Red Hat defends CentOS decision following push back

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Timofeev Vladimir)

With no end to the backlash resulting from its decision to terminate CentOS in favour of CentOS Stream, Red Hat’s Karsten Wade put forth the company’s rationale behind the move in a blog post.

Writing in the official CentOS blog, Wade, a member of the CentOS Governing Board, and longtime Fedora Linux contributor, shared that he “was part of the consensus decision that we [CentOS] recently announced about shifting the project’s focus.”

His post gave a nice recap about Red Hat’s decision to step into the enterprise space, all the way back in 2003, its decision to join forces with CentOS in 2014, culminating with the shifting focus to CentOS Stream. “Essentially, Red Hat is filling the development and contribution gap that exists between Fedora and RHEL by shifting the place of CentOS from just downstream of RHEL to just upstream of RHEL,” Wade reasoned.

But what about the users?

CentOS Stream, Wade reasoned, was thought of as a way of making it easier for the community to contribute to RHEL. 

While there’s merit in Wade’s statement that CentOS Stream will help the community play an active role in the development of RHEL and fill the “openness gap”, he failed to acknowledge the angst from the largest segment of the CentOS community -- its users.

Unlike a typical open source project, the majority of the CentOS community was made up of users who were using the distro for its stability and binary compatibility with RHEL. 

It's them who have been venting their frustration and disappointment with the project’s move to abruptly discontinue CentOS 8 at the end of 2021, rescinding its original promise of support till 2029. 

Comments posted to Wade’s blog testify that his post fails to satisfy these users who continue to ask why the project couldn’t wait for the next release to announce the shift in focus, which would have given them ample time to evaluate options and plan the migration of their servers.

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.