Is Rhel And Centos The Same


When it comes to operating systems, there are many options available in the market. Two popular choices for enterprise-level Linux distributions are RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) and CentOS. At first glance, it may seem like these two are the same, but upon closer inspection, there are some key differences to consider. In this article, I will delve deep into the details to help you understand whether RHEL and CentOS are the same or not.

Introduction to RHEL and CentOS

Let’s start by understanding what RHEL and CentOS actually are. RHEL is a commercially supported Linux distribution developed by Red Hat. It is specifically designed for enterprise-level use with a strong focus on stability, security, and performance. RHEL offers long-term support and regular updates, making it a reliable choice for businesses.

On the other hand, CentOS (Community Enterprise Operating System) is a free and open-source Linux distribution. It is based on the same source code as RHEL but is maintained and developed by the community. CentOS aims to provide a free alternative to RHEL, offering a similar experience without the need for paid subscriptions or support.

Key Similarities

Now that we have a basic understanding of RHEL and CentOS, let’s explore their similarities. Both operating systems are based on the same source code, which means they share a lot of common features and functionalities. Both RHEL and CentOS use the Red Hat Package Manager (RPM) for package management, making it easy to install and update software.

Furthermore, since CentOS is based on the source code of RHEL, it is compatible with RHEL applications and services. This means that if you develop or run applications on RHEL, you can easily migrate them to CentOS without major modifications.

Key Differences

While RHEL and CentOS share many similarities, there are some important differences that distinguish them from each other. The most significant difference is the level of support and maintenance. RHEL is a commercially supported distribution, which means that users have access to technical support, security updates, and bug fixes directly from Red Hat. This level of support is crucial for businesses that require continuous operation and timely assistance.

On the other hand, CentOS is a community-supported distribution. Although the community provides updates and security patches, the level of support may not be as comprehensive as RHEL. This may not be a major concern for individual users or small-scale projects, but it can be a significant drawback for businesses that rely on critical infrastructure.

Which One to Choose?

Now that we have explored the similarities and differences between RHEL and CentOS, you may be wondering which one is the right choice for you. The answer depends on your specific needs and requirements.

If you are an enterprise-level organization with a mission-critical infrastructure, RHEL is the recommended choice. The paid subscriptions and comprehensive support provided by Red Hat ensure that you have access to the latest updates and prompt assistance when needed.

On the other hand, if you are a small business, an individual user, or a non-profit organization with limited resources, CentOS can be a viable option. It provides a stable and reliable environment without the need for expensive subscriptions, making it an attractive choice for those on a tight budget.


In conclusion, while RHEL and CentOS share a common foundation, they are not the same. RHEL is a commercially supported distribution with comprehensive support and regular updates, whereas CentOS is a free and community-supported alternative. The choice between the two depends on your specific needs and resources. Whether you opt for RHEL or CentOS, both operating systems offer a robust and reliable Linux environment.