[CentOS] Blog article: CentOS is NOT dead

Wed Dec 16 20:09:16 UTC 2020
Lamar Owen <lowen at pari.edu>

On 12/14/20 10:54 AM, Yves Bellefeuille wrote:
> The article states that CentOS will now be "upstream" of RHEL instead 
> of "downstream". This is strange to me. I never thought CentOS was 
> upstream or downstream of RHEL; I always thought it *was* RHEL -- 
> perhaps a little delayed, but that's not the same as being "downstream". 

CentOS has always been 'downstream' of RHEL.  The CentOS team rebuilt 
the source packages with the goal of getting as close as possible to 
what RHEL shipped, but it has never been 100% identical.  You can do the 
same by pulling all of the package contents from git.centos.org and 
build the sources in the correct order with the correct software and the 
correct options to rpmbuild.  Building from git.centos.org is not really 
hard at all; what is hard is figuring out the order and figuring out the 
other bits you might need that aren't necessarily on git.centos.org. 
Building from git is documented at 
https://wiki.centos.org/Sources?highlight=(git.centos.org) and you can 
look at an example of how I rebuilt a CentOS 8 RPM to get a 
non-distributed subpackage rebuilt at 

CentOS has never *been* actual RHEL.

> It's also clear that Red Hat didn't understand the importance of the 
> 10-year support period.

If they didn't understand it, they wouldn't offer it for RHEL.  They 
just believe that if you need that you should pay something for it. A 
10-year support lifespan, even doing a straight rebuild of the packages 
from RHEL, has a huge cost, and someone has to pay those costs. Should 
Red Hat's paying customer base subsidize those costs? (if you say 'Red 
Hat should pay for it' that actually means you think Red Hat's paying 
customers should pay for it, because that's where Red Hat's money comes 
from).  In the case of Oracle Linux, Oracle has decided that yes, their 
paying support customers should subsidize the cost for those who aren't 
paying.  Someone, somewhere, must pay the costs; in a volunteer project 
the volunteers typically pay the labor cost themselves, and in many 
cases pay the cost of the compute hardware, bandwidth, and electricity 
required; these are not small costs, and someone, somewhere, must pay 
them.  If the costs aren't adequately covered, the project's 
deliverables suffer, and users complain.

It really just boils down to a cost without a tangible return on 
investment.  It remains to be seen if the intangible ROI was as large as 
the vocal reaction to the transition announcement would imply.