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CentOS Stream - How will this impact you?

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A brief history of CentOS Stream, where things are going in the future, and how this will impact you as a consumer or contributor.

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CentOS Stream - How will this impact you?

  1. 1. CentOS Stream How will this impact you?
  2. 2. © Abyres Enterprise Technologies 2 of 15 CentOS History ● CentOS Linux ("CentOS") historically is a rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux ("RHEL") shortly after a release of an official RHEL version ● RHEL in the other hand, is derived from Fedora Linux ("Fedora") by taking a snapshot of Fedora every 3-4 years. ● CentOS have been very popular among users who want RHEL level enterprise quality Linux, but unwilling, or does not require the commercial support subscription provided by RHEL, due to: ● CentOS , being a completely equivalent RHEL rebuild, does not add any additional value on top of RHEL, and merely a free (as in price), alternative to RHEL.
  3. 3. © Abyres Enterprise Technologies 3 of 15 What It Means To Be "Stable" ● A Linux distribution ("Distro") is not a single software, but a bundle of hundreds of software that works together to function as a single operating system. ● Traditionally, a Distro will be released with specific major release of bundled software and libraries (or "Components"), of which, during the lifetime of the release, the bundled software and libraries will be updated in a manner not to break the functionality of the whole distro. – This means, an update will usually be limited to minor version of Components, and update to a new major release is avoided unless necessary, until the new major release of Components have been used and tested by users and community thoroughly. ● A "Stable" Distro means , the Distro avoids picking up new major release, and very careful in updating to new component versions, including minor versions, as such not to introduce unexpected breakage.
  4. 4. © Abyres Enterprise Technologies 4 of 15 The Problem Of Traditional Stability ● Moves very slowly – While very stable, it is detrimental for innovation – Older version of Components may be lacking of features required for specific purposes – Bug and security fixes have to be extracted and carried backward from new Component version to older version ("backporting") – New applications requires newer set of Components and unable to be installed in the Distro. ● Installing new applications in older distro release, and installing old application versions in new distro release creates a set of complication. – Applications have to require regular maintenance and enhancement to regularly play catch up with newer version of components, in order to support OS upgrades, which can be costly.
  5. 5. © Abyres Enterprise Technologies 5 of 15 Traditional Distro Release
  6. 6. © Abyres Enterprise Technologies 6 of 15 Fedora Modularity: A New Approach Of Distro Packaging ● Circa 2013, Fedora Project introduced the "Modularity Initiative" – An approach to make a Distro able to carry multiple "stream" of component versions. – Streams would provide a form of stability to applications that depends on specific major version of components ● Streams would regularly receive minor updates of major versions, allowing apps to regularly receive fixes on components, without high cost of moving to new major version ● OS can be regularly updated, without risking applications to break due to major version change. Base OS Module Stream Module Stream Module Stream Module Stream
  7. 7. © Abyres Enterprise Technologies 7 of 15 Fedora Modularity
  8. 8. © Abyres Enterprise Technologies 8 of 15 AppStreams ● Fedora Modularity was adopted by Red Hat in RHEL8 as "Application Streams" to offer ability for application to depend on specific major versions of components, while still allowing OS to receive regular updates. ● However, the due the very fast pace of Fedora updating their components, while RHEL heavy focus on stability, AppStream modules in RHEL lack community participation. – Those who contribute in Fedora Modularity, would only likely to see AppStream to pick up the module years in the future – This limits the impact of AppStream and made it less useful, as ecosystem application developers may need the component versions sooner rather than later. – Contributing AppStream in CentOS is very difficult, as CentOS tracks RHEL rather than RHEL tracks CentOS. A submission to CentOS AppStream would have to go through RHEL rather than the other way around.
  9. 9. © Abyres Enterprise Technologies 9 of 15 CentOS Stream The Community Enterprise Linux ● Traditional RHEL development flow have been behind closed doors of Red Hat. ● CentOS project, due to its original goal of being merely a rebuild of RHEL, have very limited community contribution flow. – Bug and fixes identified by community have to be accepted by RHEL first, before it lands on CentOS. ● The change of focus to CentOS Stream includes a goal to make a clearer community contribution to CentOS.
  10. 10. © Abyres Enterprise Technologies 10 of 15 Previous Community Contribution Flow Stabilization & QC Community Contributions Community Contributions Latest & Greatest Software Community Fixes & AppStream Rebuild
  11. 11. © Abyres Enterprise Technologies 11 of 15 Upcoming Community Contribution Flow Stabilization Community Contributions Community Contributions Latest & Greatest Software Community Fixes & AppStream Merge ELN (Enterprise Linux Next) Stable Enterprise Linux Test & QC
  12. 12. © Abyres Enterprise Technologies 12 of 15 To A Consumer, What Really Changed? ● What Changed: – AppStream provides more stable ecosystem for application deployment, allowing locking a CentOS install to specific major version of components. – Earlier access to community contributed bugfixes – Less barrier of entry in participating in CentOS as contributor. – AppStream module development cycle will be more open, allowing a richer ecosystem of modules for different purposes to be contributed by the community ● What Remain The Same: – CentOS continue to be a stable OS for enterprise Linux use-cases
  13. 13. © Abyres Enterprise Technologies 13 of 15 Looking For Commercial CentOS Support? ● ABYRES is a Malaysian Open Source Solution Provider which have been providing FOSS related consulting and professional services since 1997. ● Our team consist of experienced FOSS consultants, and also FOSS contributors who contributes to projects such as Fedora, oVirt, OKD, morepath, and others. ● Contact us at salesteam@abyres.net for information on how we can help you in leveraging CentOS Stream and other FOSS technologies in your enterprise.
  14. 14. © Abyres Enterprise Technologies 14 of 15 Refs: ● Future Is CentOS Stream: https://blog.centos.org/2020/12/future-is-centos-stream/ ● Fedora Modularity: https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/modularity/ ● Fedora ELN: https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/eln/ ● Intro to AppStream: https://www.redhat.com/en/blog/introduction-appstreams-and-mod ules-red-hat-enterprise-linux ● CentOS Stream Continuous Delivery: https://blog.centos.org/2020/12/centos-stream-is-continuous-delivery/

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