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All you Need to Know about Centos

All you need to know about CentOS

There are many options for beginners when it comes to selecting the best Linux distro for your VPS, viz., CentOS, Ubuntu, Fedora, and Debian. Each of them has its share of features and advantages. But this article will focus on the features and advantages of CentOS. It is free software emanating from the popular Red Hat Enterprise Linux technology.

What is CentOS?

It is an open-source operating system based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux source code and built on Linux kernel. It was introduced in 2004 for the first time and has been a stable software with a high level of security and multiple panel options. CentOS is useful for both small businesses and high-end corporate IT applications because it provides stability, improved security, and multiple panel options. Over the past few years, the CentOS community has been growing and has contributed to the flourishing Linux distro by creating wiki content, providing technical support, and pointing out bug fixes. 

Key factors of CentOS Linux Distribution

Let us now focus on the key features of CentOS, which help it to stand out among other Linux Operating systems. Some of these features are as follows:

  • Improved Security: CentOS employs Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux) to improve its security architecture. It has access control policies that can be enabled for different processes and files.
  • Regular Updates: Red Hat releases a new main CentOS Linux version every few years, and every version is supported for ten years. This will help in reducing the issues which can come up after updating the software.
  • Stability: CentOS uses stable software versions because the release cycle (for new versions) is longer. Therefore, the application does not need to be updated as often.
  • Various Panel Options: CentOS provides its users with multiple options for management platforms. It includes cPanel, Plesk, Webmin, CWP, Spacewalk, VestaCP, and Virtualmin. 
  • Free: As mentioned above, CentOS is an open-source distribution. It allows the users to alter and distribute it freely.


CentOS Linux VS CentOS Stream

The CentOS Project is responsible for two Linux distributions, i.e., CentOS Linux and CentOS Stream.CentOS Linux is downstream of RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux), whereas CentOS Stream is an upstream version because it serves as a platform for future releases for RHEL. The changes are first submitted to the upstream projects present in distributions such as Fedora and afterward applied to CentOS Linux. This is one of the reasons why it takes so long to release a major version update publicly. On the other hand, users can directly contribute to the official repository of CentOS Stream. It cuts down its release cycle to weeks or days. 

A new version update of CentOS Linux comprises large bundles of updates, with minor improvements in between releases. On the contrary, every revision of CentOS Stream consists of upcoming small RHEL updates. However, CentOS projects have discontinued CentOS Linux, which required the current user to migrate to a different system path like CentOS Stream. The discontinuation date for CentOS Linux 8 was December 31, 2021. However, CentOS Linux 7 will be discontinued on June 30, 2024. But the CentOS community will continue to work together on other open-source Linux distributions.

CentOS Linux VS Red Hat Enterprise Linux

RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) was released by Red Hat in 2000. It was a derivative of the Fedora Project. Later, in 2014, they announced that they would be sponsoring CentOS. It resulted in the formation of the CentOS governing body, which consisted of Red Hat members to guide in the software development. But, the CentOS team has stayed independent after removing Red Hat branding and artwork. 

CentOS Linux, as told above, is an open-source software which means that all of its codes and programs are available for users to use, modify and distribute, among others. On the other hand, RHEL is created on open-source components, but the users still have to buy a license if they want to use it for commercial purposes. Moreover, Red Hat has introduced a Red Hat Developer Subscription, making the distro free to download but only for limited production workloads. 

In addition to this, CentOS has a community forum where users can answer each other’s queries, and there is no dedicated customer support. In comparison, CentOS Linux users can seek third-party support by paying a fee. For RHEL, you do have the option to upgrade your plan to include customer support. 

If we compare the software updates, they are implemented on RHEL first and then implemented on CentOS Linux after some time. Hence, both of them have the same functionality, bug fixes, and compatibility. They also have the same applications and add-on software like Docker and LAMP, which are available on both CentOS Linux and RHEL.

Summing Up

CentOS is one of the most famous Linux distributions. It is an open-source OS that acts as a computing platform for entrepreneurs. It aims to maintain 100% binary compatibility with Red Hat Enterprise Linux. In this article, we have put forth a comparison between two versions, i.e., CentOS Linux and CentOS Stream. We have also mentioned the five main features of CentOS, viz. Security, updates, stability, free of cost, and multiple cPanel options. We hope that this article will help you learn something important about CentOS and make the right choices about your system.

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