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Why still CentOS when RHEL 8 is free now?

Just wanted to share and view others opinions on the matter.

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More hoops to jump through for RHEL, but honestly there are other options then just CentOS.


wasn’t centOS going to be dropped?

yeah but Cent is the main Rhel clone. fedora is more a proving ground for Rhel and by extension centos.

I though so. didnt Redhat take over the project too?

IIRC they’d take centOS down and push a free tier of RHEL

did that happen already?

I see centOS page is still up

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They killed the project

so why havent they made the entire webpage a redirect to RHEL8 signup yet. or are they just no longer releasing updates for it?

I think this is the case

the article says they’d stop to push security updates on centOS, so people could use “centOS stream”, which I didn’t understand fully

but yeah… that’ll be dangerous af

if that is the case why push an insecure OS? they should just stream line the rhel sign up so its more appealing to users and redirect the domain tbh

here is some info

if it doesn’t redirect correctly search for " FAQ - CentOS Project shifts focus to CentOS Stream"

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You can only use n number of RHEL installations for free, for one. Then, all the Red Hat registration hoops you have to jump through. And from what I recall, it’s free for developers, not for production environments (do correct me if I’m wrong).

However, aside from the deprecated CentOS 8 and soon to be deprecated CentOS 7 (what was it, 2024 EOL?), you now have options like Oracle Linux, Rocky Linux and Alma Linux if you want a RHEL clone.

I guess the question would be better if it was “Why CentOS Stream?” If that’s the question, CentOS Stream is now upstream RHEL (basically beta-testing RHEL - just because it’s “beta” doesn’t mean it’s unstable). You get newer stuff in CentOS Stream, but not the newest stuff, like you do in Fedora. Fedora is now upstream CentOS Stream. Technically speaking, you can test for software ahead of time on CentOS Stream and make sure it’s going to be solid on the next release of RHEL. However, as a sysadmin or someone who has to replicate a client’s infrastructure / setup, without paying boatloads of money on the Red Hat support, you can’t really use CentOS Stream, you have to use a clone, like Rocky.

As a sysadmin, if you don’t have to replicate a RHEL environment, you can use CentOS Stream in your production environments and it should be pretty solid. You can even use Fedora in production if you want the newest stuff available and you can schedule a restart from time to time. I heard Fedora is better for Docker, because of the newer kernels, but I don’t have experience with it, nor do I remember where I read that, so can’t confirm - however, I would argue that Oracle Linux would make some sense if you just want newer kernels, because UEK (“Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel”) is pretty good.


From what I read Red Hat didn’t kill CentOS, they just moved it the other side of the stream to RHEL?


You are pretty accurate the hoops are a pita if you ask me

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If you want CentOS/RHEL as it was/will continue to be, then consider looking at Rocky Linux as it picks up where CentOS left.

Edit: Interestingly, you can migrate to Rocky Linux without re-installing.


Couldnt remember the name of that, was going to tag oO.o but didnt

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You can and could have migrated between CentOS, Oracle Linux and RHEL since version 6 (and I think 5 too) and it’s been possible in 7 and 8 as well. Rocky and I believe Alma also joined the inter-migration bandwagon. It’s just a script to replace repos and optionally reinstall some binaries with the ones provided by the distro.

Yeah, try migrating between Debian and LMDE, or between Ubuntu, Mint and Pop!_OS, lmao. Well, arguably, you shouldn’t need to be able to migrate, but the option is there, because enterprises like switching support providers, so it’s cool that the migration is so flawless. Sometimes a restart is required when you change the kernels (like going from normal CentOS kernel to UEK using

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so, noob question here

in a prod environment, if I am to switch from something like alma to rocky, I’ll have / mounted to the boot drive and all my hdd with db info and all of that apart from the main boot drive, right?

all this migration got me thinking…

Yeah If you were using CentOS as a clone, you’d be better off using Rocky or Alma

If you were thinking about using CentOS Stream as an upstream, you’d probably be better off using Fedora. I’m not sure about Red Hat’s involvement, but Fedora seems to have better community engagement (even as they try to get people to use Rocky/Alma)

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You can run the migration script live on your running environment, no need to mount it on another live environment, nor chroot into your CentOS installation. Run it, it will ask a few questions and maybe ask you to restart at best.