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CentOS 4.3 Multi-Platform Release 172

hughesjr writes "The CentOS development team has announced the availability of CentOS-4.3 for the i386, x86_64, and ia64 architectures. Major changes in this version of CentOS include: upgraded update system - this new system provides more that 100 total mirrors for updates and picks geographically close and non-stale mirrors based on our master server's content; Frysk, InfiniBand Architecture (IBA), and z/VM hypervisor added; see the release announcement for more information. ISO's are also available for download on their site."
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CentOS 4.3 Multi-Platform Release

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  • Hmmm (Score:1, Redundant)

    I've been looking into using CentOS for a webserver... just to try it out. I am a big Gentoo fan, though.

    I'll be sure to try this release out though. :-)

    • Re:Hmmm (Score:3, Informative)

      From my personal experience, a stable CentOS release is great for a Cpanel/WHM server environment. Its relatively easy to setup and has been pretty much problem free for me.
  • CentOS? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Musteval ( 817324 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @09:29PM (#14968835)
    According to their website, it stands for Community ENTerprise Operating System. I've never heard of them. Are they related to Microsoft ENTerprise Operating System? I'm fairly certain I've seen ads for that somewhere.
    • Re:CentOS? (Score:3, Informative)

      by donutz ( 195717 )
      Are they related to Microsoft ENTerprise Operating System?

      No, CentOS is actually a totally free equivalent of RedHat Enterprise Linux (RHEL for people who don't have the money [] to spend on an RHEL license).
      • Re:CentOS? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by codergeek42 ( 792304 )
        "(RHEL for people who don't have the money to spend on an RHEL license)." ...or for people who are too cheap to pay the people at Red Hat for their awesome hard work and dedication to maknig such a high-quality product...
        • Turnabout is fair play. What CentOs is doing to Redhat, Redhat is doing to other open source projects.
        • Re:CentOS? (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Inner_Child ( 946194 )
          I was under the impression that when you buy a RHEL license, you're paying for the support, not the OS. Anyone care to correct me?
          • You're paying for 1 year of updates and for support. It's actually very expensive considering their support is basically useless and answers are found quicker elsewhere. The two times I posted a support question, the ticket wasn't even opened/ackowledged a week later. I found the solution myself within 24 hours.

            As our 1 year contracts expire, I don't renew them and all new installs run on CentOS.

        • Oh please, not everybody needs Redhat's support, which is really what you pay for when buying RHEL.
        • Re:CentOS? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by skryche ( 26871 )
          By that logic, isn't Linux generally for people who are too cheap to pay the creators of a closed-source operating system for their awesome hard work and dedication?
        • I fully agree with you. Developing all those commands, ls, cp, mv etc should have taken some effort. And the kernel, wow, thats some piece of work. Other impressive parts of redhat is the glibc and the gcc compiler that can compile on so many platforms. Add some databases to that, and you're competing with Microsoft. They even have a windows system thats pretty advanced and looks great.

          How could Redhat ever do that?
    • That is definitely a joke, for those that don't get it ;-) (CentOS, Mentos, get it?)
    • Asterisk at home uses centos, I am not sure why, but that is where I found out about it.

      Pros and cons of this distro and distros in general?

      OK, that just my nickel

      please type the word in this image: nickel
      random letters - if you are visually impaired, please email us at
  • A clone of RHEL (Score:4, Informative)

    by CRCulver ( 715279 ) <> on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @09:32PM (#14968861) Homepage
    Obligatory Wikipedia link []. CentOS is a project which uses the source packages published by Red Hat in order to create an Enterprise Linux solution that can compete with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which is distributed only in uncool binary form. While the differences between RHEL and Fedora Linux, the everyday consumer version, are not great--they are often documented in a single book, as in Wiley's Red Hat Fedora and Enterprise Linux 4 Bible [] , CentOS is probably not important news for most Linux hobbyists.
    • by Ritz_Just_Ritz ( 883997 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @10:15PM (#14969053)
      It's a reliable "clone" of RHEL, it's free, it's very well supported and it placed 2nd in the most recent Linux Journal reader's choice awards.

