Is CentOS still good for server?

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hack3rcon
Posts: 734
Joined: 2014/11/24 11:04:37

Is CentOS still good for server?

Post by hack3rcon » 2021/01/06 14:12:46

Hello,
Is CentOS still good for servers?

Thanks.

hawaiian717
Posts: 180
Joined: 2009/01/30 19:58:25
Location: California

Re: Is CentOS still good for server?

Post by hawaiian717 » 2021/01/26 00:10:56

Nothing has technologically changed about CentOS since last month. So if CentOS was good for you before, it's still good for you now.

The question is, knowing that CentOS as we know it has a limited future, is it something you want to deal with?

Will your server want to run past December 2021? Then you may not want to use CentOS 8, as it won't get any more updates after that. You could set it up with CentOS 8, and at some point in this year convert it to another rebuild distribution such as Rocky Linux or AlmaLinux once they're released. If you don't need to set it up now, you could wait for them to come out. Or you could use an existing rebuild distribution such as Oracle Linux or Springdale. Or you could use Red Hat Enterprise Linux itself, which now allows production use for up to 16 systems with the free developer subscription. Any of these options get you a system that's more or less the same as CentOS 8.

If your server doesn't need to run past 2024, you could install CentOS 7. But keep in mind that once that reaches end of life in 2024, it will stop getting updates too, so you'll need to rebuild the server on a newer distribution, so in my mind it's probably better to start now with something longer lasting. 2024 is the EOL date for RHEL7 itself, so other rebuild distributions (both Oracle and Springdale have RHEL7 derivatives) will also end updates at the same time.

You could also use CentOS Stream. The difference between CentOS Stream and CentOS Linux as we know it today is that CentOS Stream is ahead of RHEL. It gets package updates that are intended for the next point release of RHEL. In other words, what's going into CentOS Stream now will eventually be released as RHEL 8.4. It may well be fine for your purposes (Facebook uses CentOS Stream as a starting point for their servers), but know that it's more likely to run into unexpected problems as things get upgraded. Whereas CentOS Linux, Oracle Linux, Springdale, Rocky Linux, and AlmaLinux all rebuild from the sources from Red Hat after they're released, so they're always a bit behind RHEL.

Would I build a server today on CentOS 8? Probably not. In the interim I would use Oracle, as much as many people despise them, as it exists today and has been around for a while, while continuing to keep an eye on Rocky Linux and AlmaLinux. I would also consider the new RHEL developer subscription now that it can be used in production. I honestly haven't really looked at Springdale, but it exists and has apparently been around even longer than CentOS (it's maintained by a group at Princeton University). Sure, CentOS 8 will still get patches for the rest of the year, but I know I'm just setting myself up for having to migrate the server later this year, while with Oracle or RHEL I still have the option to migrate but don't have to (presuming nothing else changes).

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