Changes to the production of CentOS Linux are causing many organizations to migrate to an alternate operating system. Find how Red Hat is making it easier for CentOS Linux users to migrate to RHEL with no-cost and low-cost subscriptions, and learn about the simplified process for contributing to RHEL development with CentOS Stream.

Choosing a new platform

CentOS Stream might seem like a natural choice to replace CentOS Linux, but it’s not designed for enterprise development or production use. It is intended as a development platform for those that want to participate and collaborate in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux ecosystem. 

Running CentOS Stream in production environments presents many challenges compared to enterprise-ready distributions like Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Consider these four key differences between CentOS Stream and RHEL:

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Life cycle

Red Hat Enterprise Linux

  • 10-year life cycle support, with access to advanced security features, patches, expert guidance, and training
  • Upgrade tools that make moving to a new major release easier and faster

CentOS Stream

  • No commercial support; updates and patches for only five years
  • No existing in-place upgrade capabilities; more manual upgrades
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Red Hat Enterprise Linux

  • Predictable, production-friendly release schedules so you can better plan, update, and maintain your systems
  • Live kernel patches for critical and important Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) at no extra cost

CentOS Stream

  • Updates can come at any time, putting your organization at risk for operating system (OS) version, configuration drift, and IT environment inconsistencies 
  • No support for live kernel patching, so systems must be restarted when performing updates
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Security and compliance 

Red Hat Enterprise Linux

  • Built-in security features and automated security tools
  • Continuous vulnerability alerts and targeted guidance via Red Hat Insights, so you can avoid security issues, unpatched systems, and configuration drift

CentOS Stream

  • No security standards certifications, making it difficult to ensure compliance
  • Instances must absorb new features at the same time as they accept bug fixes and security update
  • Interdependent patches make it difficult to limit updates
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Red Hat Enterprise Linux

  • Self-service migration with Convert2RHEL, a fully supported command-line utility 

CentOS Stream

  • No easy process for moving from CentOS Stream to another Linux distribution if it does not meet your operational requirements over time
  • Not compatible with Convert2RHEL
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Contribute to RHEL development

Red Hat Enterprise Linux

  • Access to the product roadmap
  • Ability to recommend new features or enhancements

CentOS Stream

  • Contribute new features, changes, and patches for the next minor release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
  • Share feedback while the code is still in development.
  • Hardware partners and application developers! Test your solutions to get them ready for the next minor release on Day 1.

Ready to migrate to RHEL?

We're ready to help you along the way.

Learn how to migrate to RHEL