      I'd say that makes it important and relevant for hobbyists and people who are using their servers for real work alike.

      • by massysett ( 910130 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @11:38PM (#14969402) Homepage
        Yes, I have heard that people who are studying for Red Hat certification need distros like Centos. Of course you want to play around with RHEL and study it, and of course RHEL is too expensive for that. From what I've read Fedora doesn't cut it for this purpose either.
      • Agreed. We've now deployed Centos 4.2 with Warewulf on three Beowulf clusters, two of which I directly administer. RedHat EL was unfortunately priced outside of our budget (we're in academia), yet some scientific software vendors only *offically* support the Redhat series. For this type of situation, CentOS fits the bill nicely, not to mention there exists good VNFS scripts for warewulf already. Its a valuable resource filling the hole that Redhat Linux left.

        • RedHat EL was unfortunately priced outside of our budget (we're in academia), yet some scientific software vendors only *offically* support the Redhat series.

          Either you didn't stumble across Red Hat's academic pricing, or your budget is really small. I work at an Australian University and we pay US$50 per year for each RHEL AS license.

          While I also use CentOS on some servers, it's more for Yum (non-RHN) and licensing convenience than price.

    • not important news for most Linux hobbyists

      Yeah, hobbyists pay the bills.

      I use CentOS on many hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment. To me, the support and the quality of the OS is better than that I can pay extra from from RedHat. And, yes, I have done both.

    • I think it's worth emphasizing that it is more than just copying the "feel" of RHEL. Centros aims to be binary compatible with the comparable RHEL release. I.e. every RPM that can be installed on RHEL can be installed on a Centros box. This is incredibly useful for situations where you want the long-life that Red Hat guarantees with RHEL, but can't or won't pay for it. FWIW, I first learned about Centros when it came with my VPS account. It's been good to me so far.
    • While the differences between RHEL and Fedora Linux, the everyday consumer version, are not great

      This is not true. The "Enterprise" label means that the distro places importance on stability, both as it applies to crashes and as it applies to software versions. You won't get a bleeding-edge version of the kernel, and you won't get surprised with a version of PHP that breaks your shit when you run an update. RedHat makes an effort to back-port security fixes to previous versions of software included in its

  • ..this new system provides more that 100 total mirrors for updates..

    For you non-native English speakers, this means that there are at least one hundred available instances of: "Dude, it's like totally mirrored.".

  • RHEL ES3 got its 7th Update pack over RHN only a few days ago. These CentOS guys don't waste time!

    CentOS is great when you need to run a RedHat supported application, but don't feel you need to fork out a subscription.

    I'm really impressed with CentOS, although I don't know how RedHat feels about them simply piggybacking all the source-code to backported package updates and security fixes that RedHat worked hard to produce.
    • I don't know how the linux kernel devel's feel about redhat piggybacking and using their kernel to make money...

