[CentOS-devel] Documenting the CentOS Linux 8 EOL process

Thu Jul 8 19:39:39 UTC 2021
Carl George <carl at redhat.com>

One idea I've been noodling on is whether or not at some point after
the EOL we should have mirrorlist.centos.org respond to requests for 8
repos with 8-stream repos, which effectively converts any remaining
CentOS Linux 8 systems to CentOS Stream 8.  I see this as a natural
extension of how CentOS has never supported (to the extent CentOS
"supports" anything) staying on old previous minor releases of a major
release.  CentOS Stream is still CentOS.  8-stream isn't that
different from 8.  CentOS Stream 8 is the latest CentOS 8.  (Note:
These are facts that I'm not interested in arguing with people about.
If you feel the need to reply to those particular points, don't expect
a reply from me.)

I can envision three possible scenarios.

1. Change mirrorlist to respond to 8 repo requests with 8-stream repos
at the EOL date.  This ensures that CentOS Linux 8 systems continue to
get security updates by way of converting them to CentOS Stream 8.  It
also reinforces that CentOS Stream 8 is the latest CentOS 8.
Obviously people who are not fans of the new project direction will
view this negatively and lash out about Red Hat for supposedly forcing
them to use CentOS Stream 8.

2. Same as 1, but wait some period of time after the EOL date, such as
1-3 months.  Waiting much longer than that would result in effectively
updating from 8.5 directly to 8.7, which is less appealing.

3. Don't change mirrorlist to respond to 8 repo requests with 8-stream
repos, ever.  This approach gives users the maximum amount of choice
to migrate to either CentOS Stream 8, RHEL 8, or another RHEL 8
rebuild, when and only when they are ready.  The downside is that many
systems will be left without security updates for long periods of
time, until users decide to take action.  CentOS Linux 8 hits to EPEL
are still growing [0], which makes me believe that many people still
are unaware of the EOL change.

[0] https://twitter.com/mattdm/status/1411012254812852225

On Thu, Jul 8, 2021 at 12:10 PM Rich Bowen <rbowen at redhat.com> wrote:
> As we get closer to the CentOS Linux 8 EOL, we're getting more and more
> questions about how the EOL is actually going to work. While there tends
> to be a great deal of "everybody just knows how it works" among the
> people actually on this list, we're getting attention from a much larger
> audience now, and they don't know.
> To that end, I want to make sure we have clear documentation,
> prominently displayed, that sets expectations as we get closer to that
> December 31 date,
> So ... as I understand, our process is basically:
> 1. Copy old data to vault.centos.org
> 2. Update web pages and links to say it is now on vault.centos.org
> 3. Turn off mirrorlist to that release name (aka all requests to
> CentOS-8 will 404)
> 4. Remove the data from the main mirrors with a file saying look at
> vault.centos.org
> 5. Mirrors pick all that up in 4-8 hours.
> Is there more to it than this? Will we do anything different this time
> because CL8 is a special case? Am I missing any steps, or have I
> misunderstood any of the steps? Is this already documented somewhere
> that I simply haven't found yet?
> Are there any changes to this process that we *want* to advocate for,
> given the special nature of this particular EOL? (No, I absolutely
> cannot promise anything, but I can ask.)
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Carl George