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Capitalism 101: IBM Castrates CentOS to "Improve" RHEL

If you loved the PC Jr. and New Coke, you’re going to love yesterday’s technology news. Claiming the best of intentions, IBM® cut the 8-year life span of CentOS® 8 to one year after which CentOS will become CentOS Stream, an experimental development platform sandwiched between Fedora® and Red Hat Enterprise Linus®. If you’ve spent the last year or two planning for or deploying CentOS 8, too bad. You can either pay up for RHEL licenses going forward or switch to a new platform. The government-sponsored Scientific Linux project folded into CentOS so that option no longer exists. Oracle Linux® remains an option but, considering Oracle’s track record with MySQL, that might give many organizations pause. For organizations with thousands of CentOS platforms, the remaining alternatives are PAINFUL. Both Debian and Ubuntu would require major software plumbing changes. There’s always a chance that the original CentOS developers will come to the rescue with a new product, but we’re not holding our breath.

So here we are. How does this affect Incredible PBX? As most of you know, we’ve had Incredible PBX 2020 versions for both CentOS 7 and Raspbian 10 for the Raspberry Pi®. There will be no CentOS 8 release of Incredible PBX, but you’ve got four more years of CentOS 7 support unless IBM welches on that commitment as well. Because Raspbian 10 is a derivative of Debian 10, moving forward it makes perfect sense to consolidate onto the Debian 10 platform. And Incredible PBX 2021 will do just that with versions for Debian 10 and Raspbian.

With a little help from Santa, we hope to have a beta release of Incredible PBX 2021 for Debian before the end of this month. Stay tuned. The world will not end.

Originally published: Wednesday, December 9, 2020

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  1. I’m confused by this. Does this mean that CentOS is no longer going to be "down stream" from RHEL? I mean, previously, CentOS was just RHEL without the branding, right? So, they’re putting the branding back in?

    [WM: Correct. CentOS will become yet another pre-release development platform rather than a mirror image of the RHEL production release.]

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