[CentOS] Is it okay?

Fri Jan 21 14:11:33 UTC 2011
Les Mikesell <lesmikesell at gmail.com>

On 1/21/11 12:09 AM, Parshwa Murdia wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 20, 2011 at 8:12 PM, Lamar Owen<lowen at pari.edu>  wrote:
>> 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.'
>> 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).
> Yes correct, it is the user who sees which one is better or not? But
> it is true that both (SL and CentOS) are excellent. Both are Linux
> which is highly secured, especially for us who are new and switching
> to it from Windows, which I don't want to compare at all. What made me
> think for this comparison was the simple question why did Fermi Labs
> and CERN chose SL and developing but they didn't go for other distros,
> keeping in mind always that all the distros have their own pros and
> cons but essentially the same security.

I think SL was designed for Fermi/CERN's needs rather than being chosen.  But 
they (like most of us...) where probably using RH back in the days when it was 
free, before the RHEL/Fedora split and Fedora is obviously not suitable for work 
where you need stability.  And the only other reasonable distro choice at the 
time was debian which was a purely volunteer effort with a good code base but a 
very strict policy about 'free-ness' and poor track record of getting releases 
out on any kind of schedule.  Subsequently, ubuntu has greatly improved the 
usability of the debian base and puts real effort into the release schedule. 
But, SL and Centos inherit the install/admin programs and style from RH, and 
debian/ubuntu are considerably different so once you have learned and perhaps 
automated one it is hard to change even though there is little difference from a 
users perspective.

In retrospect I think the world would be a better place if everyone using RH 
would have walked away the day they stopped permitting redistribution of 
binaries to the community that had contributed their code base.  But I was too 
lazy to do that myself and CentOS lets me stay that way (and at the time, no one 
knew how crazy fedora would become...).

   Les Mikesell
     lesmikesell at gmail.com