The company said it will make Red Hat Linux 9 ISOs (ISOs are files containing a CD-ROM disk image of a Linux distribution) available to subscribers to its Red Hat Network on March 31. A week later, on April 7, the company will make the distribution available on redhat.com, in stores and on Red Hat FTP.
The early release to Red Hat Network subscribers appears to be a marketing strategy to bring users into the network, which costs $60 a year.
A letter, purportedly by Red Hat, appeared on slashdot Monday: "You may know that Red Hat Network is the best way to keep your systems running the latest errata and always up to date. What you might not know is that Red Hat Network passed the one million users mark earlier this year. We've listened to valuable feedback and have added two items of interest to keep those users happy -- early release of Red Hat Linux 9 ISOs and improved technical support."
The Red Hat Network offers technical support, errata updates, priority access during peak times and immediate e-mail notification. However, subscribers to the service do not receive printed documentation or Red Hat Linux installation support, and the company suggested users looking for those things should wait for Red Hat Linux 9 to hit the redhat.com site or retail stores.
Those users will have access to source code and documentation manuals, installation support, and a one- or two-month Basic Subscription to the Red Hat Network.