Wednesday, 16 December 2020 09:32

CloudLinux becomes second project to offer CentOS replacement

CloudLinux becomes second project to offer CentOS replacement Image by Gergely from Pixabay

The people behind CloudLinux, a hardened distribution based on CentOS and meant for businesses, have announced a new community initiative named Project Lenix which they say will build a replacement for CentOS, a distribution which was killed by Red Hat on 9 December AEDT.

In a statement on Tuesday, CloudLinux said it would devote US$1 million (A$1.32 million) to create "a free, open-source, community-driven, 1:1 binary compatible fork of RHEL 8 and future releases".

CloudLinux founder and chief executive Igor Seletskiy said the first release from Project Lenix could be expected in the first quarter of 2021.

"It is a standalone, completely free OS sponsored and maintained by CloudLinux, support of the future RHEL releases, governed by the members of the community," he said.

CentOS was a derivative of Red Hat Enterprise Linux with the trademarks removed. It was started in 2002 by Gregory M. Kurtzer, chief executive of a company known as Control Command, and was initially intended "to be a build platform for the new RPM-based community-maintained distribution Caos Linux".

"When it was designed to be released to the public, it was originally coined as Caos-EL (Enterprise Linux) and it was renamed publicly in December 2003 to what it is known as today," Kurtzer says on his website.

But Red Hat took over the project in 2014 and since then maintained it, meaning that those who could not afford — or did not need — support contracts, could run a distribution the same as RHEL.

In its announcement killing off CentOS, Red Hat's community manager Rich Bowen said CentOS Linux 8, as a rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, would be decommissioned at the end of 2021.

Instead, Bowen said, "The future of the CentOS Project is CentOS Stream, and over the next year we’ll be shifting focus from CentOS Linux, the rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, to CentOS Stream, which tracks just ahead of a current RHEL release."

Project Lenix is the second effort to provide a replacement for CentOS; Kurtzer said last week he was setting up a new distribution called Rocky Linux, aiming to replicate what he did with CentOS.

Seletskiy, who started CloudLinux in 2009, said: "CloudLinux has all the infrastructure, software and experience to do this and a large staff of developers and maintainers that have a decade of experience in building an RHEL fork, starting from RHEL 5 to RHEL 8.

"We expect that this project will put CloudLinux on the map of open-source software, and allow people to discover our rebootless update software and Extended Lifecycle Support for end-of-life operating systems."

Seletskiy said CloudLinux planned to make all the build and test software free, open-sourced, easy to set up, "so if we ever go in the wrong direction, the community can just pick up where we left off".

"If you are running CentOS 8, we will release an OS very similar to CentOS 8 based on RHEL 8 stable. We will provide stable and well-tested updates until 2029 for free. You will be able to convert from CentOS 8 at any moment by running a single command that switches repositories and keys."

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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