Top five reasons to move from CentOS to RHEL (according to Red Hat)

Feeding IBM's bottom line not in the list

Red Hat has given five reasons for users to move from CentOS to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, though it was initially reluctant to disclose them.

The company's post comes as the countdown to the end of life for CentOS 7 becomes ever more difficult for administrators to ignore. At the end of June 2024, maintenance updates for the venerable operating system will cease, and unless the admins turn to a third party for further updates, a migration to an alternative must happen.

The impending demise of CentOS has not come as a surprise. In 2020, Red Hat announced that the CentOS project – a non-commercial Linux distribution that tracked Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) – would become CentOS Stream and follow a development branch of RHEL. It would thus be less than useful as something to host production workloads.

The decision spawned distributions, including Rocky Linux and AlmaLinux, both of which aimed for RHEL compatibility. Red Hat then changed the terms under which the code for RHEL would be made available, making only CentOS Stream source available to all, which was shortly followed by the formation of the Open Enterprise Linux Association (OpenELA) by SUSE, CIQ, and Oracle among others, and the frankly surreal sight of Oracle riding to the rescue of open source.

No, you really couldn't make it up.

We were, therefore, keen to learn what Red Hat thought were the top five reasons to convert from CentOS to RHEL. Other than ensuring IBM's bottom line is kept healthy, of course.

However, it appears that we weren't alone in wondering what would make a CentOS user opt for a RHEL subscription. All this morning, Red Hat's site only served up: "We'll be back soon. Thank you for your patience."

Red Hat "We'll be back soon" screen

Red Hat "We'll be back soon" screen

We notified Red Hat of the problem and were told it was a "minor cache issue," and all was eventually made well. The company's reasons to move include access to its Insights platform and expert knowledge, a decade of updates, training and certification, and reliability.

While worthy, we're not sure all represent excellent reasons. AlmaLinux, for example, will keep the support lights on for ten years, and CentOS users will be well used to using the community for "expert knowledge." ®

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