CentOS: A General Overview

CentOS is popular for those needing a professional server operating system (OS) like well-respected Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) but without commercial support. Though both are built upon the Linux Fedora OS, CentOS is a free community-driven rebuild of Red Hat started in March 2004. There isn’t a set duration between new version releases but CentOS recommends full backups and fresh installations to new versions. CentOS 6 receives updates until November 2020.

CentOS supports encryption and scaling from one to more servers. Those interested can learn more about CentOS with free edX courses such as “Introduction to Red Hat” and “Introduction to Linux.”

Supported File Systems

According to Red Hat documentation, CentOS supports the following file systems: ext3, ext4, global file system 2, XFS, NFS, and FS-Cache.

Package Management for CentOS

CentOS uses the Yellowdog Update Modified (YUM) package management tool to manage software. Among other things, YUM can install, update, query, and search YUM and Red Hat Package Management (RPM) packages. RPM is the package management tool of parent OS Red Hat.

Note: VPS users can view their version in the upper-right corner of WHM and using the following command in SSH:

cat /etc/redhat-release

Init System for CentOS

The Init process is the first process executed when starting CentOS 6. CentOS 7 uses systemd.

Other CentOS Install Options and Architectures

CentOS supports Metal as a Service (MAAS), allowing you to deal with servers as a whole instead of individually and support another OS such as Ubuntu Server and Windows. It also supports OpenStack.

Other Resources

  • IRC-based support
  • CentOS on DistroWatch
  • Red Hat training at edX.org

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