The Future of CentOS and Criteria For Choosing a Business Distribution

Article Source ONLamp
August 6, 2009, 10:04 am

Over the past week or so CentOS has received a lot of press, much of it rather unflattering. For those not familiar with the Community Enterprise Operating System (which is what CentOS stands for) it describes itself as “Ôªøan Enterprise-class Linux Distribution derived from sources freely provided to the public by a prominent North American Enterprise Linux vendor.” What they can’t say on the website is that the vendor in question is Red Hat and that the sources are those for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. What CentOS and a few other Enterprise Linux clones do is take Red Hat’s source code, which is licensed under the GPL, remove all the trademarked logos and, at least in theory, the corporate identity, and deliver an unbranded version at no cost. ¬†

I’ve used CentOS extensively over the past four years or so as an alternative to the commercial Enterprise Linux offering when individuals, companies or organizations wanted the stability, reliability, and reputation of the upstream Enterprise Linux but didn’t want to or simply couldn’t afford the software subscription cost. Many companies will choose to have licensed and fully supported Red Hat Enterprise Linux production servers but will use the no cost alternatives on development boxes which simply aren’t mission critical…

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