I’m Sad: The End of the CentOS Era Support

I'm Sad: The End of the CentOS Era Support 1

Introduction: Essential Information About CentOS

The End of the CentOS Era Support? According to the official information emanating from the RedHat company in December 2020, we are talking about the termination of development and support of CentOS at the end of 2021. At the same time, the EOL for the seventh version of CentOS 7 remained unchanged – until 2024. If we talk about the CentOS project, then it gained popularity and became one of the most popular Linux distributions.

This distribution has been around for about 16 years. RedHat acquired it 7 years ago and announced that it will sponsor this distribution kit. This company announced one very interesting solution – resource optimization. This means that they are putting all their energies into developing CentOS Stream. Probably, the company wants to concentrate on the corporate segment and performing the main business function of any company – making a profit.

You will probably agree that in order to make such a radical decision, RedHat explains it like this. This is due to stable versions of CentOS and their resource optimization. CentOS and it’s analog Stream were actually beta versions of the aforementioned Red Hat Enterprise Linux for the company. Refusal to develop this distribution 9 and support for existing OS versions will allow the company to optimize resources and reduce the number of “test” distributions from two to one.

It is very important to note that there are more and more Linux users. This distribution is one of the most popular and ranks second after Ubuntu. Users, developers and administrators leave their preference for this particular distribution. The reason is the availability of access to many features of the main RedHat product – RHEL. But at the same time – it’s free. According to some estimates, the share of this distribution in the Linux community was about 16%, Ubuntu – about 27%. At the same time, some projects and resources reported that CentOS 8 was at all the dominant distribution in their ecosystem with a share of more than 35%.

What’s in the future for CentOS?

What changes can you expect? What will happen next with this distribution? It is undergoing colossal changes, it will already be called “CentOS Stream“. Over the next year, all eyes will be on the CentOS Stream version, which is being tracked just ahead of the current release of RHEL. CentOS Linux 8 as a rebuild of RHEL 8 will be completed at the end of 2021.

CentOS Stream will continue beyond this date, acting as another, side project. It will be something like a fork from Red Hat Enterprise Linux. When this distribution Linux 8 is complete (rebuild of RHEL8), the best option would be to upgrade to CentOS Stream 8. It will be something like a delta from CentOS Linux. We are also promised all necessary and important updates for this version! If you are using this distribution Linux 8 in a production environment and are concerned that CentOS Stream will not meet your needs, we recommend that you contact Red Hat for options.

Like every distribution, Red Hat Enterprise Linux has a CentOS 6 and 7 lifecycle. Since its inception, it has been supported for ten years. This distribution kit of version 6 has its beginning on July 20, 2011, at the time when the seventh version was released on July 7, 2014. As for the sixth version, this version by the next year will no longer be up-to-date and supported, respectively. However, this does not mean that you cannot use it.

CentOS 7 Future Support

If we talk about version 7 in detail, then this release has gone through several stages in its life cycle, and we are currently at the “Technical Support 2” stage. This means that the versions of the distribution that are released are those that Red Hat considers critical. Thereby, importing their security fixes and urgently prioritized bugs in the process. This product will remain in this phase until it reaches the end of its useful life. Phase started in August 2020 and took CentOS 7 out of “maintenance phase 1” which, along with general availability, is where most of the changes take place, including minor releases.

If you experience any of your local problems with this version, you will no longer be able to receive support from the communities. Most, if not all, community support requests for end-of-life distributions will be answered equivalent to “This version of CentOS is EOL. You need to update to a more recent version of the distribution“.

CentOS Stream

CentOS 8 is open and ready to download. You can use various mirrors to download the ISO image. Assemblies available such as:

  • x86_64
  • aarch64
  • ppc64le
I'm Sad: The End of the CentOS Era Support 2

What about the version of Stream for this distribution? It is important to note that Stream is not a replacement for CentOS, but rather a natural and inevitable step towards achieving the project’s goal of promoting enterprise Linux innovation. In the words of the company, this platform has its origins as “The main innovation center of the RHEL ecosystem”.

In other words, it is possible that this project can be called a testing ground for new products that will then fall into RHEL. Companies such as Facebook and Intel have positively evaluated the idea of ​​developing a Stream version. Facebook uses a huge number of servers that run on their own build (distribution) on the Stream. It is very important that several important updates are needed that predate the Stream version. They will be described below:

  • Java 8 and Java 11 support
  • YUM uses DNF as its backend.
  • Support for Podman containers.
  • TCP stack version 4.16.
  • Nftables is used instead of iptables.
  • firewalld uses nftables.
  • Python 3 support.
  • Using Wayland. You can switch to X.Org, which is still available.
  • Supports IPVLAN virtual network drivers
  • Btrfs filesystem support has been removed.