      see how that works? Welcome to open source.
      • Yup, I'll never feel bad for RedHat. Without Gnu and Linux, RedHat wouldn't even be BeOS.
      • I don't know how the kernel devs feel either, but it would be reasonable to suppose that most of them greatly appreciate RedHat's substantial contributions to their project (and to OSS in general). As to the GP's query, it would also be reasonable to think that RedHat doesn't particularly mind the existence of projects such as WhiteBox and CentOS. It's not as if the majority of users would actually pony up to RedHat if it were to be the case that the knockoff distros didn't exist. IMO those users would b
        • Agreed. From what I know, the issue RedHat did have with CentOS was trademark related - ie "You can't call this a rebuilding of RHEL". Once changed, they were happy - they didn't try a blanket cease and desist.
      • by LnxAddct ( 679316 ) <> on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @11:15PM (#14969319)
        You dumbass, the entire 2.6 scheduler, virtual memory manager, and auditing subsystem are all written and maintained by Red Hat. Let us not forget the countless other contributions they make to the kernel and the development of one of the most often used filesystems, ext3 (its not the fastest, but it is one of the most feature filled and stable). The majority of GCC is also maintained and/or coded by them. They didn't like using a proprietary virtual machine so they started GCJ too, a native compiler for java. Shall we start about how they pay the salary of Chris Blizzard, the big firefox developer and mozilla board member, or Alan Cox, one of the most important kernel developers alive. Red Hat has contributed more code to linux and OSS in general than any other entity, and they don't even brag about it. They also do the majority of the development for Gnome (even the site is hosted by them, read the bottom of the site). Red Hat has spent millions making sure that Linux stays competitive, they bought GFS and Logical Volume Managing from Sistina and gave it away for free, the bought eCos and Cygwin, gave them away for free, spent a few million on the Netscape Directory Server and gave it away for free, and I could go on for much longer. You really have no idea how important Red Hat is to the OSS movement, if something ever happens to them we'll all be set back years as far as development pace goes. Even a good chunk of GLibc is written by them. Unlike most distributions, Red Hat actually codes a good portion of that which they sell, they aren't just repackaging other people's work in an easy to use fashion, they are responsible for where the movement is today. (They also gave 12 million dollars worth of stock to Linus Torvalds to show appreciation for what he's done, thats why Linus never has to worry about work, owns a big home, and drives 3 cars, a Mercedes SLK32, a BMW convertible, and an Acura SUV) Get your facts straight.
        • by saleenS281 ( 859657 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @11:55PM (#14969483) Homepage
          Which again, changes absolutely nothing. They're using other people's code, which they didn't write, and are making money off of it. They aren't paying back the majority of the code contributors, and no matter how butt hurt you get over it, they aren't the primary source of all that is linux. Do they host some important projects? Sure. Does the majority of the code they use come from other people (who they aren't funding)? Yup.

          Take a look at the base install packages of RHEL4 and let me know how many of them were written by Redhat and get back to me.

          Get YOUR facts straight.
          • The whole point of open source is to benefit from other's work. This is why there are no monetary restrictions on what you do with it. It is perfectly fine to sell GPL software, if you don't like it as an OSS developer, then there are licenses which will restrict that. By using the GPL, or similar licenses, you are saying it is okay and acceptable for people to sell this code, as long as changes made to it are given back. There are just as many people profiting from their work, as they are from others, you'
          • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @10:29AM (#14971279) Homepage Journal
            They're using other people's code, which they didn't write, and are making money off of it.

            With their permission of course. Red Hat is complying with the entire letter and spirit of the F/OSS licenses under which they obtained the code. In GPL, it's as simple as this: you can take, modify and redistribute my software, as long as you pass along the same rights to users of the modified work. This doesn't preclude make a buck, or even a lot of bucks.

            If this is not what the original authors intended, they should have used a license that allowed modified version to be distributed for non-commercial purposes only. If they chose the GPL "by accident", then they should speak up; if enough of the contributors to a particular project raise enough of a ruckus, there's always a possibility Red Hat would replace that project in their products.

            But none of us, who aren't contributors to the code in question, have have any right to speak on the behalf of the authors.
        • ext3 (its not the fastest, but it is one of the most feature filled and stable)

          Actually, these days, it does tend to be one of the fastest, as well.
        • Redhat's first releases were ripped off (and I'm not using that in a negative way) from Slackware way back even though RH is almost a completely different disto now. Mandrake (Now Mandriva) was also ripped off from Redhat before they went their own direction.

          Why is this any different?

          What Redhat Brings to the table is mainly service and support (that is what they are charging for). Sure..they do A LOT of great development work (and that's a good thing) it may even be more than just about any distro out ther
      • "I'm really impressed with CentOS, although I don't know how RedHat feels about them simply piggybacking all the source-code to backported package updates and security fixes that RedHat worked hard to produce."

