Since 2004 CentOS has been a free downstream clone of RHEL. Red Hat’s decision late last year to repeal CentOS Linux, the widely used free version of its commercial RHEL, left a gap. Immediately after Red Hat made the announcement, several software companies did what was necessary to fill it.
Gregory Kurtzer, the originator behind CentOS, has come out with a Rocky Linux, distribution that will serve as a perfect replacement for CentOS. Rocky Linux also has officially been released as an RC candidate in May.
Now there is CentOS Linux 8 (2105) as its equivalent to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4. So, let’s focus on it.
What has been changed in CentOS 8 (2105)
Of particular note, this release adds the following new versions of software in optional module streams.
- Python 3.9
- SWIG 4.0
- Subversion 1.14
- Redis 6
- PostgreSQL 13
- MariaDB 10.5
Since the initial release of CentOS Linux 8, the boot ISO has suffered from a number of issues that resulted in users needing to enter a mirror URL manually. With this release the boot ISO will now default to using the closest mirror and no longer require entering a mirror URL manually.
The CentOS devs recently enabled downgradeable packages in CentOS Stream 8, and have brought that same change to CentOS Linux 8 (2105). Going forward users will be able to dnf downgrade packages if multiple packages are available.
For more details you can check out the full Release Notes.
Support for CentOS 8 is slated to be discontinued at the end of this year, while support for CentOS 7 will continue through June 30, 2024, its originally scheduled end of life.