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CentOS 8: a clone that reinvents itself

October 17, 2019

CentOS 8: a clone that reinvents itself

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Experience the new RHEL with CentOS 8 and CentOS 8 Stream

It has taken much longer than usual for the CentOS team to provide us with a new version of their operating system; however, the wait is over. The new CentOS 8 is here.

Some General Information

CentOS, or Community ENTerprise Operating System, is a binary-level clone of the RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) distribution that can be accessed for free. For those unfamiliar with Red Hat, Red Hat offers open source, enterprise-oriented software solutions with enterprise-level support.

One month after the release of the last stable release of version 7 and after the release of RHEL 8, we can download from the official website both the new stable version of the new CentOS 8 and the “Stream” version. Published on September 24, 2019, CentOS 8 is available for x86_64, ARM, IBM Power System architectures, and more.

One CentOS 8, two versions

CentOS has always been a benchmark for stability, and it is not surprising, since it is derived, as we mentioned earlier, from RHEL, which is one of the most robust operating systems available, whose focus is entirely aimed at delivering software solutions to companies, where the reliability and stability of systems is key.

From the first version to the previous stable version, CentOS, unlike other distributions, had a single edition of its operating system. With the arrival of Centos 8, this has changed for the first time. Not only is the stable “Classic” edition of CentOS available, there is also the “Stream” version.

Centos 8 Stream is a developer edition with a rolling-release update model. This means that during your upgrade cycle, instead of presenting a new version, with all your packages updated, it allows your users to update the packages as soon as they are available in the repositories.

It should be noted that this Stream edition is not intended for production environments and that its function, to a certain extent, is to fill the gap that exists between Fedora and RHEL, offering developers an environment in which to test and stay updated on new improvements that will be published in future versions of RHEL.

This relationship between RHEL and CentOS is nothing new, as in January 2014 Red Hat announced, in a statement on its website, that “Red Hat and the CentOS project are joining forces to accelerate open source innovation.

Among the most outstanding features of this edition we have:

  • The well-known Cockpit server administration web interface is available by default. From here you can perform from basic tasks of monitoring a server, administer storage or review logs, to manage containers. Everything from a browser.
  • Integrated support for PHP 7.2 as a stable version offered natively.
  • The Nginx server in version 1.14 is available in the repositories. With this you have the possibility to serve web content, email or configure proxy servers.
  • A new version of YUM based on DNF, which stands out for its friendly syntax and presents the outputs of the console in a more orderly way, while still being compatible with YUM v3.
  • The RPM package management tool in its version 4.14 is distributed with the new CentOS 8. This validates the entire contents of the package before proceeding to install it.
  • A new independent repository for the Stream version of Centos 8, which is also presented as a “Rolling-Release” distribution, as we mentioned earlier, which fills the gap between RHEL and Fedora in terms of updates, making it the perfect candidate for developers to anticipate what will be available in the RHEL version.
  • Support for up to 4 Petabytes of memory, or 4,000 Terabytes. The previous version supported a maximum of 64TB.
  • In this version Wayland will be the default graphical server accompanied by GNOME, although not all Wayland enhancements will be available in CentOS.
  • The veteran iptables in this edition will be replaced by nftables as a network packet filtering framework. Which, in turn, will be the backend for the firewall demon.
  • The default version of Python is 3.6.

These are the most relevant new features of CentOS 8; there are also changes at the kernel and file system level.

CentOS 8 in real life

CentOS as a project has more than ten years behind it, offering features and stability to countless developments of all kinds. From a small server that gives life to an institution’s web portal, to complex implementations with critical applications for large companies.

Therefore, it is not surprising that this reliability invites users to build their projects that require a robust environment, using CentOS as the basis on which they can deliver the best results without having to invest valuable time solving incidents outside the project itself.

An example of this is Pandora FMS, a monitoring solution oriented to all kind of environments. Designed to serve as a multipurpose monitoring tool to manage the entire infrastructure, without incurring additional investments of time or money.

Pandora FMS is based on CentOS and recently published an update for its community edition, Pandora FMS 7.0 NG 739, that includes a series of new features and allows, through its download and installation, the monitoring of mixed environments that can include from desktop computers, servers, network appliance and printers, to mobiles or any device that has a network connection.

To learn more about this monitoring solution and what it can offer, you can visit this link.

If you want to try out the community version.

If you have a complex infrastructure and you prefer to receive support during the implementation to get the most out of Pandora FMS Enterprise version, then click here.

To sum up

CentOS 8 is now available; the announcement of collaboration between Red Hat and CentOS is made tangible through Centos 8 Stream. While the wait was a little longer than usual, this new edition comes with more than ten new features aimed at improving the user experience, performance and functionality of the distribution without compromising its typical stability, to continue providing the solid foundation that any implementation requires.


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