What's the difference between CentOS vs. Red Hat? That's what we break down in this resource. Plus, compare CentOS vs. RHEL and Red Hat Linux vs. Linux.

CentOS vs. Red Hat

CentOS and Red Hat have the same functionality. The biggest difference is that CentOS is a community-developed, free alternative to Red Hat. Review a comparison chart below.

CentOS vs. RHEL

RHEL is an acronym for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which is an open-source based Linux distribution. CentOS is a community-supported, free alternative to RHEL.

Red Hat vs. Linux

Linux is a component used to build operating systems. Red Hat is a specific operating system built on Linux.

Should You Choose CentOS or Red Hat / RHEL?

If you're considering moving from Red Hat to another Linux distribution, CentOS is the best choice for mission-critical enterprises.

Use this comparison chart to see how CentOS and Red Hat stack up on over 15 different factors, including licensing, security, package management, and available commercial support.

CentOS vs. Red Hat

LicenseFOSS – GPL and othersCommercial – RedHat EULA
SecuritySELinux, NSS, Linux PAM, firewalldSELinux, NSS, Linux PAM, firewalld
Patches/fixesSLA through OpenLogicSLA through Red Hat
Commercial support24x7 support through OpenLogic24x7 support through Red Hat
Package managementYumYum
InstallerISO / LiveCDISO
Enterprise package managementSpacewalk / KatelloRed Hat Satellite 5 / Satellite 6
ClusteringLinux-HARed Hat Cluster Suite (RHCS)
BootloaderGRUB 2GRUB 2
Graphical user interface (GUI)GNOME 3 / KDE SC 4.10GNOME 3 / KDE SC 4.10
Service managementsystemdsystemd
Storage managementLVM / SSMLVM / SSM
Default file systemXFSXFS
Current kernel (11/2018)3.10.0-957.1.3.el7.x86_64.rpm3.10.0-957.1.3.el7.x86_64.rpm
VirtualizationoVirt / KVMRed Hat Virtualization Manager / KVM
ContainerizationDocker, KubernetesRed Hat OpenShif
Virtual device interface (VDI)SPICESPICE
Cloud imagesAzure by OpenLogicAzure by Red Hat
 AWS standard and security hardened by OpenLogicAWS by Red Hat
 Google Cloud by CentOS.orgGoogle Cloud by Red Hat


How You'll Save By Migrating to CentOS Linux

Watch the short video below to learn how you'll save by migrating from RHEL to CentOS Linux.


Get Enterprise Support For CentOS

Using CentOS comes with cost-savings. But there can be risk as well. Learn how to eliminate the license costs associated with Red Hat and still get the support you need to be successful.

OpenLogic provides enterprise support to teams using CentOS around the world — including migrations from RHEL.

Talk to a CentOS Expert