CentOS expired - but RHEL is now free for up to 16 production servers

CentOS expired – but RHEL is now free for up to 16 production servers

Zoom in / CentOS used to be the preferred way to get RHEL compliance at no cost. CentOS is now gone – but Red Hat is expanding RHEL options at no cost more than ever.

Last month, Red Hat caused a lot of panic in the enthusiastic Linux world and small businesses when it happened Advertise Stop CentOS Linux.

A long-standing tradition – and ambiguity in the published terminology of Red Hat – led users to believe that CentOS 8 will be available until 2029, just like the RHEL 8 it was relying on. Red Hat’s early termination of CentOS 8 in 2021 cut off eight of those 10 years, leaving thousands of users stranded.

CentOS Stream

Red Hat’s December announcement of CentOS Stream – which it initially described as an “alternative” to CentOS Linux – left many users confused about its role in the updated Red Hat ecosystem. Red Hat this week outlines it as follows:

To recap: We are making CentOS Stream the collaboration hub for RHEL, with the scene looking like this:

  • Fedora Linux is the place to be for new OS innovations, ideas, and ideas – and this is where the next major release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux is
  • CentOS Stream is the frequently introduced platform that becomes the next minor release of RHEL.
  • RHEL is the intelligent operating system for productive workloads, and is used in nearly every industry in the world, from cloud-level deployments in mission-critical data centers and on-premises server rooms to public clouds to remote edges of enterprise networks.

Although CentOS Stream can be considered suitable and well suited to enthusiasts and home labs, the lack of a long and well-defined life cycle made it unsuitable for most production uses, especially production use by stores that chose RHEL-compliant distribution in the first place.

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Simplified new arrival at no cost and at low cost

Starting February 1, 2021, Red Hat will make RHEL free for small production workloads – with “small” defined as 16 systems or less. This access to RHEL Productions at no cost is via the newly expanded Red Hat Developer Subscription program, and it does not come without restrictions – in the words of Red Hat, “This is not a sales program, and no salesperson will follow it.”

Red Hat is also expanding the availability of developer subscriptions for teams, as well as individual users. Going forward, subscribed RHEL customers can add full development teams to the developer subscription program at no cost. This allows the entire team to use Cloud access for Red Hat To deploy and maintain RHEL on well-known cloud service providers, including AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure.

Given the previous public outcry over CentOS 8’s early demise, we contacted Red Hat for clarification on the guarantees of availability – specifically, whether any guarantee has been made that the terms of use for free small production will remain valid throughout the public support period for CC RHEL they cover. After some deliberation, this was the official answer:

Red Hat Subscription gives you access to all available versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux except for those on Extended Support. This access expires when the subscription expires, as well as access to all related documents, support, services, corrections, etc., so it is important to consider signing up separately from the platform.

Red Hat developer program is not a fast-paced or quickly produced program; It has been around since early 2015 with supported multi-system deployments from 2018. The big change today is that a small number of subscription production systems can now be included for individuals, but the software itself is tried and true. We never removed anything from the program, we just added it to it, and today’s announcement highlights it.

The Single Developer Subscription is currently set up as a 1-year subscription. Renewals will be a simple “click the button” process as possible. We have no intention of terminating this program and we have prepared it to be sustainable – we want to continue to give users who want to use RHEL access to it. The main reason we need a subscription period is that it is legally difficult to introduce unlimited terms worldwide, and with new laws coming into effect, for example the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), we need to be able to update the terms and conditions. This is similar to how our customers buy their Red Hat subscriptions on fixed terms, not forever.

Our goal is to keep small production use cases as a core part of the Red Hat Developer program and to engage individual developers to help provide enterprise-level Linux to more users.

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