Is Centos Deprecated

Operating Systems

CentOS is a widely popular operating system, known for its stability and reliability. As an avid user of CentOS myself, I have been following the latest developments in the CentOS community. In this article, I will explore the question of whether CentOS is deprecated and share my personal insights on the matter.

Understanding CentOS

CentOS, short for Community Enterprise Operating System, is a free and open-source Linux distribution. It is based on the freely available source code of the commercial distribution, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). CentOS aims to provide a stable, secure, and consistent platform for server and desktop environments.

For many years, CentOS has been a go-to choice for businesses and individuals who seek a reliable and long-term supported Linux distribution. It has gained a strong reputation for being a rock-solid operating system that is well-suited for enterprise applications and critical server deployments.

The Announcement of CentOS Stream

In December 2020, the CentOS Project made a significant announcement that took many users by surprise. They revealed plans to shift the focus of CentOS from providing a downstream clone of RHEL to CentOS Stream, a rolling-release Linux distribution that will serve as a development branch for RHEL.

This decision marked a departure from the traditional CentOS model, where releases were based on the corresponding RHEL release and received support for an extended period. CentOS Stream, on the other hand, provides a continuous flow of updates and innovations, making it more suitable for developers and early adopters.

While CentOS Stream does have its advantages, such as providing access to newer features and bug fixes sooner, the announcement left many long-time CentOS users concerned about the future of the operating system they had come to rely on.

Understanding the Impact

The shift to CentOS Stream does not mean that CentOS 8, the current stable version at the time of writing, will become deprecated immediately. CentOS 8 will receive full support until the end of its lifecycle, which is scheduled for December 31, 2021. This means that existing CentOS 8 installations will continue to receive security updates and bug fixes until that date.

However, the CentOS Project announced that there will be no CentOS 9 release. Instead, CentOS Stream will serve as the upstream development branch for RHEL releases. This change implies that CentOS Stream will receive updates and enhancements before they are incorporated into RHEL, making it a more cutting-edge distribution.

Personal Commentary

As someone who has relied on CentOS for various server deployments, I initially had concerns about the announcement. The stability and long-term support offered by CentOS were major factors that led me to choose it over other distributions. The shift to CentOS Stream raised questions about the future stability and predictability of the operating system.

However, upon further reflection and examining the motivations behind the decision, I have come to see the potential benefits of CentOS Stream. It allows me to stay on the cutting-edge of technology and gain access to newer features and bug fixes sooner. This is particularly advantageous for developers who need the latest tools and libraries.

The Future of CentOS

While the shift to CentOS Stream may be seen as a significant change, it does not necessarily mean the death of CentOS as we know it. CentOS Stream represents a new direction for the project, catering to a different audience and use case. It offers a different set of benefits and trade-offs compared to the traditional CentOS releases.

For those who require a more stable and long-term supported distribution, alternatives such as Oracle Linux, Rocky Linux, or AlmaLinux have emerged as potential replacements for CentOS. These distributions aim to fill the gap left by CentOS 8 and provide a similar experience with long-term support.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while the shift from CentOS to CentOS Stream has sparked some concerns and raised questions about the future of the operating system, it also presents new opportunities for users who value cutting-edge features and early access to enhancements. The decision ultimately reflects the evolving needs of the CentOS community and the desire to cater to a wider range of users.

As a CentOS user, I believe it is important to stay informed about the changes and consider the alternatives available. The open-source community is resilient, and new projects like Oracle Linux, Rocky Linux, and AlmaLinux demonstrate the commitment to providing stable and long-term supported Linux distributions. Regardless of the path one chooses, it is crucial to evaluate the specific requirements and make an informed decision.