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

Thu Jul 8 22:16:40 UTC 2021
Stephen John Smoogen <smooge at gmail.com>

On Thu, 8 Jul 2021 at 15:40, Carl George <carl at redhat.com> wrote:
> 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.

I think both of these fall into the surprise category which ends up
with lawsuits and very very angry people. Forced upgrades rarely work
well and let us just say CentOS is being used in enough life/safety
places that failed updates that have turned into upgrades will not be
pretty. [Whether or not the hospital/chemical plant/bank should have
used CentOS here is not going to matter and won't be mentioned until
Page 6 on the NY Times.]

I don't see either 1 or 2 ending well no matter how well it is messaged or done.

> 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.

4. Have mirrorlist return a 410 versus a 404 for requests to centos

There have been 150k CentOS systems added since the announcement last
year. [There have been about 8000 Alma Linux and 3000 Rocky Linux in
that time.]The growth rate is leveling off but not at a rate that the
other rebuilds are 'catching' up anytime soon. While many of the
current 450k CentOS 8 systems may function well on CentOS Stream, we
don't know which ones are just web servers in some advertising farm
and which ones are controlling the flow rates on a dam or petroleum
flows at a refinery in Texas.

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

Stephen J Smoogen.
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Flame wars in
sci.astro.orion. I have seen SPAM filters overload because of Godwin's
Law. All those moments will be lost in time... like posts on  BBS...
time to reboot.