CentOS’s Linux parent company, RedHat, announced that it shifted focus from CentOS (the rebuild of RHEL (RedHat Enterprise Linux)) to CentOS Stream, which is tracking ahead of a current RHEL release. What that means is, CentOS will no longer be the stable point distribution but a rolling release distribution.
CentOS users are mad about this decision. The reason is that a rolling-release Linux gets constant updates. Examples of such include Manjaro, openSUSE Tumbleweed, and Arch. Subsequently, CentOS Stream will be RHEL’s upstream (development) side, making CentOS RHEL’s beta.
However, CentOS denies that this is the case.
In the company’s FAQs, CentOS says that CentOS Stream will get fixes and features before RHEL. In general terms, the company expects CentOS Stream to have fewer bugs and more runtime features than RHEL until the packages are introduced into a RHEL release.
The fixed-release model is the traditional way of most server Linux distributions have used. For instance, RedHat using it for RHEL, Canonical uses it for its mainstream Ubuntu Linux release, and SUSE uses it for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.
In the fixed release, the major distributions are done using a schedule with minor security patches and minor updates as needed, instead of a constant slew of beta-style packages.
Perks and resentments
Every approach has its merits and downsides. With a rolling release, major bugs could show up in a production system. In a fixed-release Linux, significant improvements could take months or years to release.
Some of the rolling release Linux distributions are applicable in production, but for IoT uses, including Fedora, Ubuntu Core, and Clear Linux. They are not used for servers, where stability and extensive programs are more valuable than having the newest, bleeding-edge software.