[CentOS] Blog article: CentOS is NOT dead

Wed Dec 16 20:24:07 UTC 2020
Valeri Galtsev <galtsev at kicp.uchicago.edu>

On 12/16/2020 12:09 PM, Lamar Owen wrote:
> 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 
> https://forums.centos.org/viewtopic.php?f=54&t=73376&p=314200#p314200
> 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.

Yes and no. Yes, in a sense that RedHat always meticulously followed 
requirements of GPL, and was putting sources of their "derivative" work 
of backporting as srpms. And "paid" meant putting effort into correctly 
rebuilding everything, so yes, what we used (roughly called "binary 
replica" if RHEL) in fact was paid by downstream vendors' efforts.

No, in a sense, RedHat never had, and shouldn't have been expecting 
being paid for just following GPL letter and having source RPMs freely 
available. A always praised them for always following GPL.

With utmost respect,

And fully agreeing with the rest of your post,


> 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.
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