[CentOS] Is it okay?

Thu Jan 20 19:12:13 UTC 2011
Lamar Owen <lowen at pari.edu>

On Thursday, January 20, 2011 11:53:52 am Parshwa Murdia wrote:
> You say for SL6, would it sometimes prove better than stable CentOS?

As Les said, it depends by what you consider to be 'better.'  I consider them to be roughly equivalent, with SL having some advantages (mostly of perception in my dayjob, for instance) and CentOS having some advantages (long track record of stability and strict adherence to upstream in many ways).  I don't consider either to be 'better' in the strict sense of that word; I would simply describe them as 'different' rather than try to qualify a 'better.'

See where I work as a dayjob, and then see why Scientific Linux, backed by Fermilab and others, would have a perception advantage..... :-)  But the binaries are essentially the same, and both are excellent choices.

Yet we use CentOS on virtually all of our servers, with very few exceptions.  Again, it's not a matter of which is 'better' in any way; when the whole RHEL 3 thing came about, and Red Hat stopped selling boxed sets of Red Hat Linux with RHL9, there were a number of rebuilds that came out.  The first one out of the gate (IIRC) was Whitebox, but not by much.  So my first EL was a Whitebox 3 install, which is now a CentOS 3 install, and is still running.  My second EL was a CentOS 2.1 install, which, again, is still running (libc5 compatability stops here in the EL line; a large commercial libc5 binary-only package is still running on that box).  

I have done a few SL installs for some researchers who have come here, but, honestly, most of the desktop Linux we use (which isn't much) is Fedora.  The servers run CentOS (a mix of 3, 4, and 5) and, well, they just run like clockwork.  And I've just stuck with CentOS for the reason of inertia, more than any other.  

But I monitor both mailing lists; the two distributions aren't in competition, really, and it's good to have both out there.  And I've done enough migrating back and forth among the various EL from source distributions to be able to go either way (it's not really hard, unless you use some of the extra packages) and pretty much any time.  And they're both from the same upstream source packages.....