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    Difference Between CentOS and RedHat

    Do you know the Difference Between CentOS and RedHat? CentOS and RedHat are like two brothers in the world of computer operating systems, each with its own unique personality and traits. Imagine CentOS as the friendly neighborhood hero, always there for you with its free and reliable service. On the other hand, RedHat steps in like the seasoned warrior, offering premium features and professional support for those willing to invest. While they both share the same Linux DNA, they cater to different needs and preferences, making them essential players in the digital landscape.

    Main Difference Between CentOS and RedHat

    The main Difference Between CentOS and RedHat is that CentOS is community-driven and free, while Red Hat is commercially supported and requires a subscription.

    CentOS Vs. RedHat

    What is CentOS?

    What is CentOS

    CentOS is like a big toolbox for computers, but instead of physical tools, it’s filled with software tools. It’s a special kind of computer operating system, which is the software that makes your computer actually work, like Windows or macOS. CentOS is based on another popular operating system called Linux, which is known for being super reliable and secure.

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    What makes CentOS special is that it’s totally free to use and it’s built to be really stable, meaning it doesn’t break easily. Lots of people and companies use CentOS because it’s dependable and can handle a lot of different tasks, like running websites, managing databases, or even controlling really powerful computers. Think of CentOS as the foundation that keeps everything running smoothly behind the scenes, kind of like the sturdy frame of a house that holds everything together.

    What is RedHat?

    What is RedHat

    RedHat is like a big brother to CentOS, another important player in the world of computer operating systems. It’s a company that makes its own version of Linux, which is a type of operating system known for being reliable and secure. But what sets RedHat apart is that it’s more like the premium version of Linux. Imagine Linux as a free, open-source tool that anyone can use, like a basic set of tools you might find in your garage.

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    RedHat takes that basic set of tools and adds extra features and support, kind of like upgrading to a fancy set of power tools with customer service included. Many big businesses and organizations rely on RedHat because it’s super dependable and comes with top-notch support, making it ideal for running important systems like servers or cloud computing platforms. In a nutshell, RedHat is the go-to choice for those who need rock-solid performance and professional-grade support in the world of Linux operating systems.

    Comparison Table “CentOS Vs. Red Hat”

    Red Hat
    Company OwnershipCommunity-driven and freely available.Commercially supported by Red Hat Inc.
    Support ModelCommunity support; forums and documentation.Professional support with service contracts.
    Release CycleSlower updates; more stable.Frequent updates; focus on innovation.
    LicensingOpen-source; free to use and distribute.Requires subscription for full support.
    Security UpdatesTimely security updates from the community.Priority security updates from Red Hat.
    Enterprise FeaturesLacks some enterprise-level features.Includes enterprise features and support.
    Target AudienceIdeal for testing and non-critical systems.Aimed at enterprise and production use.
    StabilityKnown for reliability and stability.High stability but may sacrifice some cutting-edge features.
    EcosystemUtilizes the CentOS ecosystem.Part of the broader Red Hat ecosystem.
    Long-Term Support (LTS) Limited long-term support options.Offers longer-term support subscriptions.
    CostFree; no licensing fees.Requires paid subscriptions.
    Package ManagementUses yum (Yellowdog Updater, Modified).Utilizes Red Hat Package Manager (RPM).
    Community InfluenceCommunity-driven decisions and direction.Red Hat’s influence on development and direction.
    CustomizationHighly customizable.Customization options but within Red Hat’s framework.
    CertificationLess focus on formal certifications.Offers Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) and other certifications.
    VersioningFollows upstream RHEL releases.Serves as the upstream for RHEL releases.
    Cloud IntegrationSupports cloud deployments.Offers cloud integration and solutions.

    Difference Between CentOS and RedHat in Detail

    1. Origins and Relationship:

    CentOS and RedHat are like siblings in the world of Linux operating systems. RedHat Linux, developed by Red Hat Inc., is one of the oldest and most respected distributions, known for its stability and reliability. CentOS, short for Community Enterprise Operating System, is essentially a free, community-supported version of RedHat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). It’s like a younger brother, built from the same source code as RHEL but without the official support and branding.

    2. Licensing and Cost:

    One of the key differences between CentOS and RedHat lies in their licensing and cost structure. RedHat is a commercial distribution that requires a subscription for access to official updates, support, and services. This means you need to pay for ongoing support and access to RedHat’s repositories. On the other hand, CentOS is completely free to use, distribute, and modify, making it a popular choice for individuals and organizations looking for a no-cost alternative to RedHat.

    3. Support and Updates:

    RedHat offers comprehensive support options, including technical support, security updates, and software patches, as part of its subscription model. This ensures users have access to timely assistance and the latest features and fixes. In contrast, CentOS relies on community support, forums, and user-contributed documentation for help and updates. While this can be sufficient for many users, it may not offer the same level of reliability and responsiveness as RedHat’s official support channels.

