[CentOS] centos vs rhel vs scientific linux

Lanny Marcus lmmailinglists at gmail.com
Mon Dec 7 12:45:37 UTC 2009

On Mon, Dec 7, 2009 at 4:52 AM, Robert P. J. Day <rpjday at crashcourse.ca> wrote:
>  i'm prepping to teach a 5-day intro class in linux starting in about
> 3 hours, and the courseware is clearly designed around RHEL
> (apparently 5.1).  but since i'm not being provided with RHEL DVDs,
> i'm just going to hand everyone a centos 5.4 DVD and take it from
> there.
>  as part of the intro, i want to briefly discuss the varieties of
> linux related to RHEL, so obviously i want to mention what centos is
> all about.  in a nutshell, it's simply RHEL with any RH-proprietary
> branding removed, yes?  what's the simplest way to sum up the
> difference in a sentence or two?
>  and i've never used SL but, again as i understand it, it's also RHEL
> unbranded but, IIRC, SL is more open to producing updates, whereas
> centos is rigourous about tracking the corresponding RHEL version.
>  does that sound about right?

Robert: CentOS is the binary equivalent of RHEL, made legally from
freely distributed RHEL source. The primary changes are to remove
anything proprietary to Red Hat, logos, etc.  And, if there is
anything they include that is proprietary, that is removed. I believe
the updating process for CentOS was changed, when CentOS 5.0 came out,
to improve things, but in general, should be binary equivalent, which
is the goal. You said your class was going to begin in 3 hours, so
hopefully later you will come back to this thread and someone more
knowledgeable can give you a more detailed answer than I can. RHEL
costs $ and  CentOS is freely distributed. Probably CentOS is the most
widely used distro on servers.  RHEL comes with some support,
depending upon what is purchased, and requires a license for each box.
 These are Enterprise distros and do not have the latest and greatest.
They do have a very long supported life and more security and
stability that distros with the latest and greatest.  I have no
experience with SL, but believe it has some things that do not come
with RHEL/CentOS.  HTH.  Lanny

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