How Does Such Long Term Support Work?

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I’ve had nothing but trouble with BSD/Linux over the past year or so.

I’ve been on CentOS 6.4 for about a half day now and I am loving it.

I am just wondering though, how does a 7 year support cycle work?

I see that there is libreoffice which is kinda new. Is this because open office is under oracle’s influence?

I am on gnome 2 right now, will I wake up one day in the next 7 years to gnome 3 ? I really don’t want to. Will I just have gnome 2 + bug fixes?

If so how does the community do this if the gnome people drop support for gnome 2.


8 thoughts on - How Does Such Long Term Support Work?

  • Patrick wrote:

    Welcome, and glad to hear it.

    If it wasn’t clear to you, CentOS == RHEL, minus the proprietary RH software.

    LibreOffice was forked shortly after Oracle got it, IIRC (and a Good Idea, considering Oracle’s attitude to $$$ervice).


  • Basically CentOS rebuilds RHEL source, so whatever happens upstream will happen to CentOS. But, the point of an ‘Enterprise’ version is that working interfaces don’t break within the supported life of the release. There is obviously some conflict between fixing problems and breaking things when the individual application/library developers have no regard for backwards compatibility in their updates but a lot of effort goes into it. So, unless there is a Gnome3 with perfect backwards compatibility, you’ll just get bug fixes until at least CentOS 7.

  • To expand on Mark’s reply;

    CentOS is a community maintained, binary compatible version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. That means that, minus trademarked content, it is identical in every way to RHEL (warts and all). Red Hat somewhat recently announced that they were extending support from 7 years to 10
    years, too.

    Red Hat’s claim to fame, and the reason for their popularity, is that they maintain a super-stable OS. Once a major version is released, say
    6.0, all versions of all software will (almost) never change. So the version released on 6.0 will be the same version available when the last
    6.X version is retired. This means that you never have to worry about conflicts and faults caused by library or dependency apps changing over time.

    As for support; Red Hat takes responsibility of maintaining *all*
    applications in their OS. Of course, most issues are resolved with help from the original authors, but they will take over if the original project dies or significantly changes for whatever reason.

    CentOS, in the meantime, very quickly recompiles updates as they’re released from Red Hat and makes them available to their users. They do this for all supported releases and plan to do so for the foreseeable future. Given their past excellent track record, I personally have every reason to trust them. So CentOS will continue to provide support for CentOS 5 until 2017 and CentOS 6 until 2020.

    This is why RHEL and CentOS are so extremely popular in enterprise. It’s arguably the most supported and longest living release cycle in the Linux ecosystem.


  • what is BSD/Linux ? BSD, in its various flavors (FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD), is a UNIX derived system, while Linux was derived from Minix, which was created from scratch as a Unix work-alike.

    CentOS is a Linux distribution.

  • Umm. No; Linux was not derived from Minix. Minix was a micro-kernel message-passing based system developed by Tanenbaum for education purposes (see “Operating Systems: Design and Implementation”).

    Linux is a traditional monolithic design with shared data structures. (Yes, early Linux used the Minix filesystem because of the early development environment used… that’s the closest they came).

    There is even a comparison of early Linux (0.01, 0.11 etc) to Minix where there is no similarity in the code base, on Tanenbaum’s own site:

  • I can’t believe how depressed I was when I had trouble with various BSD
    & Linux distros and I can’t believe how happy I am now with CentOS.

    I am a true dork. Thanks to everyone for your help and input