Welcome to Your Ultimate CentOS Guide

Here, we compile dozens of resources to help you understand CentOS, make a decision on using CentOS, and get help using CentOS in everyday situations. We hope these CentOS guides will help you leverage CentOS for your business. 

You can read along or jump to the section that interests you most:


Why Is CentOS So Popular?

CentOS is a popular Linux distribution because it's an open source option derived from RHEL. The CentOS community is critical to the development and success of the distribution.

Many organizations — including large enterprises — choose Linux because it offers, freedom, flexibility, and cost-savings over expensive alternatives. 

It’s always important to start by evaluating your open source strategy before moving forward with any technology. Will you support CentOS yourself? Or will you partner with a vendor support? When backed by enterprise support, CentOS offers superior security and stability to help your business deliver ROI and accelerate innovation. 

Related CentOS Guides:

Versions of CentOS: Guides

There are several versions of CentOS available. And it's important to stay up-to-date on CentOS releases and news. 

For instance, CentOS versions typically EOL after 10 years. This means that CentOS 6 EOL is November 30, 2020. So is RHEL 6 EOL. If you're on RHEL 6, you'll need to act now to develop a long-term plan. Watch the video below for expert insight from Chief Architect Justin Reock.

Which CentOS Version Should I Use?

If you're just considering CentOS, you should consider CentOS 7, which will have community support until June 30, 2024, or CentOS Stream, which is will be the Red Hat preferred CentOS distribution going forward. 

While the CentOS 8 release brought new features and updates, (including boom, tlog, EL8, and stratis storage manager) Red Hat has revised the EOL date from the previously planned December 2029, to December of 2021.

For more information on CentOS 6, 7, 8, or Stream, be sure to browse the guides below. We also have a helpful FAQ on the CentOS 8 announcement for those who need a quick overview of what the change means.

Related CentOS Guides:

Comparisons: CentOS vs. Guides

CentOS isn't your only option for a Linux distribution. But it is often the best Linux distro for enterprises. 

So, how does CentOS compare to the other distros? 

Take CentOS vs. Red Hat. CentOS is actually derived from RHEL. And it is functionally equivalent to RHEL, too. CentOS does, however, have a release lag whenever RHEL releases — usually two months. RHEL, however, is costly while CentOS is free. 

Another comparison many consider is CentOS vs. Ubuntu. While CentOS is derived from RHEL, Ubuntu is derived from Debian. The core of both is the same — Linux. But CentOS has some advantages for the enterprise, including security and stability.

Enterprise Linux at a Fair Price

RHEL is expensive. CentOS is free, but doesn't come with support. So, how do you get enterprise Linux — with support — at a fair price? Get our recent white paper to find out. 

Get the White Paper


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Migration to CentOS Guides

Why Migrate?

Migrating to CentOS is a big decision.

Discover how CentOS compares for functional compatibility, licensing, support, cost, and the potential impacts to your existing stack. Justify your enterprise Linux migration. Watch the on-demand webinar below to learn how.

How Much You Can Save

Red Hat licensing costs a lot. Enterprises switching from Red Hat to CentOS typically save 50% or more in overall licensing and support costs. Determine how much you can save with this calculator.

Cost Calculator


Watch the video below to learn more about why cost is an important consideration in CentOS vs. Red Hat.


How to Migrate

If you're migrating to CentOS from Red Hat, you'll need to plan for how you'll support your migration. Watch the video below for expert tips. 


The CentOS migration process can be complicated. But it doesn't need to be a hassle. You can make your CentOS migration easier by enlisting expert help. In the meantime, check out these tips for migrating from RHEL 7.4 to CentOS 7.4.

To make your migration successful, identify and plan the different aspects of migration (such as install, configuration, staging, and testing). Discover how to plan a successful Linux migration by watching the on-demand webinar below.


Example of Successful Migrations

Countless businesses have made successful migrations to CentOS — and saved big. In fact, one financial services company achieved $1,000s in cost-savings and had a seamless transition by partnering with OpenLogic experts. Learn more about this successful CentOS migration for a financial services company.

You can also dive into an actual enterprise Linux migration by walking through the planning and execution of the process as seen by our customers. Walk through the migration in the webinar below.


Related CentOS Guides: 

How to Use CentOS: Guides for the Enterprise

You might install CentOS on Azure for your business. So, it's important to keep up with updates on CentOS releases for Azure. CentOS 7.4, for instance, included important security updates and networking enhancements. Staying up-to-date on releases can help you decide when you need to upgrade versions. (Upgrades are easier when you partner with the OpenLogic team.)

Or you might use CentOS on AWS. One important factor to consider is AWS images. You have different options for standard or security-hardened CentOS images on AWS, as you'll learn in the video below:

Those concerned with CentOS security should choose STIG- and CIS-hardened images for CentOS on AWS. Watch the video below to learn why security-hardened images are so important for the enterprise. 

As you're using CentOS in your enterprise, you can run into challenges from time-to-time. In fact, there are a couple of potential errors that could occur when using cloud init on CentOS. We put together a walkthrough for how to address and avoid these. Find out other cloud challenges and solutions in our Complete Guide to Enterprise Cloud,

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Support Options

OpenLogic offers similar support with CentOS that Red Hat offers with RHEL, but our team goes beyond the operating system layer and takes an architectural-level approach to tackling challenges.

Utilizing CentOS with OpenLogic eliminates license costs and vendor lock-in by adopting a truly open model. OpenLogic offers end-to-end open source services, including migration, support, and innovation. 

Experience the OpenLogic difference for yourself. Get real, consultative support from one of our Enterprise Architects, helping you solve real-world challenges with CentOS.

With OpenLogic's CentOS enterprise Linux support, you'll get:

  • 50% cost-savings.
  • Long-term support, including for CentOS 6 EOL.
  • Backporting.
  • Guaranteed SLAs.
  • Architectural minimization.
  • Multi-platform support.
  • CentOS distributions.
  • Expert guidance.

Find out how our experts can help you leverage CentOS in the enterprise. Get in touch with one of our experts today to learn more.