        I don't know how the linux kernel devel's feel about redhat piggybacking and using their kernel to make money...

        Except that Red Hat has a value-add - you get a lot more from RHEL than you get from If you made an application server based on RHEL + something on top and sold it as a package,
        • ...many companies purchase "perfunctory" RHEL licenses anyway to have the feel-good phone support and to diagnose performance issues, and sometimes just to throw a bone to the company because they are aware of the CentOS lineage.

          RedHat knows that people will deploy CentOS and un-backed RHEL internally for non-critical uses while purchasing full licenses for critical systems or reference systems... and it's priced that way.
    • While I think there will be a share of people who forego the license fee to use CentOS, I think it's safe to say that any large organization that can afford the fee will pay for RHEL so they get the support that comes with it. It's six times easier to blame someone else then fall back on yourself when the OS wreaks havoc in production. "We've found the problem and we're on the phone with our SA's from Red Hat" sounds better than "We've found the problem and Joe from IT is hacking together a solution."
      • by Anonymous Coward
        This is where I differ from the mainstream, out of those two statements I would conclude that, "Joe from the IT department must be smart and competent," while the first statement would lead me to believe, "So, basically you're telling me you don't know shit yet". I would rather hire smart competent people who can actually *fix* the problem, then hire personnel who have to call the vendor at every problem because they can't figure things out themselves.
        • I would disagree.

          Perfect example. We *WE'RE* running DB2 UDB on RHAS 2.1. Every so often there would be a spike in load average where all activity on the system would be blocked. It would only last a few seconds but the backlog would take 5 or 10 minutes to clear up. After speaking with IBM AND Redhat on the issue, it came down to a vm flushing issue. The VM would flush and in the process block ALL system activity WHILE it was doing this. It only happened under VERY high loads and only on large systems (our
      • Realisticly, when you buy RHEL, you are not paying a license fee, but a support fee. It get's you Red Hat engineers on your side to fix your problems, well, worth the price of admission if your company depends on a RHEL installation.

      • Support is good, but no matter who is to blame, it's your responsibility to ensure it gets fixed.
    • Errrrm, RHEL 4.3 shipped about a month ago or so. CentOS maintains straight number portability, meaning that when CentOS 3.7 ships, your analogy will be correct. CentOS is based on RHEL 4 Update 3.
    • Red Hat is fine with them doing this, infact a few Red Hat engineers help them out everynow and then if they can't get something working right. Seriously, Red Hat is a way cooler corpoartion than the slashdot groupthink would have you believe.
    • In other words, CentOS is for those who would otherwise use Debian, but feel the need to undermine the business of a company that has supported Linux from long ago.

      I suppose some of those who prefer CentOS might be those who get upset that anyone should make a profit off of something that is free (imagine that... farmers making a profit off of apples; or people selling mistletoe around Christmastime).

      Then, some of those who support CentOS might be microsoft fan-boys, who imagine that harming Red Hat will ai
      • Have I left anyone out?

        Those who like Redhat but don't want to pay for it?

      • You will be correct when the software I need is distributed in debian format. However as it is now, much of that software only officially supports a few distributions. I use Centos because I only have to edit 1 file (/etc/redhat-release) to get those packages to treat the system as a RHEL4 system.

        I'm not talking about business usage, my company buys RH licenses for the servers and workstations that use it.

        So Red Hat is still getting dollars from the people I work for, and Centos is allowing me to work at ho
      • by ahodgson ( 74077 ) on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @01:54AM (#14969823)
        People using CentOS may, undermine some of RedHat's business. However, they also help maintain a vibrant RedHat-based server ecosystem that encourages third-party packagers (like Dag, etc.) to support RHEL distributions, indirectly making RHEL much more usable.

        Most people who use CentOS _like_ RedHat, they just don't want to pay RedHat for support they will never need. If they didn't have something like CentOS, they'd probably use Debian or some other free distro. They almost certainly would not pay RedHat support fees in any case.

