officially departing the company.

2006

Red Hat acquires JBoss, for the first time expanding its product portfolio beyond Linux.

OUR DEFINING MOMENT

Matthew Szulik was the next CEO of Red Hat. He was a tireless open source evangelist and visionary who believed in the open source development model and in Red Hat’s role as a catalyst for change in the technology industry. He charted a course for Red Hat:

“To be the catalyst in communities of customers, contributors, and partners creating better technology the open source way.”

—Red Hat mission statement, 2009

BURNED, BOXED, WRAPPED, SHIPPED

Back then, “ship it” was meant literally.

For years before Szulik’s arrival, and several after, Red Hat Linux was a boxed product sold beside boxes of Microsoft Windows and Lotus Notes in retail stores. Before downloading was a possibility, our software was burned onto CDs, packed in boxes, shrink-wrapped, loaded onto trucks, and shipped to stores.

Typically, a new version of Red Hat Linux was released every six months or so. In that way, Red Hat was a lot like every other software company, hoping customers would buy the new version to get new features. We also made a little money on the side selling hats, t-shirts, and stickers.

Our development model was open source, but our distribution system and business model were very conventional.

In 2001, we took a leap of faith.

Distribution of boxes of Red Hat Linux, our flagship product and a major source of revenue, would stop. Instead, an enterprise edition would be sold on a subscription basis.

Read more about our move to an open source development model.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux became our flagship product, our offering to the world’s most demanding datacenters. Red Hat products and solutions are used by more than 90% of Fortune Global 500 companies. The success of Red Hat Enterprise Linux led to more than a decade of steady growth and gave us the resources and flexibility to invest and participate in many other open source communities. This close collaboration means we can add even more of the features and capabilities our customers need.

It is this long-term, broad participation that helps us choose the most powerful future technologies. Open collaboration gives all participants a window into the future because the most promising technologies gather expertise and effort into the most active communities.

When confronted with a changing market, we applied open source principles to the running of our business, debated fiercely, collectively adapted, and build an entirely new Red Hat.

It was our defining moment.

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Shadowman got his most recent update in 1999, just in time for the IPO. Nick Law of FGI and Dennis Dimos, an in-house designer at Red Hat, updated the wordmark and refined the icon to create the logo we use today.

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In 2006, Oracle released a clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux they called “Unbreakable Linux” at Oracle OpenWorld. The next day, Red Hat distributed hundreds of t-shirts with a simple response — “Unfakeable Linux”

Launched in 2006, the first iteration of the One Laptop Per Child project featured a specialized version of Linux, called “Sugar,” developed by Red Hat in collaboration with OLPC.

Held for the first time in New Orleans in 2005, Red Hat Summit is a chance for our customers, partners, and community to learn, network, and experience all that enterprise open source has to offer.

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Launched as a blog in 2006, Red Hat Magazine was an opportunity to talk directly to customers and users about open source, software freedom, intellectual property, copyright, and education.

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Our first brand video, Truth Happens, was released in 2006. The message of open source as an inevitability was a powerful rallying cry for Red Hat associates and the open source community.