I am active user of CentOS in production for many years and counting. While Windows was and still is my OS of choice on desktop, actively using WordPress and LAMP stack in general lead me to CentOS as a base platform to host our web applications and solutions. We are now equally using Debian in our deployments.

When RedHat announced shift of focus from CentOS Linux to CentOS Stream in December of last year it caused a stir in Linux/CentOS community. It was still acknowledged that announcement was botched and misleading. For me bells started to ring when IBM first acquired RedHat. Usually such changes lead to more “enterprisy” approach. And year later we now see it happening. How can we generate more $$$ for our shareholders has its meaning and drives future decisions? Yes, it is unclear what driven it and we would be told stories what lead to the decision, but there is old saying – follow the money – which most of the time is true.

Problem with CentOS was that it was sitting “downstream” from RHEL and led to the notion of “why pay for RedHat Unix when you can get even more stable CentOS for free”. Historically CentOS would receive changes even later than they are in RHEL/RedHat. I think thinking behind RedHat’s decision to move things around were rooted from the notion that CentOS cannibalizes on RedHat corporate sales.

New approach is that CentOS Stream, which is replacing CentOS Linux, is now moved “upstream” getting changes before RHEL gets them officially. This lead to a scare in the community and triggered people considering abandon then platform, i.e. “death of CentOS”.

“Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated”, replied Mark Twain

or “The report of my death was an exaggeration” to be more accurate when asked to comment on rumor that he was dead.

CentOS is not dead. It changed its model. CentOS Project, it’s governing board and SIGs are still committed to CentOS growth.

Benjamin Porter wrote great detailed analysis of the story here – CentOS is NOT dead. Please Stop Saying It Is (at least until you read this). Please read it and don’t overlook links to internal blogs and announcements in the article, it worth the time spent reading ten fold.

Off course there is Debian and other Linux distros. Everyone is free to make their choices, just don’t base your decisions on misleading statements and news especially driven by enterprise marketing teams like these from RedHat FAQ.

If you’re using CentOS Linux in a commercial deployment, we suggest you look at moving to RHEL for the added management technologies, security, and support that are an integral part of the RHEL subscription. Our sales teams can help you identify the appropriate offerings that match your use case

Good luck and may the force of Open Source be with you always.

PS: For more information on CentOS refer to CentOS Project Home


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