CentOS - RHEL compatible distroThu Dec 9 04:07:25 2004
For home, I wanted a Linux system that I did not have to worry about for a while, that will run my filesharing, DNS, Webserver, DHCP, Mail Server, and squid proxy. Since RHEL would not fit the bill (because of the bill), I started searching and found two capable distro's that are built on RHEL, and supported in much of the same way. Basically, as soon as Redhat comes out with an update, CentOS, releases their version, which is most likely the exact same thing that RedHat just released.
The big advantage, is that I do not have to pay for RHN (RedHatNetwork) to get these updates. CentOS, uses 'yum' to grab the updates from their servers, and installs the new binary RPM's for the updated packages.
I am also considering this distro for work related functions, since we have many "satellite" offices and warehouses in Central Mass. Currently, I am a subscriber to RHN, so these systems can get their updates, but they really do not do much, other than SMB services at each building, since my network is setup to do most everything on one "master" server, running RedHat AS 2.1
On my remote sites, I run RHEL 3, since it has newer packages, and has much easier admin tools for some people I designate at each location for simple management of these systems.
I am currently installing CentOS 3.3, and so far, besides the RedHat logo's, it is *exactly* the same process. The system behaves just like RHEL, so all of your RedHat skills are not wasted. I really do not have time right now to play with a new distro, and I am very familiar with how RedHat is setup. This should make the transition to CentOS, seamless for anyone familar with RHEL.
Although another RHEL compatible distro exists, called "whitebox linux", I chose CentOS, due to some usenet posts about updates coming out much faster for CentOS, and a much stronger development team. I also donated $25 to their organization, which is setup as a non-profit. With the money I am saving for the next 5 years by not going with RedHat, that $25 is basically nothing.
From everything I have read, this looks like it could be a great replacement for RHEL for any cost sensitive customer, or small business owner. I also understand that Oracle 10g, will run fine on it, if you are in need of Oracle. Since it is basically RHEL, which is supported by Oracle 10g, all you have to do is change /etc/redhat-release to get things working.
I hope someone else gives this distro a try, and reports their
results. So far, the install has been exactly like RHEL. Once I
start messing around with it, after the install, I will post my
findings, but it looks as if I will not notice much of a
difference, other than some logo's and icons.
- Bruce Garlock
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