moving to CentOS from Scientific Linux

Discussion in 'Computers, Hardware, and Operating Systems' started by KK4NSF, May 15, 2019.

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  1. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    As pointed out by one of our esteemed colleagues a few days ago, FermiLab recently announced that they are phasing out Scientific Linux, in favor of CentOS v7. Since my cluster is built around Scientific Linux, I wanted to see how CentOS would play / interact with the system.... so today I installed the newer OS on one node.

    Frankly, I don't see any real difference between the two. Both are based on Red-Hat, they run Gnome GUI, and offer more-or-less the same install packages. They even interchange repositories. The only real difference I see is that CentOS is a bit slimmer..... AND allows for an easier installation of Python3/Idle3 over the top of Python2.7/Idle without having to uninstall anything.

    After installing the OS, and setting up the network addresses, the node worked just like my Sci-Linux nodes. SO... my conclusion about the CentOS vs Scientific Linux transition is: "meh...whatever.... no big deal.... who cares?".
  2. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I thought all Linux flavors were Scientific. Or is that only Unix ?

    Good Luck.
  3. KX4OM

    KX4OM Ham Member QRZ Page

    It is possible that the move to CentOS was not made by the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, rather The Department of Energy or the White House. They may have objected to the word "Scientific" in the name of an officially supported operating system on government equipment.

    Ted, KX4OM
    KK4NSF likes this.
  4. N3AT

    N3AT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Either that, or the fact that IBM bought Red Hat, and the successful track record of CentOs and RHEL. I am going with that theory. I have used both at more than one company. They are very solid, and well respected.
  5. ND5Y

    ND5Y Ham Member QRZ Page

  6. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    The announcement pretty well says it all:

    Fermilab is looking ahead to DUNE[1] and other future international
    collaborations. One part of this is unifying our computing platform with

    collaborating labs and institutions.

    I can understand adopting a common platform, but since CentOS and Sci-Linux are so very close to each other it looks like a mostly symbolic gesture.
    However, handing over future development to outside (possibly corporate) parties is not a good idea.... and underscores my belief that the larger players are moving to eliminate the Open-Source Movement, and appropriate the work of thousands of developers for their own profit.
  7. K1SZO

    K1SZO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Both Scientific Linux and CentOS are based on Redhat Enterprise Linux. (RHEL) That is why they appear the same.

    Scientific Linux just tweaked / rebranded version of RHEL for their purposes. It seems like it became more trouble than it was worth, so just using CentOS (a rebranded version of RHEL, but otherwise unchanged) was the easier solution / cheaper solution.

    CentOS has been my goto version of Linux in the enterprise / Internet infrastructure since CentOS 3. (the first release) Prior to that, I just used RHEL and straight Redhat Linux before that.
    KK4NSF likes this.
  8. KX4OM

    KX4OM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Nothing really new from what has been posted in this thread and others, but perhaps interesting to some.

    Here is a clip from an article on CERN and their use of Linux. The article also has info on CERN and their progression with computers from 1954, and their collaboration with 170 labs around the world.

    "CERN used to be a Red Hat Enterprise Linux customer. But, back in 2004, they worked with Fermilab to build their own Linux distribution called Scientific Linux. Eventually they realized that, because they were not modifying the kernel, there was no point in spending time spinning up their own distribution; so they migrated to CentOS. Because CentOS is a fully open source and community driven project, CERN could collaborate with the project and contribute to how CentOS is built and distributed."

    Also, in response to a post regarding the future of Scientific Linux, here is a clip from the Scientific Linux Wiki.

    "In April 2019, it was announced that Scientific Linux would be discontinued, but that maintenance will continue to be provided for the 6.x and 7.x releases through the end of their lifecycles. Fermilab will utilize CentOS for its deployment of 8.0 instead."

    The Wikis for Scientific Linux and CentOS say that the initial releases of the distributions were in May 2004. The end of life for maintenance support for the current release (both are 7) of each is June 30, 2024.

    Ted, KX4OM
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
    K1SZO and KK4NSF like this.
  9. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    good info, Ted. Thanks.

    I think what I'll do with my system is use Sci-Linux in those nodes that have it.... but when they are replaced, or reconfigured I'll use CentOS. It should be a painless transition.

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