[CentOS] Getting ready for CentOS 5.4

Fri Mar 27 18:17:56 UTC 2009
nate <centos at linuxpowered.net>

Les Mikesell wrote:

> Is there still any reason other than having to learn to type 'apt-get'
> instead of 'yum' to prefer Centos over Ubuntu?  I think for me it is
> just that I started with RH before they imposed the redistribution
> restriction nonsense and have been too lazy to change administration
> styles (and debian's "release-when-it's-ready" schedule wasn't
> attractive at the time).  On a test machine I've noted that Ubuntu
> worked with the wireless adapter where Centos didn't, Sun Java is
> included, and the update mechanism seems faster and better suited to
> caching proxies.  But it still feels slightly weird and unfamiliar.  Are
> there reasons to not trust it?

I think it's safe to assume that the majority of CentOS users out
there run CentOS on servers, not on desktops/laptops/etc.

I have been using Debian for 11 years(since hamm), and use it
on all of my personal desktops. I have used Ubuntu on my
laptops. With Debian 5.0 coming out recently I may make my
next laptop run that. I haven't had a need to use a laptop
on a regular basis in over a year now so my laptops are
collecting dust for the most part(still use it for travel
when I travel).

I know there are some, but I am not one that uses CentOS(or RHEL)
on a desktop system. CentOS/RHEL make great server systems for
many types of servers(I prefer debian on my personal gear because
of the larger, supported package repositories). My work gear
is much larger scale so I put together manually package dependencies
and special versions of some packages to distribute across tens
or hundreds of systems as-needed. My personal server doesn't need
such attention or else I might use CentOS there too.

I have no problem myself in CentOS being weeks/months behind
RHEL. I still have legacy systems running RHEL 3 Update 3. And
they are not going to get updated, just re-installed from scratch
when I have time to get to them.

All of the systems I manage are fairly well protected and generally
only have trusted users that interact with them, internet-facing
services are entirely 3rd party packages(e.g. java+tomcat), maintained
independently of the OS, so security risks are very low. I'm
still going through the list of older RHEL 4 Update 4 systems
and getting them re-installed with something newer, at this rate
maybe another 3-4 months, at which point it may be time to be able
to widely deploy CentOS 5. The main reason for going back and
updating things isn't because the OS is old it's more because
the management and configuration on those older systems is so
broken the only way to fix them safely is to re-install.

If you want another distribution, go to another distribution, I
can't imagine why CentOS would want to base themselves on Ubuntu
when you can already get Ubuntu pretty easily for "free".

CentOS/RHEL have their places they provide a valuable service to
the world. As far as I know our F5 load balancers are based on
CentOS(they were as of a few years ago, I'm not sure if F5 has
changed their distribution since, I suspect not, is based on
RHEL-3), and our recently purchased high performance Exanet
NAS cluster runs on CentOS 4.4. While my back end storage
array from 3PAR runs on Debian.

Not everyone needs the latest & greatest, not everyone needs
the most current security updates. Make your own risk assessments
based on your environment and use what makes you feel comfortable
to sleep at night.

I don't see a need for CentOS to change a thing, hopefully they
can get more support if they need it, I try to help as best I can
on the list answering other's questions.