With official support for a stable CentOS 8 Linux operating system ending December 31st from Red Hat, dedicated, long-time corporate users of the operating system have been trying to figure out what to do to keep their critical IT infrastructures running safely afterwards the deadline expires.
For corporate users who aren’t ready to switch operating systems by then, the CentOS alternative, CloudLinux, recently offered an answer to the puzzle – the company is now offering CentOS 8 users paid professional support to fill the gap and address their operating system requirements Stay on course.
These extended updates and support for CentOS 8 users will be available through December 31, 2025 through CloudLinux TuxCare Extended Lifecycle Services, a division of CloudLinux. The new support services include 24/7 support and updates for system components on Linux operating systems that are no longer supported by their original providers. The new CentOS 8 support will be provided along with the existing expanded support for users of Ubuntu 16.04, CentOS 6 and Oracle 6, according to the company.
This gives CentOS users more time to work out their plans and possibly move to one of several CentOS replacement operating systems for their corporate workloads. These users could of course switch to another operating system before the December 31st deadline set by Red Hat this year, but for many organizations this would be a hardship and difficult to accomplish in a short period of time. The extended support from CloudLinux offers many business customers a lifeline.
Red Hat caused a stir in the CentOS user community in December 2020 when it announced that it would no longer offer the open source CentOS Linux OS as a stable release, but only as a rolling release with frequent changes under the name CentOS Strom. For companies using CentOS 8, this was a major dilemma as they needed a stable update and support plan for their production work. By moving from CentOS to CentOS Stream, Red Hat will turn it into a rolling version with frequent updates, essentially turning it into a beta operating system that is no longer suitable for reliable production workloads.
Previously, the latest CentOS 8 version was expected to be supported by 2029.
CentOS – which stands for Community Enterprise Linux Operating System – was founded in 2004 and was based on the code of Red Hat Linux 2.1 before Red Hat Linux developed and aimed directly at companies and became RHEL.
When Red Hat announced the upcoming changes in December, it said the move to CentOS Stream “is the best way to continue driving Linux innovation” while keeping open source developers, hardware and software creators, individual contributors and system administrators “A closer connection to” have the development of the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform. “
But instead of understanding the understanding of dedicated CentOS users, loud complaints and concerns quickly came from the user community, which within a few weeks inspired several open source community groups to plan alternatives that users could include and transition from now doomed can use CentOS 8 stable version.
CentOS alternatives included a project, originally codenamed Lenix by CloudLinux, that offers a paid Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 (RHEL 8) / CentOS clone developed for hosting providers.
In mid-January, the Lenix project was renamed and steered in a focused direction, transforming it into AlmaLinux, a 1: 1 binary-compatible branch of RHEL that is CentOS-compatible, free to use and based on open source, just like CentOS. The first code for the project began as a RHEL fork in December and was released as the first official AlmaLinux version on March 30, a week after Red Hat released its stable version of RHEL 8.
In August, AlmaLinux was made available in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, which makes it more believable with CentOS Linux users who need a new plan for their operating system future by December 31st, source and forever free enterprise-class Linux distribution based on RHEL. It’s 1: 1 binary compatible with RHEL, making it relatively easy for users to switch to it in the future if they want to switch, the company said.
Other CentOS alternatives are Rocky Linux, which launched in June. The development of Rocky Linux – named in tribute to the late CentOS co-founder Rocky McGaugh – was initiated by Gregory M. Kurtzer, the co-founder of the original CentOS distribution and the inventor of Singularity and Warewulf.
Several IT analysts told EnterpriseAI that CloudLinux’s move to offer expanded professional support so CentOS 8 users can stick with their operating system choice is a benefit for existing users.
“Developing, packaging and supporting Linux distributions – own and third-party – is one of the most mature and proven open source business models out there,” said Bill Weinberg, open source strategist at Open Source Sense. “In fact, this model was the original growth engine for Red Hat and the impetus for the creation of similarly functioning CentOS and comparable distributions.”
Historically, the distribution building and support business has been fragmented and faced predictable scaling challenges due to both structural and market size issues, Weinberg said. “But RHEL’s profitability, ubiquity, and commercial nature, along with the need to scale up its cloud-based application delivery massively, created the environment for CentOS to succeed,” he added. “When Red Hat tried to limit the usefulness of CentOS by first subsuming the distribution and then changing the release cycle, the open source giant actually added value to RHEL workalikes and created an opportunity for CloudLinux and [others]. “
However, Tux support raises a number of questions for users, including how quickly and directly CloudLinux can distribute bug fixes and patches upstream, he said.
Another analyst, Rob Enderle, director of the Enderle Group, said that CloudLinux Tux support services will serve an important community need.
“Leaving without support is a platform killer, so any support that is offered will be appreciated by users,” said Enderle.
When asked if CentOS users can now relax about the future of the operating system, Enderle said they should still be careful.
“It will undoubtedly help, but determining adequacy will depend on the use case, the skills of the supporting organizations, and the long-term viability of that effort,” he said. “Long-term economic data may not make this a stopgap, but we will likely feel better after Red Hat pulls support and that is the only support left.”