[CentOS] Dag's comment at linuxtag

Fri Jul 3 22:18:15 UTC 2009
R P Herrold <herrold at centos.org>

On Fri, 3 Jul 2009, Bogdan Nicolescu wrote:

> In all fairness to all the rebels, if somebody from the 
> Cento's team would have responded in a timely matter to the 
> original yes/no question of this thread,

... and an allegedly 'yes or no' question can take three and a 
half 24 line screens to set forth?  The world is not so 

The CentOS project team strives to issue a product and update 
stream that replicates, substantially exactly, warts and all, 
its upstream from freely available sources, to yield binaries 
which are ABI indistinguishable, with a couple of exceptions. 
These relate to eliding trademarked matter and replacing it 
with CentOS trademarked and copyrighted art; and providing a 
suitable updater mechanism (as the sources for the server side 
of 'up2date' are not FOSS and have not been released -- at all 
when the project started, and still not in full even to the 
present day)

The 'base product' variant that does this is the 'base' and 
'updates' archives.  The end user of CentOS may choose to add 
other archives (with varying results), either officially from 
CentOS mirrors [plus, testing, and adjuncts for various 
upstream products not in mainline]; from individual archives 
published by present or former CentOS team members [KB's, DAG, 
then RPMforge, elRepo]; or from non-affiliated persons [Atomic 
Rocket Turtle, EPEL]

Customized 'one disk' installers, or live CD's have been tried 
by the project from time to time; ditto testing extensions to 
architectures not supported upstream (and frankly, probably 
lacking sufficient mass to be viable [I am in process on a 
local 5.3 s390x port, in my idle moments, for relaxation])

The membership of the CentOS team has waxed and waned over 
time.  The project is a confluence of a sub-project under the 
cAos project, some participants in a 'Enterprise Linux 
Rebuild' mailing list, and other standalone projects.  New 
project team members are added by invitation and largely 
represent a meritocracy, run in a self-perpetuating fashion. 
CentOS is not Fedora, OpenSuSE, or any other distribution, and 
is not 'beholden' to any outside organization

The heart and core of the distribution is those (very few core 
team) members able to cause the relevant CentOS private key to 
'sign' binary RPH packages; scarcely less important is the 
mirror distribution network, and the seamless coverage and 
scaling which we have been able to achive with the help of the 
mirror members.  I stop here, as the contributions are too 
numerous to mention

Demonstrating competence in the support functions is readily 
approachable, and a good way to 'join' the work of the project 
-- IRC, forums, wiki, mailing lists -- and as I mentioned in a 
earlier post to this list, noticed and noted as to character 
and quality.  People adding value are often offered a change 
to undertake increasingly more critical contributions to the 

-- Russ herrold