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Image:Centos logo.png

CentOS 5 running GNOME
Company / developer Lance Davis
OS family Unix-like
Working state Current
Source model Free software
Initial release December 1, 2003 (2003-12-01)
Latest stable release 5.3  (March 31, 2009) [+/−]
Kernel type Monolithic kernel
License Various
Website www.centos.org

CentOS is a freely-available operating system that is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. This rebuild project strives to be 100% binary compatible with the upstream product and, within its mainline and updates, not to vary from that goal. Additional software archives hold later versions of such packages, along with other Free and Open Source Software RPM-based packages. CentOS stands for Community ENTerprise Operating System.


[edit] Structure

Red Hat Enterprise Linux is largely composed of free and open source software, but is made available in a usable, binary form (such as on CD-ROM or DVD-ROM media or download) only to paying subscribers. As required, Red Hat releases all source code for the product publicly under the terms of the GNU General Public License and other licenses. CentOS developers use that source code to create a final product that is very similar to Red Hat Enterprise Linux; the logos must be changed, because Red Hat does not allow them to be used for redistribution.[1] CentOS is freely available for download and use by the public, but is not maintained or supported by Red Hat. There are other distributions derived from RHEL's source as well, but they have not attained the surrounding community that CentOS has built; CentOS is generally the one most current with Red Hat's changes.

CentOS's preferred software updating tool is based on yum, although support for use of an up2date variant exists. Each may be used to download and install both additional packages and their dependencies, and also to obtain and apply periodic and special (security) updates from repositories on the CentOS Mirror Network.

CentOS refers to the source as "PNAELV" (Prominent North American Enterprise Linux Vendor), which means Red Hat, coined in response to questions raised by Red Hat's legal counsel in a letter to project members regarding possible trademark issues. [2]

[edit] Versioning scheme

  • CentOS version numbers have two parts, a major version and a minor version. The major version corresponds to the version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux from which the source packages used to build CentOS are taken. The minor version corresponds to the update set of that Red Hat Enterprise Linux version from which the source packages used to build CentOS are taken. For example, CentOS 4.4 is built from the source packages from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 update 4.
  • Since mid-2006, starting with RHEL 4.4 (formerly known as RHEL 4.0 update 4), Red Hat has adopted a versioning convention identical to that of CentOS, e.g., RHEL 4.5 or RHEL 3.9.[3]

[edit] Release history

The architecture information is taken from the CentOS Overview page.

CentOS Release Architectures RHEL base CentOS release date RHEL release date
2 i386 2.1 2004-05-14[4] 2002-05-17[5]
3.1 i386, x86_64, ia64, s390, s390x 3 2004-03-19[6] 2003-10-23[5]
3.4 - Server CD i386, x86_64, ia64, s390, s390x 3.4 2005-01-23 -
3.7 i386, x86_64, ia64, s390, s390x 3.7 2006-04-11[7] -
3.8 i386, x86_64 3.8 2006-08-25[8] -
4.6 i386, x86_64, ia64, alpha, s390, s390x, ppc (beta), sparc (beta) 4.6 2007-12-16[9] 2007-11-16[10]
4.7 i386, x86_64 4.7 2008-09-13[11] 2008-07-24[12]
4.7 - Server CD i386, x86_64 4.7 2008-10-17[13]
5 i386, x86_64 5 2007-04-12[14] 2007-03-14[15]
5.1 i386, x86_64 5.1 2007-12-02[16] 2007-11-07[17]
5.1 - LiveCD i386 5.1 2008-02-18[18] -
5.2 i386, x86_64 5.2 2008-06-24[19] 2008-05-21[20]
5.2 - LiveCD i386 5.2 2008-07-17[21] -
5.3 i386, x86_64 5.3 2009-03-31[22] 2009-01-20[23]

[edit] Architectures

CentOS supports the x86 architectures:[24][25]

  • x86 (32-bit)
  • x86-64 (AMD's AMD64 and Intel's EM64T, 64-bit)

The following architectures were supported by CentOS up to version 4:

The following two architectures were supported or partially supported in CentOS but are not supported upstream:[24]

  • Alpha (CentOS 4 only)
  • SPARC (beta support since CentOS 3)

[edit] Bootable media version

A Live CD version of CentOS is available at mirror.centos.org.
A Live USB of CentOS can be created manually or with UNetbootin.[26]

[edit] Tao Linux

Tao Linux was another prominent RHEL derived release. Its primary developer announced in June 2006 that Tao would be retired, and rolled into CentOS development. Migration via YUM update was available to Tao users, allowing relatively painless migration path to the CentOS release. This helped avoid having Tao users "orphaned" by their OS. [27]

