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“CentOS project board announces the end of free CentOS line of Linux Distributions a.k.a. Distros and CentOS 8 will be the last of its kind. Also, CentOS 8 support is reported to end midway too, by 2021.”
In the recent turn of events CentOS project board announced the end of CentOS line of Free Linux Distros, which were based on the Red Hat script. The OS has been a popular Linux Distribution platform that provided reliability and stability for Red Hat Distribution and was free like Fedora. But now it will be replaced by CentOS Stream, a totally different architecture. Where CentOS was a free and go to OS for every medium and large organizations that allowed stability for Red Hat paid OS, CentOS Stream will be a midstream between the upstream development in Fedora and downstream development in Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).
Fact: IBM acquired Red Hat for $34 Billion in 2019. Is it just a coincidence that the decision came soon after the big change in management?
Some claim that Red Hat killed CentOS and some say it’s IBM. We are going to explain all of this in detail so keep reading.
CentOS stream will be used as a development-phased Operating System a.k.a. a ‘Test-Bed’ to create a more robust Red Hat Distribution by RHEL. This means that CentOS will no longer be as stable as Red Hat and will always be “In-Development” phase. This directly kills the user-segment of CentOS by making it unstable and unreliable.
What does this mean for Organizations using CentOS?
For organizations like Disney, GoDaddy, Verizon, Toyota, and others, it means the promised EOL of 31st May 2029 by CentOS 8 ends here. In simple words, since CentOS is retiring, they cannot reply upon it and they need to shift their production machines and servers. CentOS Board (Or can otherwise be called RHEL now) announced the end of support for CentOS 8 by 2021. The organizations that updated hundreds of machines and thousands of servers with CentOS 8 have now been left amidst the ocean. Organizations will also have to critically assess the monetary effect of the announcement.
The Case Earlier:
Earlier, CentOS and Red Hat Distribution only differed on the grounds of support i.e., in Red Hat Distribution, user-organization can simply contact Red Hat for any assistance however, for CentOS this support wasn’t available. This was the only difference.
Where Red Hat was a tool for the company where server downtime meant immediate revenue loss, CentOS was the OS for every other organization out there. Because Red Hat is open-source, CentOS simply used the scripts of Red Hat Distribution and made a new OS, which was, in fact, available for free.
In other words, when Red Hat used to develop a robust and stable Linux Distribution, CentOS used to copy it and release it. Hence, CentOS contained the well-researched and stable user-experience.
The Case Now:
Because, in 2014, Red Hat offered CentOS a monetary help, there are now members in the board of CentOS which are the members of Red Hat board too. Hence, it wouldn’t be incorrect to say that CentOS was beginning to lose control and Red Hat was gaining all of it.
Now the CentOS line of Distros, which was free, is announced to end with their latest CentOS 8 and there will be no more CentOS. Like this wasn’t enough, CentOS has also announced to end the support in 2021 which, in fact, was promised to last in 2029 (Every CentOS update offers 10 years software update support like Red Hat).
Why CentOS was a favorite?
In the open source world of Linux, there is a plethora of Distros (Linux Distributions) available in the market created with the joint community effort (Linux is an open-source platform and every distribution is created by joint efforts of many people willing to contribute).
Most of these distros are free to use. But only a few of them are equipped enough to meet the needs of the organizations.
Fedora though is free, is less stable. A new update is released every 6 months. So, medium and medium-large organizations needed something stable to update their servers with. Also, Fedora only supported 13-month worth of software updates which isn’t enough to meet the needs of the organizations.
Then there was Red Hat which was the distro everyone meant to use but because it is a paid piece of tech, not everyone could use it. You should note that Red Hat voluntarily released its scripts to be used by anyone willing to because it wanted to be called an open-source community-built distribution.
CentOS developers saw the opportunity and copied everything from Red Hat Distribution. Now people had Red Hat distribution in the name of CentOS, just no phone support. Hence, CentOS quickly became a favorite around the world.
CentOS Alternatives/ Red Hat Alternatives:
CentOS used to be the free Red Hat Alternative but because now that’s gone, people will have to search for CentOS Alternatives and Red Hat Alternatives. A couple of worthy CentOS alternatives can be:
- Oracle Linux
- Fedora (if you can work with constant updates)
- Linux Mint
Though these are few mentionable alternatives, I believe the worthiest alternative will show up soon as the news has recently been announced.
Download CentOS Stream
The .iso package file of CentOS Stream is available to download here.
So, this was all about CentOS Project Update, CentOS Stream, and CentOS alternatives. It would be interesting to see how the entire scene progresses. Keep visiting Tweak Library for more such updates.