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CentOS 8.0 is almost ready (centos.org)
55 points by znpy 56 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 27 comments

Since threads about incremental releases are inevitably discussions of the general product, we can wait until the release is ready.

Can someone weigh in on why CentOS lags behind Red Hat?

CentOS is blessed by Red Hat these days and I was under the impression that packages are essentially new compiles from the same sources as Red Hat. What causes delays?

(Asking out of pure interest, not malice in any form.)

A CentOS major release takes a lot of planning and changes in tooling as it is based on a much newer version of Fedora than previous versions. This means that everything from the installer, packages, packaging, and build systems need major overhauls to work with the newer OS. This means that there is always a ramp up period depending on the changes needed to make a rebuild work. The differences between EL-8 and EL-7 are no exception as the kernel has changed drastically, the repository format has added 'modules' and RPMS have grown many features that EL7 and before do not have. About the only item which has not drastically changed between EL7 and EL8 is the init system which is still systemd. [This is a first as EL5 had SysV, EL6 had Upstart, and EL7 had Systemd].


This doesn't really answer the question...

It did well enough? OP didn't ask why this release in particular seemed to lag behind more than other releases.

The answer to that was provided generally, but it's because CentOS had to redo their entire build system for 8.

The other half of the question is why centos has to wait until after RHEL8 is released to start the work instead of being given a month or two advanced access given their (quasi?) official status these days

I'm just speculating, but given that CentOS is (historically) pretty much identical for the most part to RHEL without the high licensing cost, there is little incentive for Redhat to ensure it is always available in lockstep with RHEL.

They make a lot of money from RHEL licenses so why give a clone of it away on day one of a major release.

The folks who use CentOS over RHEL wouldn’t likely use RHEL even if CentOS lagged much longer imho. You don’t buy RHEL generally because you want it faster, you buy it because you want the support.

Exactly. We use Redhat because our contract with our customer explicitly states that there has to be support from the OS vendor in place.

I think Red Hat isolates the Red Hat Linux development from CentOS to better differentiate it to their corporate customers. Basically they post the source packages and the CentOS team does their own thing.

It seems that they are not blessed by Red Hat as much as you might think. It's still community effort based on published sources. They don't have access to some secret know-how or some kind of closed early access to unpublished work.

I suspect it's because it takes time to remove references to Red Hat in packages (licenses, any proprietary bits, etc).

Since Red Hat make Red Hat and Red Hat also make CentOS, could Red Hat not simply ask Red Hat not to put in those references in the first place? Or when they do put them in to always include a flag to easily remove them?

Why ever would they do that?

The purpose of RHEL is not to build CentOS. It's to sell RHEL. Red Hat helps with CentOS because CentOS drives business to RHEL. That doesn't mean that Red Hat benefits by diluting their branding. Red Hat didn't become the biggest name in enterprise Linux by not putting their name on the product they're selling.

There is no central organization that is writing checks for the work in CentOS; this is being done either by volunteers, or by organizations which have loosely-aligned goals.

Oracle completed and announced their clone of Red Hat 8 on July 18th:


Oracle is generally faster than CentOS in reissuing upstream changes, and perhaps CentOS as a project was able to take some direction from the results of Oracle's speed and focus.

>There is no central organization that is writing checks for the work in CentOS

What are you talking about? Redhat acquired the CentOS project and hired the developers as full time employees dedicated to working on CentOS. There is absolutely an organization behind it and it is 100% not made up entirely of volunteers.


I was not aware of that. Thank you for the information.

In that case, I have no idea why there is an extensive delay.

The general steps are in the article, which seem like little work but this is a community effort, so it takes a while. Basically its rebranding, setting up build systems and doing QA on the changes.

I suspect that they want to keep their infrastructure and processes loosely coupled to the upstream to maintain independence. Given the fate of certain open source projects affiliated with large corporations (Sun's ones in particular come to mind) I think this is a prudent course of action.

they do not move fast and break (your) things

I've always found the relationship between RHEL and CentOS to be a bit odd. Ignoring the technology side of things, where I prefer some of the RHEL philosophy, using Ubuntu to gain the option of paid support makes a lot more sense, doesn't it?

How would I switch from being a CentOS shop to a RHEL shop if I all of a sudden find myself needing support?

I believe you can switch your yum (or dnf) repository to point to a Red Hat source, then use yum to reinstall all your packages from the RHEL equivalent. There's a couple tutorials out there for it, and once finished your system will look indistinguishable from the RHEL version.

Of course, if you are running your systems using modern devops design principles, then you can redeploy your infrastructure based on RHEL repositories instead of CentOS.

I don’t get why anyone would use CentOS if they didn’t have to for some reason. I can understand using Redhat for “company” reasons, but why restrict yourself by running CentOS if you don’t have a real reason to?

I would be inclined to see it the other way around. In most of the places where I have worked, there are enough people to provide support and build custom packages for the CentOS that paid Red Hat support makes little sense.

As to why you would use it vs other Linux distributions? It's well supported by commercial software, server hardware, and there's a large pool of people with Red Hat certification which is directly applicable to CentOS. It's also pretty mature and not prone to sudden changes.

I would imagine that most RHEL customers are to be found in more conservative sectors of business, but that could just be my personal biases :)

Exasol loves CentOS.


Let me show you how much they love CentOS:


Exasol and CentOS are alone in TPC-H database performance. There is no other competitive player.

So they charge for their software but deploy it on centos instead of rhel?

Yes, they do, and their TPC-H scores cannot be beaten. CentOS seems a reasonable choice, and likely drives down the TCO.

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