[edit] References

  1. ^ "Red Hat License Agreements". Red Hat. http://www.redhat.com/licenses/rhel_rha_eula.html. Retrieved on 2008-06-01. 
  2. ^ "Don't link our website". Red Hat outside counsel. http://pnaelv.net/letter_body/. Retrieved on 2009-03-10. 
  3. ^ "Red Hat Enterprise Linux > AS/ES/WS Basics". Red Hat. http://kbase.redhat.com/faq/FAQ_80_10667.shtm. Retrieved on 2008-08-11. 
  4. ^ John Newbigin (2004-05-14). "CentOS-2 Final finally released". http://lists.centos.org/pipermail/centos/2004-May/000153.html. Retrieved on 2008-06-01. 
  5. ^ a b Red Hat. "Red Hat Enterprise Linux Errata Support Policy". http://www.redhat.com/security/updates/errata/. Retrieved on 2008-06-01. 
  6. ^ Lance (2004-03-19). "CentOS 3.1 has now been released". http://lists.centos.org/pipermail/centos/2004-March/000015.html. Retrieved on 2008-06-01. 
  7. ^ CentOS Team (2006-04-11). "CentOS 3.7 for all Architectures is released". http://www.centos.org/modules/news/article.php?storyid=129. Retrieved on 2008-10-21. 
  8. ^ CentOS Team (2006-08-25). "CentOS 3.8 for i386 and x86_64 is released". http://www.centos.org/modules/news/article.php?storyid=140. Retrieved on 2008-10-21. 
  9. ^ DistroWatch.com (2007-12-16). "Distribution Release: CentOS 4.6". http://distrowatch.com/?newsid=04657. Retrieved on 2008-11-10. 
  10. ^ DistroWatch.com (2007-11-16). "Distribution Release: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.6". http://distrowatch.com/?newsid=04592. Retrieved on 2008-11-10. 
  11. ^ Johnny Hughes (2008-09-13). "CentOS 4.7 is released for i386 and x86_64". http://lists.centos.org/pipermail/centos-announce/2008-September/015241.html. Retrieved on 2008-09-14. 
  12. ^ Red Hat Enterprise Linux team (2008-07-24). "Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.7 GA Announcement". http://www.redhat.com/archives/rhelv4-announce/2008-July/msg00002.html. Retrieved on 2008-09-14. 
  13. ^ Karanbir Singh (2008-10-17). "CentOS 4.7 Server CD - i386 Released". http://lists.centos.org/pipermail/centos-announce/2006-May/012927.html. Retrieved on 2009-01-23. 
  14. ^ Karanbir Singh (2007-04-12). "Release for CentOS-5 i386 and x86_64". http://lists.centos.org/pipermail/centos-announce/2007-April/013660.html. Retrieved on 2008-06-01. 
  15. ^ Red Hat Enterprise Linux team (2007-03-15). "Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Now Available". http://www.redhat.com/archives/rhelv5-announce/2007-March/msg00001.html. Retrieved on 2008-06-01. 
  16. ^ Karanbir Singh (2007-12-02). "Release for CentOS-5.1 i386 and x86_64". http://lists.centos.org/pipermail/centos-announce/2007-December/014476.html. Retrieved on 2008-06-01. 
  17. ^ Red Hat Enterprise Linux team (2007-11-07). "Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.1 General Availability Announcement". http://www.redhat.com/archives/rhelv5-announce/2007-November/msg00000.html. Retrieved on 2008-06-01. 
  18. ^ Patrice Guay (2008-02-18). "CentOS 5 i386 - The CentOS-5.1 i386 Live CD is released". http://lists.centos.org/pipermail/centos-announce/2008-February/014688.html. Retrieved on 2009-03-25. 
  19. ^ Karanbir Singh (2008-06-24). "Release for CentOS-5.2 i386 and x86_64". http://lists.centos.org/pipermail/centos-announce/2008-June/014999.html. Retrieved on 2009-02-03. 
  20. ^ Red Hat Enterprise Linux team (2008-05-21). "Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2 General Availability Announcement". http://www.redhat.com/archives/rhelv5-announce/2008-May/msg00002.html. Retrieved on 2009-01-22. 
  21. ^ Patrice Guay (2008-07-17). "CentOS 5 i386 - The CentOS-5.2 i386 Live CD is released". http://lists.centos.org/pipermail/centos-announce/2008-July/015148.html. Retrieved on 2009-02-03. 
  22. ^ Karanbir Singh (2009-04-01). "Release for CentOS-5.3 i386 and x86_64". http://lists.centos.org/pipermail/centos-announce/2009-April/015711.html. Retrieved on 2009-04-01. 
  23. ^ Red Hat Enterprise Linux team (2009-01-20). "Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.3 General Availability Announcement". http://www.redhat.com/archives/rhelv5-announce/2009-January/msg00000.html. Retrieved on 2009-01-22. 
  24. ^ a b "About CentOS". CentOS. http://www.centos.org/modules/tinycontent/index.php?id=2. Retrieved on 2008-06-01. 
  25. ^ "Red Hat Enterprise Linux server details". Red Hat. http://www.redhat.com/rhel/server/details/#architectures. Retrieved on 2008-06-01. 
  26. ^ http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/
  27. ^ http://www.centos.org/modules/news/article.php?storyid=135

[edit] External links

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