When it comes to Linux, CentOS is a prominent name. This is because it is a clone of the largest enterprise Linux distribution available today: Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). CentOS is not just like RHEL, it’s exactly the same, only it’s not branded Red Hat.
What is CentOS?
Like RHEL, CentOS is an enterprise Linux distribution. In fact, CentOS stands for “Community Enterprise Operating System”. Because it uses the same source code as RHEL, CentOS can do almost everything RHEL can do. And it has compatibility with anything that works on RHEL.
CentOS is mainly aimed at servers and workstations. Like RHEL, it’s built with stability first. You won’t find some of the latest features or flashy software on CentOS, but it’s capable of running your web applications with virtually no downtime.
Why choose CentOS?
If you’ve ever purchased a shared web hosting service aka shared hosting, chances are you’re already using CentOS. That’s because most web hosting companies depend on CentOS for nearly all of their operations.
If you don’t believe it, try to find out how many web hosting services advertise that they support cPanel? And cPanel only runs on RHEL and CentOS systems. And the cost of installing RHEL is very expensive, so CentOS is likely the Linux distribution behind all those hosting packages.
This brings up a major point about CentOS’s role in the Linux ecosystem. Since CentOS is a clone of RHEL, it allows businesses to take advantage of Red Hat technologies without paying any fees. IT managers can purchase RHEL for their most important devices and deploy CentOS to other machines on the same system to save money.
CentOS also benefits from Red Hat’s training programs. An administrator who participates and receives a Red Hat training certificate will apply the knowledge he has learned to run CentOS. As a result, there are many professionals with experience working with both RHEL and CentOS.
Should you choose CentOS?
CentOS is easily the best choice for a free server distribution. For both small and medium businesses. It also has the advantage of being one of the most widely supported distributions, so it shouldn’t be difficult to seek help or hire someone to maintain your system.
Should you use CentOS for everyday personal use? The answer is no. CentOS is more suitable for professional applications, you will not want to use software for 5 years without any improvements or upgrades and lack of multimedia and entertainment applications. And that’s not what CentOS was created for.
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What’s new in CentOS 8?
The release of CentOS 8 on September 24, 2019, brings a new version of everything. The slow-release cycle of CentOS and RHEL leaves the software unchanged for many years. CentOS brings upgraded versions to the GNOME desktop environment, PHP, Python, Ruby, Git and every tool and utility you can name.
CentOS 8 brings a management feature that is already popular on Fedora, which is Cockpit. The cockpit is designed as a web management interface for network administrators to access all systems from a single place.
CentOS 8 has two main software repositories, BaseOS and Application Stream or AppStream.
AppStream is an option store that provides stable updates to apps and is a great choice for touch devices.
CentOS package manager YUM has been upgraded to its fourth version. The tool is based on Fedora’s DNF package manager. So now we can use DNF to completely replace YUM.
If you are wondering whether to update to CentOS 8, the simple answer is YES.
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Download CentOS 8
The CentOS Project offers two versions in this release, named CentOS Linux and CentOS Stream.
CentOS Linux is a stable release that inherits the source code from Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Download CentOS Linux here.
CentOS Stream is an experimental release for the next version of RHEL. The order is as follows: Fedora Linux >> CentOS Stream >> RHEL Release >> CentOS Linux. Download CentOS Stream here.