Why your current CentOS version will likely be your last
Back in December 2020, when CentOS announced CentOS 8 would become end of life (EOL) in December of 2021 we, like many others, were shocked. CentOS 7 does not turn EOL until 2024 so why is CentOS being pushed to EOL in 2021?
The answer from CentOS was that they want to reposition the software to become a midstream product. CentOS is the free version of Red Hat Linux (RHEL®) and gets new features years after they have been implemented in Red Hat (RHEL®). This made CentOS perfect for the hosting industry because the features have been tested for years and are therefore almost always 100% free of bugs.
So why will this likely be your last CentOS version?
With CentOS being repositioned to the midstream, features will be added more quickly. Have less testing, and will therefore be less stable. Couple that with the inability to upgrade between CentOS versions, CentOS is no longer an attractive Operating System.
cPanel responded to this by announcing that they will now default to the AlmaLinux server OS produced by CloudLinux. AlmaLinux is a fork of RHEL® 8. Users of CentOS 7 have until June 30th 2024 to decide on an option to replace CentOS 7 and uses who have only just upgraded to CentOS 8 only have until December 31 2021 to upgrade. That’s why your current CentOS version will likely be the last you ever use. In a production environment anyway.
This announcement has serious implications for many users. Currently, CentOS is the most popular Linux OS around. Everyone who has a cPanel server is affected by this. Some users will need years to plan an upgrade path. For us, the upgrade from CentOS 6 to CentOS 7 took over 12 months and plans for the retirement of CentOS on our NVMe VPS network are well underway. This will impact all VPS users and customers who use CentOS should consider if it’s viable to continue using it.
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