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September 28, 2023

After CentOS 7 End of Life: Long-Term Support Outlook

Operating Systems
Open Source

CentOS 7 end of life is coming, with community support ending on June 30, 2024. How did we get here and what is the impact to CentOS 7 support?

In this blog, we discuss the impact of CentOS EOL, look at the current options for organizations seeking CentOS 7 support, and discuss the long-term support outlook for those using the last community-supported version of CentOS.

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The Current CentOS 7 Support Lifecycle

On December 8, 2020, the CentOS project and Red Hat simultaneously announced that they were switching focus to CentOS Stream and updating the end-of-life (EOL) for CentOS 8 at the end of 2021 (a shocking 8 years ahead of schedule).

However, the announced EOL for CentOS 8 has no impact to CentOS 7. The CentOS project continues to publish updates until the set end of Maintenance Support set for June 30, 2024. This CentOS 7 EOL date means it will complete its full 10-year life cycle.

Start Planning Your Move From CentOS 7

Whether you need LTS to stay on CentOS 7 beyond community end of life, help choosing a solid migration path for your business, or technical support for your current CentOS 7 deployments, our Enterprise Linux experts can help.

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CentOS 7 Support Lifecycle Overview

CentOS Version

Release Date

Community Support EOL

Support Via OpenLogic

CentOS 7

July 2014

June 30, 2024

OpenLogic CentOS LTS available through December 2029

Is CentOS 7 Still Supported?

Yes, CentOS 7 is currently the only supported CentOS version: CentOS Linux 7 continues to receive community updates and security patches through June 2024.

CentOS Linux 7 has gone through several phases in its lifecycle though, and it is currently in the “Maintenance Support 2” phase where only what the CentOS maintainers and Red Hat consider to be critical bug and high-severity security vulnerabilities are addressed via a patch release.

CentOS 7 will remain in this phase until it reaches EOL. The phase began in August 2020 and took CentOS 7 out of “Maintenance Phase 1” which, along with General Availability, is where most of the changes, including minor releases, occur.

On-Demand Webinar: Planning for CentOS 7 EOL 
 

CentOS 7 End of Life Date

CentOS Linux 7 will reach end of life on June 30, 2024, the same date that RHEL 7 enters the next vendor support phase: RHEL 7 Extended Lifecycle Support. After this date, CentOS 7 will no longer receive any security updates or bug fixes.

Will the CentOS 7 EOL Date Change?

With less than a year to go before CentOS 7 EOL, we don’t expect any date changes. 

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Support Options After CentOS 7 EOL

With CentOS 7 being current, there are several support options, including 1) community self-support where in public forums users can ask community members for assistance, 2) acquiring the upstream product, RHEL, through Red Hat, paying for the software and technical support, and 3) enterprise-grade community open source support by OpenLogic.

Upstream Vendor Support for CentOS 7 

Red Hat supports CentOS 7 through bug reports filed against RHEL 7 in Bugzilla.

Bugs filed in Bugzilla don’t always get the attention that many of us think that they should receive, but at least the problem is documented for others encountering the same problem. 

Should your issue be addressed by Red Hat, there’s no guarantee of quick turnaround — unless it is something they consider high priority. Often solutions (links to upstream patches, directly submitted patches, etc.) take months to be included in a RHEL release. If the version of RHEL that you filed the bug against is no longer the current minor release, you may find the ticket gets closed without resolution.

That said, it is good to be able to reference a Bugzilla issue when reporting the issue through other support channels.

You can also submit issues at the CentOS project but it must be specific to CentOS and not RHEL.

Upstream Maintainer Support for CentOS 7 

Sometimes the fastest way to get an issue resolved with a package is to take the issue directly to the programmers who maintain the original package that Red Hat includes with RHEL.

If the problem is not present in the version(s) that the maintainers publish, probably due to a configuration or code change implemented by Red Hat, the upstream folks will likely reject your support request.

When the problem is present in the original code, most projects want to hear about the issue directly. The people responsible for the projects often have a reputation to uphold, even if it’s only the reputation of the project and not for themselves.

The upside to upstream support is that issues can usually be resolved faster than the upstream vendor support option, provided that the project is being actively developed. The downside is that Red Hat is not likely to incorporate a fix from the package upstream in a future update or release any time soon unless they rebase the package on a newer version.

Community Support for CentOS 7

Another support channel is community support, aka peer support. This method can be hit or miss because it is the equivalent of casting your question out to a large group of people without knowing the background of the respondents or the quality of the response that you reel back to shore.

Community support can be obtained through mailing lists, chat/IRC servers, or online groups.

If the problem is commonly encountered or you happen to catch the eye of someone who knows exactly what is wrong, or at least how to troubleshoot the issue properly, community support can be a wonderful option.

On the other hand, an uncommon (or never-seen-before) issue can result in little (or no) response, delayed responses, wrong responses, or accidental misinformation.

The people responding to community support requests often have a genuine desire to help you, but they have no real incentive to solve your problem. 

Commercial Support for CentOS 7 

Purchasing RHEL does not give you support on CentOS; it’s buying an equivalent commercial Linux distribution.

RHEL subscriptions include commercial support with response time commitments via Service Level Agreements (SLAs). However, Red Hat does not offer technical support for CentOS 7, only for RHEL 7.

This is where 3rd party support for CentOS 7 from OpenLogic can be an excellent option.

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OpenLogic Support for CentOS 7

OpenLogic provides technical support, unbiased vendor-neutral guidance and long-term support (LTS) for CentOS. OpenLogic’s team of expert architects and engineers can provide support for CentOS 6, 7, and 8, whether it is a problem with one package, the entire system, or interoperability with other open source packages. 

CentOS 7 LTS, which includes patches for high-severity CVEs, starts when CentOS 7 reaches EOL on June 30, 2024. Teams that sign up for LTS before June 30 will get technical support and early access to our private repository so they can start integrating their repos/mirrors/package management systems and testing connections. 

OpenLogic also offers LTS for CentOS 6 and 8, and those patches are available in the same private repository.

Get a Quote for CentOS EOL Support

For all versions of CentOS, OpenLogic provides LTS and technical support that includes unbiased migration guidance from real Linux experts. Click the button below to request a custom quote today. 

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Additional Resources

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