    4. Release Cycle and Stability:

    RedHat follows a strict release cycle with scheduled updates and long-term support (LTS) versions, which are ideal for enterprise environments requiring stability and predictability. CentOS generally tracks the upstream RHEL releases, providing a stable and reliable platform for users who don’t require official support. However, CentOS releases may lag behind RHEL releases, resulting in delays in accessing the latest features and security updates.

    5. Ecosystem and Compatibility:

    Both CentOS and RedHat benefit from the extensive ecosystem of software packages and libraries available in the RedHat ecosystem, including the RedHat Package Manager (RPM) and the RedHat Certified Ecosystem. This ensures compatibility with a wide range of enterprise applications and hardware platforms. However, since CentOS is derived from RHEL, it maintains binary compatibility with RHEL, allowing users to seamlessly migrate between the two distributions without compatibility issues.

    6. Target Audience and Use Cases:

    RedHat primarily targets enterprise customers, offering a robust platform for mission-critical applications and services that require commercial-grade support and stability. It’s commonly used in corporate data centers, cloud environments, and server deployments where reliability and performance are paramount. CentOS, on the other hand, caters to a broader audience, including individual users, small businesses, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations, who may not have the budget for commercial Linux distributions but still require a stable and feature-rich operating system.

    7. Community and Development Model:

    While RedHat oversees the development of RHEL and sets the direction for the distribution, CentOS is maintained and developed by a community of volunteers and contributors from around the world. This community-driven model allows CentOS to benefit from the collective expertise and contributions of its user base, resulting in a vibrant ecosystem of users, developers, and enthusiasts. However, it also means that CentOS may lack the same level of corporate backing and resources as RedHat, potentially impacting the pace of development and support.

    8. Future and Outlook:

    The relationship between CentOS and RedHat has evolved over the years, with RedHat’s acquisition of CentOS Project in 2014 and subsequent changes in the CentOS release model in 2020. Recently, RedHat announced CentOS Stream as a rolling-release distribution positioned between Fedora and RHEL, signaling a shift in its strategy for CentOS. While this move has sparked some controversy and concerns within the CentOS community, it also presents new opportunities for collaboration and innovation, ensuring the continued relevance and impact of both distributions in the Linux ecosystem.

    Key Points Showing the Difference Between CentOS and RedHat

    • Ownership: CentOS is community-driven while Red Hat is owned by a company called Red Hat Inc.
    • Support: CentOS gets help from the community but Red Hat offers professional support with contracts.
    • Updates: CentOS updates are slower but more stable. However, Red Hat updates frequently to bring in new features.
    • Cost: CentOS is free, no need to pay. Red Hat requires a subscription fee for full support.
    • Security: CentOS gets security updates from the community. Red Hat provides priority security updates.
    • Features: CentOS lacks some advanced features. Red Hat offers enterprise-level features.
    • Purpose: CentOS is good for testing and non-critical systems. However, Red Hat is best for enterprises and important systems.
    • Stability: CentOS is known for its reliability. Red Hat focuses on high stability too.
    • Long-Term Support (LTS): CentOS has limited long-term support. Red Hat offers longer-term support subscriptions.
    • Package Management: CentOS uses yum for managing packages.
    • Red Hat uses RPM (Red Hat Package Manager).
    • Community Influence: CentOS’s decisions are driven by its community. But Red Hat has a big influence on its development.
    • Customization: CentOS is highly customizable. Red Hat allows some customization within its framework.
    • Certification: CentOS doesn’t focus much on formal certifications. Red Hat offers certifications like RHCE.
    • Versioning: CentOS follows the releases of RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux). Red Hat uses CentOS as the upstream for its releases.
    • Cloud Integration: CentOS supports cloud deployments while Red Hat provides cloud integration solutions.
    • Ecosystem: CentOS has its own ecosystem but Red Hat is part of a broader ecosystem.
    • User Base: CentOS users are often enthusiasts and smaller organizations. Red Hat users are typically large corporations and enterprises.
    • Popularity: CentOS is popular in the open-source community. Yet, Red Hat is widely used in business and industry.

    FAQs: CentOS Vs. RedHat


    In the vast realm of technology, choices abound, and the decision between CentOS and RedHat is no exception. Whether you’re a curious beginner exploring the world of Linux or a seasoned professional seeking the pinnacle of support and performance, understanding the Difference Between CentOS and RedHat is crucial. Ultimately, whether you opt for the free spirit of CentOS or the fortified fortress of RedHat, both paths lead to a world of endless possibilities in the ever-evolving realm of computing.

    References & External Links

    1. About CentOS Linux
    2. Red Hat open source is the world’s leading provider of enterprise
    Shahzad is a professional digital marketer with over ten years of experience. He is also the owner of a diffeology website, which is giving information like difference between similar items.


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