        Personally, I have CentOS installed on 28 servers, currently. I recommend to consulting clients who can afford it to buy RHEL subscriptions, and some of them do. I value the work RedHat puts into the stability of their distro, especially the kernel and compiler chain. However, I don't think using CentOS undermines RedHat any more than using Fedora Core does; you just get a more stable server environment that you don't have to upgrade every 6 months. If RedHat didn't want projects like CentOS to exist, they wouldn't give away SRPM's. Doing so makes them even better guys in my book.

        • I use CentOS because I don't need support - I provide it myself. (When you pay for RHEL you're paying for their support contract - that is the business model that RH use). However, if our business expands to the extent that I can no longer adequately provide support (or if I fall under a bus and my colleagues have to pick up the pieces), by using CentOS it would make it very easy to migrate to the same level or Red Hat Enterprise and pay for Red Hat's support, since RHEL is essentially the same. So CentOS g
      • In other words, CentOS is for those who would otherwise use Debian, but feel the need to undermine the business of a company that has supported Linux from long ago.

        Or maybe people who have to use Red Hat (eg: for Oracle) for some machines and want the rest to be identical to make systems administration easier.

      • Or maybe it's good for people like us who buy RHEL for commercial products that require it for support but want to keep the same distro across all our other servers.

        I have to have RHEL for Websphere but I don't have to for apache or for samba where we aren't installing a commercially supported product or need a support contract.

        Don't speak where you don't understand.
    • Leveraging code as a product is absolutely not the point of OSS. RedHat's business model isn't built on developing code and selling copies of it at a profit. It's built on service contracts to maintain, enhance and support that code. RedHat's codebase is built on GPL code other people made, with alterations and enhancements RedHat have built on top. In return for using other people's code, they have to let everyone else use theirs.

      Since they arent relying on productising their code, this doesnt hurt their

  • DistroWatch - News for nerds. Stuff that...

    CentOS is one of my favorite distributions. I use them on numerous servers as well as my desktop and laptop computer. For those who didn't have the chance to check it out, you should.

    There are many RPM packages out there and this distribution is extremely stable. I'm proud for them to release another release!
  • Newsworthy indeed (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dtfinch ( 661405 ) * on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @10:08PM (#14969020) Journal
    Maybe I wasn't paying attention, but I don't remember seeing a slashdot article when RHEL4 U3 was released. CentOS is beating RHEL on distrowatch though. Good, stable distro, perfect for most uses, just like all the other major distros. I have it installed on most of our servers at work and one desktop at home.
  • Upgrade (Score:3, Informative)

    by zerocool^ ( 112121 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @10:41PM (#14969169) Homepage Journal

    Untested, but in theory you should be able to upgrade from 4.2 via:

    rpm -Uvh tOS/RPMS/centos-release-4-3.2.i386.rpm []

    rpm -y upgrade


    Don't blame me. Should work, no guarantees.

    • Re:Upgrade (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Naito ( 667851 )
      here's something simpler:

      yum update

      and unless the kernel was updated (mine wasn't), that's all you need to do!
      • nd unless the kernel was updated (mine wasn't)

        You probably have kernel* in your yum.conf's exclude directive. CentOS 4.3 ships with a later kernel ( which hopefully fixes the iowait bug in that shipped with 4.2
    • Re:Upgrade (Score:4, Informative)

      by caseih ( 160668 ) on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @12:56AM (#14969678)
      Actually upgrading is completely automatic. A yum update from today should do it. My installations of CentOS have automatically upgraded themselves from 4.0 all the way to this release.

