Where do I go now that CentOS Linux is gone? Check out our list | GeekComparison

Where do I go now that CentOS Linux is gone?  Check out our list

In an unexpected announcement earlier this week, Red Hat killed off the free-as-in-bear CentOS variant of its flagship distribution, Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

The announcement – which clearly stated “CentOS Stream is not a replacement for CentOS Linux” – left thousands of CentOS users baffled and mystified. In many cases, CentOS users had migrated to CentOS 8 – which they expected to receive support until 2029 – only to find that their “until-2029” distro had received a “until-2029″ distro just a few months after they did. -2021” distro had become. installed in the first place.

I can’t pretend this is good news for CentOS users, but I can offer it some good news: CentOS may be dead, but it’s far from your only option for a “rebuild” distro that’s binary compatible with RHEL. Let’s look at some of the most likely options below.

1. CentOS Stream

I know, I know – put down the pitchforks! Many now former CentOS users are far too angry with Red Hat to consider migrating to CentOS Linux’s “non-replacement”, CentOS Stream. But despite Red Hat CTO Chris Wright’s bare-bones statement that Stream isn’t a replacement for CentOS Linux…for a lot of users, it could very easily be.

Before this week, the relationship between CentOS Linux and Red Hat Enterprise Linux was basically “it’s the same thing, but without the branding and the support.” In many ways, that relationship will hold true. CentOS Stream and Red Hat Enterprise Linux are still following terribly close to each other. The new relationship works as follows:

  • RHEL version x.0 forks from fedora
  • CentOS Stream version x forks of RHEL version x.0
  • Development work for RHEL x.1 is done in CentOS Stream version X repositories
  • RHEL x.1 forks of CentOS Stream version X

  • RHEL version j.0 forks from fedora
  • CentOS Stream version j RHEL forks j.0
  • Development work for RHEL x.2 is done in CentOS Stream version X repositories
  • Development work for RHEL j.1 is done in CentOS Stream version j repositories
  • RHEL x.2 forks of CentOS Stream X
  • RHEL y.1 forks from CentOS Stream j

And so on. So while CentOS Stream is sort of a rolling release, it’s a limited version – it rolls from one minor version to the next, but the major version is stable and follows that of Fedora. A CentOS Stream 8 user is no sooner forced to dog-food RHEL 9 code than a CentOS Linux 8 user would have.

What is lost here is the ability to control when you perform a minor version upgrade on your system. A user on RHEL 8.X can decide when they are ready to upgrade to RHEL 8.j, while a CentOS Stream 8 user flows seamlessly and automatically through the frozen states to become minor RHEL releases.

If you’re the type who’d pull the trigger on a minor CentOS release the day it launches, don’t worry: just migrate to Stream and you’re good to go. In fact, it will be the same experience you are used to, with less work. You don’t have to do the minor upgrades at all, they just happen automatically.

If you need both minor and major release control, or you’re just too mad at Red Hat to want to keep using a product under their direct control and are determined to go downstream, read on. I have more options for you. Some are even good!

2. Oracle Linux

Yes, Oracle. Here we go again with the pitchforks, right? Well, Oracle Linux is 100 percent binary compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux. It’s a “rebuild distro” based on RHEL’s resources and not much else, just like CentOS Linux was.

If all you need or want is a free-as-in-beer distro that closely follows RHEL, Oracle Linux might just be your new home. The distro has been around for a while and is backed by one of the world’s largest IT companies. On the other hand, moving to Oracle because you found Red Hat’s governance arbitrary and oppressive is a rather odd twist.

Oracle Linux as a replacement for CentOS probably makes the most sense for stores that already have a large Oracle presence.

3. CloudLinux

CloudLinux OS is a RHEL rebuild distro designed for shared hosting providers. CloudLinux OS itself probably isn’t the free CentOS replacement someone is looking for – it’s more like RHEL itself, with a subscription fee required for production use.

However, the CloudLinux OS maintainers have announced that they will release a 1:1 replacement for CentOS in the first quarter of 2021. The new fork will be a “separate, completely free operating system that is fully compatible with RHEL 8 and future versions.”

There are a few benefits to this upcoming fork. CloudLinux OS has been around for a while and has a pretty solid reputation. The new fork they’re announcing won’t be a big challenge for Cloud – they are already Fork RHEL regularly and track changes to preserve the full CloudLinux operating system. All they really need to do is make sure they separate their own branding and additional, license-only premium features.

This should also be a really easy upgrade for CentOS 8 users – there’s already a very simple one-script migration path from CentOS to the full CloudLinux OS. Converting from CentOS to “the new fork” should be just as easy and without the registration step required for full Cloud Linux.

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