Red Hat Enterprise Linux free for everyone
Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the company’s commercial distribution now owned by IBM, will be available for free from February 2021. Indeed, RedHat has announced that it will make available the completely free version of RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) and will be valid for installation and use on up to 16 production devices.
This initiative will lead to the abandonment of the CentOS Linux project, the current version is 8, which will be replaced by CentOS Stream in which the features for Red Hat Enterprise Linux will be tested.
CentOS Linux has until now been the free alternative to Red Hat Enterprise Linux which is a solution designed specifically to be used in the enterprise environment. The available features were more or less the same, with the difference that the second enjoyed commercial support tailored to the needs of the client companies.
CentOS Stream will continue to exist to give you the opportunity to try out future Red Hat Enterprise Linux features.
By making Red Hat Enterprise Linux available to anyone, CentOS Linux would no longer have a reason to exist and CentOS Stream will be kept alive with the aim of providing a sort of preview dedicated to developers and system administrators of future features of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
As for the CentOS versions already available, release 7 will continue to be supported and receive updates until 2024, while 8 instead should have a 10-year life cycle reaching its deadline in 2029 but, by virtue of new distribution strategies, this deadline was brought forward to the end of 2021.
CentOS 8 is today the Linux distribution most widely used in the server environment. The co-founder of the project Greg Kurtzer would have said he was surprised by the decision of Red Hat (to which CentOS has belonged since 2014) and is already participating in the implementation of a new distribution, Rocky Linux. Another option is AlmaLinux, created by the CloudLinux team, which is itself a fork of CentOS.