CentOS Stream 9 is Now Generally Available

The distro is based on Fedora 34, the same code base that RHEL 9 uses.

CentOS Stream saw the light of day in 2019 and fundamentally changed the work on the distribution. At the end of 2020, the announcement that Red Hat will shift its focus from CentOS Linux to CentOS Stream caused heated discussions.

As you can imagine, many users were not satisfied with this decision. As a result, some replacement CentOS clones such as AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux soon came into play, which are now also generally available.

Now the new CentOS project is showing off the latest and greatest in the first all-new release of CentOS Stream 9.

CentOS Stream 9 Boot Menu

Updates posted to Stream are identical to those posted to the unreleased minor version of RHEL. The aim? For CentOS Stream to be as fundamentally stable as RHEL itself.

Rich Bowen, CentOS Manager at Red Hat

CentsOS Stream 9 Highlights

CentOS Stream 9 Desktop

According to Red Hat, CentOS Stream 9 is geared towards stability and reliability – software and its updates must meet the same standards as for RHEL’s nightly builds. In other words, the updates posted to CentOS Stream are identical to those posted to the unreleased minor version of RHEL.

The graphic shown below shows the path of CentOS Stream 9 from the branch of Fedora 34 to becoming the forefront of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 development in the future.

CentOS Stream 9 as an downstream ro RHEL 9

In other words, what CentOS Stream 9 looks like now is what Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 will look like in the near future.

If you’re familiar with software development, you can envision CentOS Stream starting out as a branch of a stable Fedora release, and RHEL as a branch from there. Within RHEL, minor releases are also branches that have their own life cycle.

Red Hat does additional development of their enterprise components and processes in Stream, and when that work is ready, it’s released. Some of those changes can be merged into RHEL and released immediately, but other updates are only allowed by the RHEL model at point releases, so they’re queued until the point release when they can be merged into the RHEL branch.

CentOS Stream 9 includes upgrades that will help keep users in front of the latest technologies. Some of them are:

On the desktop side, CentOS Stream 9 offers the GNOME 40 desktop, which comes with its own set of new features. Under the hood the distro is powered by the Linux 5.14 kernel series.


If you’re looking to give CentOS Stream 9 a try, download an ISO from the official download page. You can get versions for 64-bit x86, 64-bit ARM, and IBM Power architectures.

You can write this image to a USB stick, or boot the image in virtual machine software such as a VirtualBox.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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