From the ‘Cloning Takes….Time‘ files:
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (RHEL) was officially released in November of 2010. Since then, Red Hat has managed to already push out RHEL 6.1 and migrate a decent book of business to their next generation Linux platform.
With the RHEL 6 release now 8 months past, for those that are looking for a free (as in beer) version of RHEL 6, there has been a key choice that has lagged behind. CentOS which is a clone of RHEL, is still pushing out their version of CentOS 6.
As of Friday July 8th, CentOS 6 became available on some of the mirrors, which means full/final release is soon.
IT’S ABOUT TIME.
But wait! There is a catch, from my POV here in the cheap seats, CentOS 6 isn’t up to date with the latest patches from RHEL 6.1. That could potentially mean that CentOS 6 is not as secure out-of-the-box as it should be.
For many users, CentOS represents a way to get the enterprise quality of RHEL without paying enterprise dollars for support, that isn’t necessarily required. It’s also something that Red Hat realizes and with RHEL 6 they have made it more difficult for groups like CentOS to clone RHEL. The proof is in the long delay for CentOS 6 which should have been out months ago and would have (IMHO) been under the old RHEL 5 build system approach.
That said, CentOS is tracking RHEL 5.x somewhat closer. Currently CentOS is at version 5.6, which is where RHEL is at. RHEL 5.7 is currently in Beta though and should be GA real soon.
Considering that CentOS is a community effort, I don’t think we can complain too much, then again, there are alot of commercial organizations that rely on CentOS. There are also commercial support options from vendors including OpenLogic too.
Is the CentOS 6 delay and mess with 6.1 patching reason enough to cause users to look elsewhere? Maybe.
Oracle is an option and the reason why Red Hat made RHEL 6 tougher to clone. Then again, RHEL 5 is still a solid choice and is still being actively updated, so the larger question for users will likely be about whether or not they actually get any real benefit from CentOS 6 in the first place instead of just sticking with 5.x