      Just to verify, I ran yum update on one machine that doesn't auto update and it's upgrading to 4.3 all by itself. (no need to install centos-release)

      I use RHEL4 and CentOS interchangably. They are 100% compatible (binary package-wise). I have switched machines back and forth on the fly. I must say, though, CentOS needs to get a graphics designer to tweak things. Their gdm and gnome login screens are hideous. Even their grub background is awful.
  • Mmmm (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    The Freshmaker!
  • If I run CentOS at home, what commercial distro am I most comfortable with? And if I'm already running RHEL at work (which I do), I can pre-test anything I want to do at home on CentOS.
  • by ArcherB ( 796902 )
    From the CentOS about page []:
    CentOS-4 supports x86 (i586 and i686),

    In other words, it won't run in a 386, I wouldn't want it if it was compiled so low as to be optimized for a 386. Please start using x86 something other than 386.

    However, even the CentOS page is guilty (from another page on CentOS's site: []
    i386 - This distribution supports AMD (K6, K7, Thunderbird, Athlon, Athlon XP, Sempron), Pentium (Classic, Pro, II, III, 4, Celeron, M, Xeon), VIA (C3, Eden, Luke, C7) processors.

    (Sorry, it just irks me)
    • ummm ... the arch is i386 ... most of the packages are compiled in i386 mode (specifically: -m32 -march=i386 -mtune=pentium4)

      The exceptions are the kernel, ssh, glibc.

      The correct arch is i386
    • Let it stay at 386 till x64 becomes mainstream enough for most packages to simply be compiled for x64. Then it'll be stuck with x64 for another 15 years.

      Seriously enough, x86 means {?86} or anything-86. Linux doesnt run on a 286. It runs on a 386,486,586.. etc etc, and I dont think the Athlon FX 57 quite has a simple number as that. However the 386 code is the common denominator, just as code with NX bit is the common denominator for the OSX.
  • by Air-conditioned cowh ( 552882 ) on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @01:24AM (#14969748)
    "this new system provides more that 100 total mirrors for updates and picks geographically close and non-stale mirrors based on our master server's content"

    SuSe, Mandriva, are you paying attention to this???

    Stale mirrors = loads of faffing about searching the web for a URL to copy, pasting it into software manager, then trying to work out how much of the path to paste in and what magic words like "base", "unstable", "updates" need to be added at the end. Also, some mirrors are slower than others so I then have to repeat the process until a geographically close mirror provides enough download speed. For anything less than an intermediate user that means the software installer/updater is effectivly dead.
    • SuSE has had this for years.... why are you suggesting an improvement?
      The only thing that is missing is the "geographically close". But there IS a list of mirror servers that is downloaded by Yast Online Update.
      Maybe you have disabled the download of that list? (that is an option, which it offers when there turns out to be no Internet connection during the first update attempt)
  • by ajayrockrock ( 110281 ) on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @02:56AM (#14969992) Homepage
    I love CentOS and thank god it ramped up when it did. RH9 support was over and I was concerned about an upgrade path. I looked at a bunch of distros but honestly, as an admin/programmer I don't want to deal with learning all the details about another distro since I've been using Redhat for years. So CentOS picked up speed (and users) and have been releasing a solid product for years (based off the hard work from Redhat and the OSS developers of course).

    Also, don't forget to donate []. While my company didn't pay for RH9, I was able to get them to fork out some cash for the CentOS team. I would have to do A LOT more work if it weren't for those guys.

  • I'm a big fan of Debian myself, just because it works, I got sambaservers, proxies, all running on Debian. But when I have to set up a webserver (which I mostly do with Cpanel/WHM) I'm setting it up with CentOS, just because it runs perfectly, with everything I need. I tried this before with RH, but I don't know, CentOS just feels better for some reason.
    • Ehh, you have to watch those kernel upgrades on CentOs though.

      WE have a bunch of old Poweredge 2800 servers here working as a printfarm and other simple tasks (you cant ask a pair of P-III 600 processors to do much these days) well all of them went down last weekend.

      What happened? we ran the updates on all of them with a regular scheduled task. sunday morning when they rebooted on another scheduled task they all hung after the bootloader on a kernel panic. The new kenel that downloaded and installed fo

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