CentOS 8 to CentOS stream


CentOS Options

Following the recent announcement of CentOS 8 to migrate from CentOS 8 to CentOS Stream, this widely used Linux distribution is moving to an intermediate version of RHEL for development. Essentially, CentOS 8 is becoming an early release distribution for RHEL. As CentOS moves from a subsequent distribution to the stable version of RedHat to be essentially a pre-release version of RHEL, many users are looking for alternatives to replace their current operating systems with a long-term stable platform beyond RHEL and IBM who own RedHat.

CentOS Announcement

"The future of the CentOS project is CentOS Stream, and over the next year we will be moving our focus from CentOS Linux rebuilt Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) to CentOS Stream, which only tracks the current RHEL release. CentOS Linux 8 as a rebuild RHEL 8 will end in late 2021. CentOS Stream will continue beyond that date, serving as a fork (development) of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

In the meantime, we understand that many of you are deeply investing in CentOS Linux 7 and we will continue to release this version until the end of the RHEL 7 lifecycle. CentOS Stream will also be the centerpiece of a major shift in collaboration between CentOS Special Interest Groups (SIG). This ensures that SIGs are developed and tested for what will be the next version of RHEL. It also gives SIG a clear single purpose, rather than having to build and test two releases. This gives the CentOS community of contributors a great influence on the future of RHEL. And it removes the confusion about what "CentOS" stands for in the ecosystem of a Linux distribution.

When CentOS Linux 8 (RHEL8 rebuild) completes, the best option would be to upgrade to CentOS Stream 8, which is a small delta from CentOS Linux 8 and has regular updates such as traditional CentOS Linux releases. If you are using CentOS Linux 8 in a production environment and are concerned that CentOS Stream will not meet your needs, we recommend that you contact Red Hat for options. "

Modifying the roadmap

Presumably, the CentOS project has noted the following changes in its roadmap.

As part of the CentOS project, the CentOS 8 end of life has been accelerated to December 31, 2021. No further operating system updates will be available after this date.

The CentOS Project also stated that CentOS 8 will change its OS to run as an upstream branch of RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) called CentOS Stream. The placement guidelines indicate that a non-production OS such as CentOS Stream is not intended for use in a production environment.

Previous versions of the CentOS LTR lifecycle will remain unchanged. Security fixes and updates will be provided until June 30, 2024

CentOS 7

Those wishing to stay on CentOS 7, or anyone wishing to upgrade from CentOS 6 to CentOS 7, can do so, as supported updates will continue until they run out. Service updates will end on June 30, 2024. and full updates will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2020. According to the CentOS development team, the following information is still correct.

During the full upgrade phase, new hardware support will be provided at the discretion of RedHat and therefore CentOS. In addition, all available and qualified fixes will be provided via update kits (or individually and immediately for security fixes). Update kits are usually released 2 to 3 times a year, with new ISOs released as part of each update kit. In the numbering scheme x.y; y is the updated set number.

During the servicing phase, only security fixes and some critical bug fixes will be released. Multiple update kits will be released if any.


Alternative Distributions for CentOS


Perhaps the most popular OS for cPanel clients is CloudLinux. CloudLinux is another option in the RHEL/CentOS lineup. According to a recent blog post, a new version of CloudLinux OS has been released, providing the means to convert CentOS 8.3 to CloudLinux 8.3. Using their own script, users can convert CentOS 8.3 to CloudLinux 8.3 using their cldeploy script when complete. The expected release date is set for December 21st. Users can convert CentOS 8.2 to CloudLinux 8.2 and then upgrade to CloudLinux 8.3 or wait until CloudLinux OS 8.3 is deployed to complete.

CloudLinux's Lenix recently announced that they plan to introduce an alternative product called "Project Lenix" as a replacement for CentOS. The expected release date is mid 2021. You can read more about this project at projectlenix.org.

Rocky Linux

Rocky Linux is a new fork of CentOS currently being developed by the creator of the CentOS project, which followed the RHEL source code. It remains early in the development cycle and will not be associated with any other commercial organization. More information can be found on the Rocky Linux official website and on GitHub.

Oracle Linux

Oracle Linux is one of the most RedHat compatible operating systems. This is one of the free and downloadable offerings developed and maintained by Oracle. One of the main benefits is that it closely follows the RHEL release cycle using a modified UEK or "Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel" manufactured by Oracle. The kernel provides additional advantages over the pine kernel in terms of stability and minimal countdown packages, among other features. The maintainers have created a script that makes it easy to migrate to Oracle Linux hosted on Oracle.com and GitHub.

Springdale Linux

Princeton University is spearheading another ongoing project called Springdale Linux (SDL). This OS, formerly known as PUIAS (Princeton University Advanced Research Institute), is a customizable RedHat-based distribution maintained by members of the computing staff at Princeton University and the Institute for Advanced Study.

ClearOS Linux

Another major player looking to join the fight is HP. They offer a different version of RHEL called ClearOS, mostly available in the HPE ProLiant server line. Although not explicitly stated, ClearOS is primarily based on RHEL / CentOS. This open-source OS is available to the community for free and has its own app marketplace, which contains both free and paid apps.

Amazon Linux 2

Amazon Linux 2 is an RHEL-based OS that is available as a virtual machine and container image, which is mainly used for local development and testing. It offers long term support and multiple virtual machine images for KVM virtualization platforms, Microsoft Hyper-V, Oracle VM VirtualBox, and VMware ESXi.

Alternative operating systems


Ubuntu is currently the most popular OS distribution in the world for both servers and desktops. Ubuntu is a robust Debian-based OS with an active community and excellent supporting documentation. The latest Ubuntu LTS includes five years of support, with optional paid extended support.


Along with Ubuntu, Debian is one of the four major Linux distributions. This OS, which is slightly different in layout and built-in package management, is one of the most stable and well-built systems in use today.


Rounds out our OpenSuse list. Like Debian, this Linux distribution is one of the four major operating systems in use today. It is also one of the most reliable and reliable Linux servers available. Basically, it comes in two current flavors; a rolling version called Tumbleweed and a long-term stable version called Leap.

Upgrading CentOS 8 to CentOS 8 Stream

If you decide to upgrade your existing version of CentOS 8 to CentOS 8 Stream, this is a simple three-step process.

root@centos-linux# dnf install centos-release-stream
root@centos-linux# dnf swap centos-{linux,stream}-repos
root@centos-linux# dnf distro-sync
root@centos-stream# cat /etc/centos-release
CentOS Stream release 8

This change will affect some package updates, and several new packages will be installed.


MivoCloud - Enterprise Public Cloud

We recommend that customers use their current operating system or non-EOL operating system. Not using a supported operating system limits our ability to provide support and assistance and creates additional risk for our customers. That being said, MivoCloud will not immediately stop supporting customers for EOL software (CentOS 6 is a perfect example). We recommend that customers maintain all updates. However, we will continue to support the OS until we determine that we cannot provide the level of service, performance, and security our customers deserve. Any changes to the operating systems we support will be communicated in advance so that customers have time to update as soon as necessary.