CentOS Linux 8 EOL
December 31, 2021
In December 2020, the CentOS Project announced a series of changes. The three most important are:
- the creation of CentOS Stream and the consequent rename of CentOS (the classic Linux distribution the project is known for) in CentOS Linux
- the anticipation to today (31/12/2021) of the End Of Life for CentOS Linux 8
- the fact that CentOS Linux 8 is going to be the last and that from now on, only CentOS Stream will have new releases
That announcement created a lot of different sentiments in the community and even more among the CentOS Linux users. As many predicted, multiple solutions are now available for the users that used to be on CentOS Linux.
If you want to have a little bit more updates that you used to have with CentOS Linux and you can accept a shorter life cycle (5 years instead of 10), you will probably find in CentOS Stream the best replacement for CentOS Linux.
If you are looking for something that can deliver you the same experience as CentOS Linux (10 years of support), you can look to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, AlmaLinux OS, or Rocky Linux.
In the last year, Red Hat has improved the Developer Subscription as well as created multiple plans to provide Red Hat Enterprise Linux for free, so it would make sense to have a read at the information page to see if your use-case falls into one of the free ones.
Another option is looking at AlmaLinux OS or Rocky Linux, two distributions created after the CentOS announcement to fill the void that CentOS Linux would have left.
Consider that all those alternatives provide scripts to change distribution in place without having to reinstall the operating system and reconfigure it appropriately.
This change has been one of the biggest ones in the Linux space this year, if not the biggest one. Initially, many people were very critical of it, while many people changed their points of view during the year. An example of someone who had this journey is Greg Kurtzer, co-founder of CentOS in an interview with TechRepublic confirmed his change of mind.
I have seen this change very positively from the beginning since this change allows for more community contribution and the creation of a real community around CentOS Stream (and derivated). Still, only time will confirm or deny my optimism.