[CentOS] Version numbering vis a vis CentOS and RHEL

Tue Dec 8 13:45:10 UTC 2015
Phelps, Matthew <mphelps at cfa.harvard.edu>

On Tue, Dec 8, 2015 at 2:42 AM, James Hogarth <james.hogarth at gmail.com>

> On 7 Dec 2015 23:43, "J Martin Rushton" <martinrushton56 at btinternet.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > Hash: SHA1
> >
> > On 07/12/15 22:37, Warren Young wrote:
> > > On Dec 7, 2015, at 1:52 PM, Greg Lindahl <lindahl at pbm.com> wrote:
> > >>
> > >> On Mon, Dec 07, 2015 at 08:57:01PM +0100, Zdenek Sedlak wrote:
> > >>
> > >>> AFAIK, the 7(1503) format is used only on the websites, and
> > >>> internally CentOS uses 7.1.1503. Do you see this as an issue?
> > >>
> > >> Yes. It confuses humans. There have been a bunch of examples
> > >> given of how it confuses humans. A simple fix for this human
> > >> issue is to use 7.1.1503 on the website, here on the mailing
> > >> list, etc.
> > >
> > > And then we’re right back in the same old boat: With every new
> > > release, the same old thread will pop up, “How do I make my servers
> > > stay on CentOS 7.1?”
> > >
> > > Give up on the point release idea.  It’s CentOS 7; there is no
> > > CentOS 7.1.  The only reason there’s a YYMM part is that it’s a
> > > media respin.  Best ignore that wherever practical.
> >
> > So if we are to give up on the point release does that mean I don't
> > have to update my machines until CentOS 8 comes along? ;-)
> >
> > Seriously though, since I have to build my own repos (air gap) and
> > build the images for the diskless machines the point releases are
> > important in tracking roughly which version particular nodes are on.
> > Running yum update on a regular basis is just not an option.
> You should be updating during the lifecycle to each milestone though... To
> not do so is to leave yourself open to numerous bugs and attacks.
> As it is, as pointed out, you can still check the installed files from the
> centos-release package for the upstream it's based on and the YYMM respin
> date...
> Common configuration management systems (you should be using one of these
> given you say you have many systems) will also report the relevant details
> correctly.
> On top of this if you are maintaining your own internal air gapped repo you
> should be paying attention to announcements which will inform you at these
> milestone points...
> Given the workflow you state nothing has changed for you with the EL7.X
> releases...
What I want to know is, why is CentOS doing things differently than RedHat?
Who made this decision, and was there any consideration given to making
such a highly visible departure? When did CentOS decide to fork away from
RHEL? It doesn't matter if this is truly the case, or not. Perception is
reality here; CentOS is now no longer "the same" as RHEL and this turns it
into a whole different, new, distro of Linux. That affects things like
software certification, hardware support, security certification, etc. etc.
It is now a stupendous burden on those of us who chose to implement it
because it was "the same" as RHEL.

Was this an edict resulting from the RedHat acquisition of CentOS?

I can hear people saying, "Well, why don't you just use RedHat then?" I
probably will have to now. But, we chose CentOS because it *was* RHEL, but
it gave us more control (the ease of air-gapped repositories is a good

I just think this whole thing was a highly unnecessary, and bad idea. And
it has a lot of really serious repercussions that nobody seems to have
thought of before plowing ahead.

And, obviously, that angers me. I am asking for more than just consistency
between the web site and /etc/centos-release, I am asking that, starting
with RHEL 7.3, that CentOS stop using YYMM in its version numbers

Matt Phelps
System Administrator, Computation Facility
Harvard - Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
mphelps at cfa.harvard.edu, http://www.cfa.harvard.edu