CentOS goes continuous

centosFrom the ‘Just Release 6.1 Already’ files:

The CentOS Linux distribution has a problem. They were months late in getting CentOS 6 released and as a result CentOS 6 users were not getting the most up-to-date security patches.

CentOS is a clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). RHEL 6.1 was released in May, providing Red Hat’s customers with new hardware and security updates. CentOS is still not out with a CentOS 6.1 release, but they’re not leaving their users hanging.

“There is now a Continuous Release repository for CentOS 6 which aims to keep users secure by including patches that will show up in a future CentOS 6.1 release,” Karanbir Singh wrote in a posting.”This repository contains rpms to be included in the next CentOS-6.x release ( 6.1 ). Because these include security and bugfix updates, we strongly recommend everyone using CentOS-6 install and update their system using this repository.”

This is good news for CentOS users. It means that you can actually deploy CentOS 6 without painting a target on your server.

I suspect that many CentOS 5.x users have delayed the CentOS 6 migration due to security concerns and this new repository might be a big help.

Then again, CentOS does keep up to date with RHEL 5.x at a significantly faster pace (blame Red Hat’s packaging for RHEL 6?). It’s not clear to me whether or not CentOS will be able to keep the same pace for RHEL 6.x as they do for 5.x. With a continuous release repository though, does it really matter anymore?

CentOS 6.x users will get patches much faster than waiting for the big milestone release. It is important to remember though that RHEL updates are more than just security updates, they’re also hardware and feature updates too.

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