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

Fri Jul 9 05:52:32 UTC 2021
Fabian Arrotin <arrfab at centos.org>

On 08/07/2021 21:39, Carl George 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.
> 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

My personal take on this was initially to go with 1, as that would mean
that for majority of users not following what happened, they'd still get
updates on regular basis, not even noticing the difference, (as Stream 8
will continue to have 8.6.x content and so on, just in advance)

But then, by reading some comments, I realized that it's "sensitive"
enough to view it from another angle.

So in fact, the political question to answer (and then one choice or the
other would make sense) : do we consider that CentOS 8 is dead (and so
applying the same principle/method we used for *all* EOL CentOS
releases, so what Rich described) *or* we consider that Stream 8 is the
replacement for CentOS 8, and so it would just make sense to apply
method 1 (so redirecting 8 to 8-stream)

Let's consider two kind of 'users' :

 * The ones who followed the December 2020 announcement, and so with one
year to decide what to do : these ones I'd trust them to have already a
plan for the conversion to Stream (like we did for centos infra) or have
moved elsewhere already (and some are migrating to AlmaLinux, Rocky or
Oracle EL, etc). For that category, we can apply both methods as they
*shouldn't* be impacted

* The ones that still don't realize what was communicated, and so would
continue to deploy it and use it : I admit that if you deploy CentOS, a
good sysadmin would be up2date with what happens in the distro land
*but* also by looking at the number of mirrorlist requests even for
CentOS 5, I can tell you for sure that some don't ..... (ouch). So for
that category, I'd suggest that we move to 8-stream as that would mean
at least getting some updates , as the same users would come back to
complain that 8 isn't available on mirrors etc if we just remove it (we
always have that on each EOL distro)

Fabian Arrotin
The CentOS Project | https://www.centos.org
gpg key: 17F3B7A1 | twitter: @arrfab

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