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SUSE to continue supporting CentOS 7 users after Red Hat pulls the plug

No Red Hat? No problem

SUSE to continue supporting CentOS 7 users after Red Hat pulls the plug

On June 30, Red Hat will stop supporting its own CentOS Linux 7. With its “frictionless” solution Liberty Linux Lite, SUSE will still support CentOS 7 users.

In the middle of last year, Red Hat pulled the plug on CentOS, a free and fully compatible Linux distribution with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). This has effectively put the enterprise-focused Linux from Red Hat behind a paywall. As the end-of-support date for CentOS 7 approaches, it is forcing SUSE, not Red Hat, to take action.

Liberty Lite

SUSE will continue to support CentOS 7 with security updates after June 30, taking over from Red Hat. Liberty Linux on its own has been a direct alternative to RHEL for more than two years. Upon announcing it, SUSE explained that organizations are relying on multiple vendors and open-source communities for support. Liberty Linux’s core purpose was already to prevent vendor lock-in, including the then-unknown elimination of free CentOS support. Now, SUSE is adding another product to ensure that mission continues.

The new Liberty Linux Lite promises a move from CentOS 7 with “zero disruption, zero migrations and zero upgrades.” Rick SPencer, GM on SUSE’s Business Critical Linux team, speaks at SUSECON 2024 in Berlin about “re-enabling choice”.

Incidentally, support for Liberty Linux Lite is not indefinite either. The new support date moves up four years to June 30, 2028. This distribution costs users $67 per year per unit and requires a 3-year contract with advance payment. Other than that, there is no support; for that, you have to turn to Liberty Linux Basic, Professional, or Enterprise.

Open source “cornerstone of innovation”

Spencer argues that open-source technologies are the “cornerstone of innovation” for businesses. “Ensuring CentOS 7 users have a secure, enterprise-ready, future-proof Linux solution is important to SUSE, and we are delighted to be in a position to support CentOS 7 users as they face this uncertain and risky situation.”

It is not the only move SUSE is making to reduce Red Hat dependence among enterprises. Last year, for example, it revealed plans to fork RHEL. Meanwhile, the company has a nice fleet of Linux distributions to cater to, including SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (aka SLE Server or SLES) and the embedded-focused SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro OS.

Also read: Next semi-annual Ubuntu release in the works, releases on October 10