[CentOS] Choosing a CentOS version

Mon Oct 3 18:16:42 UTC 2011
m.roth at 5-cent.us <m.roth at 5-cent.us>

Bade Iriabho wrote:
> This may be a noob question but there is something I have been trying to
> understand, there are currently three main versions of CentOS 4, 5, and 6.
> My main question is simply how do I know what version I should deploy? I
> have searched online and either I did not do a good job of searching or
> the information I get is inadequate.
> To better understand why I ask this question, here are some of the build
> up questions.
> - Is there an online resource that lists (compare/contrast) the different
> versions (i.e. 4, 5, and 6) and why you should pick a particular one?

What I think you need to understand is that there's a lifecycle to
software releases, including operating systems. For example, CentOS 4 was
released a few years ago. There were months (a year or more) of updates,
then eventually CentOS 5 was released. Following that, updates to CentOS 5
were released... but bug and security fixes were backported to 4, and were
released. Right now, 4 is starting to approach end of life (EoL); at that
time, no more fixes will be backported, and there'll be no more updates. 5
is currently still getting updates, but 6 was released a few months ago.
There are still things missing in 6 (for example, I'm still waiting for
ffmpeg libs), and there are occasional bugs (why does pidgen, my IM
client, pop up *under* firefox, so I don't notice my manager's trying to
contact me for 20 min, for example), where 5.7, the current version of 5,
is very solid.

Note that the above is true of every single o/s: for example, I think
Windows XP is approaching EoL, while Internet Exploder 6 is *past* that
(and there was much rejoicing).

So, which version you want depends on what you need. Note also that going
up to the next release is not a trivial thing; usually, you want to load
from scratch, where going up a subrelease means yum update, and things are
almost never broken.