Red Hat Continues Pleading The Case For Its CentOS Changes

Written by Michael Larabel in Red Hat on 19 December 2020 at 09:47 AM EST. 86 Comments
Taking many by surprise was the news last week of CentOS 8 being EOL'ed next year as what has been a popular downstream of Red Hat Entrprise Linux that is free of charge and often adapted for use within large organizations. Instead, IBM-owned Red Hat is looking to position CentOS "Stream" in front of RHEL as its upstream. That still isn't sitting over well for many and today is a new post on the CentOS Blog.

Other enterprise Linux distributions have been looking to make use of the situation in attracting CentOS users looking for a new home to the likes of Oracle Linux as well as some working to create new CentOS-like distributions like Rocky Linux. Red Hat though still is expressing optimism that CentOS Stream will work out for around "95%" of current workloads and they will be rolling out some new, yet-to-be-announced options for helping to fill the gap (presumably some expansion of their free RHEL Developer Program or other low-cost, self-service RHEL pricing option).

Karsten Wade who has been one of the original CentOS board members, longtime Fedora contributor, and a senior community architect for Red Hat penned a new CentOS blog post today that continues to plead their case. It basically lays out the case from the open-source perspective that the move is great since RHEL is to no longer be developed behind a "firewall" but will have an open-source upstream with CentOS Stream and thus will also be able to foster more community involvement and transparency.

From that perspective, CentOS Stream is great for RHEL. But the move less so for those looking for a free lunch in the form of CentOS (non-Stream). For those that may be less than happy with this shift, Wade noted, "I am confident that CentOS Stream can cover 95% (or so) of current user workloads stuck on the various sides of the availability gap. I believe that Red Hat will make solutions available as well that can cover other sides of the gap without too much user heartburn in the end. Beginning now is the time to genuinely help the CentOS Project understand what you need in a CentOS Linux replacement, in some detail. Even your angriest of posts are being read, and your passionate viewpoints are being seen and understood. I’m not the only Linux old-timer working on this."

Ultimately Red Hat has now established a "CentOS questions" email address where they are seeking feedback good or bad about the planned changes. The email address redirects to Red Hat's (non-sales) business unit. Wade ended with, "It is hard to balance the needs and processes of making business decisions with the needs and processes of making open community decisions. Arguably, Red Hat has been among the best organizations at straddling this hard, thin line. If you trust our code enough to run it for this long, I ask you to trust us to make good decisions here. I ask you to trust Red Hat and the CentOS Board to work with you to find a way to bring the community along into the next chapter."

The new email address for feedback and other commentary on the planned CentOS change via the blog.
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