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> The Clone Wars – CentOS vs. Scientific Linux
redman
 Posted: Jul 19 2011, 10:55 AM
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With Linux in the Enterprise, RHEL is king. Sure there are people who love and use Debian, or Suse. I would imagine that if you looked hard enough you could likely find somebody who’s using Slackware or Gentoo in a business somewhere. But I think it can safely be said that RHEL is currently the dominant enterprise Linux distribution. Then, of course, there are the clones.  If you so choose, you can forgo Shadowman’s Support team and either compile the freely available Redhat Source RPMs, or choose to use a community-supported RHEL clone. Currently, the two most popular of those clone distributions are CEntOS (Community Enterprise Operating System) and Scientific Linux (SL).

So if you have decided to not utilize Redhat support, which of these downstream clones is the better choice? With the recent (much delayed) release of CentOS 6.0 in the past week, many company’s are looking to move up to the RHEL 6.0 family of operating systems. But is CentOS still the right choice? Being a primarily CentOS shop, and being more than a little OCD myself, I decided to compare the two in as practical as a manner as I could. Below are the results.


You can read the full review here.


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wearetheborg
 Posted: Jul 20 2011, 12:58 AM
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Thanks, good read.


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Jcink
 Posted: Jul 20 2011, 01:16 AM
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I have one thing I just want to point out about the article, it's this:

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Scientific only plans on a three year lifecycle. But on their forums they also mention supporting things in theory as long as Redhat does. So I’m a little confused on this one.


Unfortunately, this looks bad, but the page he linked to on the official site hasn't been updated since 2005-11-15 11:29 AM. The forum link draws from the roadmap: https://www.scientificlinux.org/distributions/roadmap

They should really update that page; this is not the first time someone has questioned that area. People have wandered into IRC before asking about that and I just tell them that it's outdated.
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NeoAmsterdam
 Posted: Jul 20 2011, 01:45 AM
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QUOTE (redman @ Jul 19 2011, 10:55 AM)
You can read the full review here.
I don't read reviews where the reviewer can't distinguish between plurals and posessives dry.gif even moreso since he/she is "more than a little OCD [himself/herself]". http://fuzedglobal.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/default/facepalm.gif
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Jcink
 Posted: Jul 20 2011, 02:15 AM
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QUOTE (NeoAmsterdam @ Jul 19 2011, 09:45 PM)
QUOTE (redman @ Jul 19 2011, 10:55 AM)
You can read the full review here.
I don't read reviews where the reviewer can't distinguish between plurals and posessives dry.gif even moreso since he/she is "more than a little OCD [himself/herself]". http://fuzedglobal.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/default/facepalm.gif

Yeah, I noticed the same thing but I guess I'm just numb to it these days. So many people can't or simply don't proofread anything they post online. Even some articles on big name sites I've seen get posted with bad mistakes. http://fuzedglobal.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/default/facepalm.gif
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jamied66
 Posted: Jul 20 2011, 03:58 AM
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QUOTE (NeoAmsterdam @ Jul 19 2011, 08:45 PM)
QUOTE (redman @ Jul 19 2011, 10:55 AM)
You can read the full review here.
I don't read reviews where the reviewer can't distinguish between plurals and posessives dry.gif even moreso since he/she is "more than a little OCD [himself/herself]". http://fuzedglobal.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/default/facepalm.gif


And what color are you painting that bike shed?

Thanks for catching that. It was a last-second rewrite that changed the sentence around and I missed it. Grammar correct. smile.gif
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NeoAmsterdam
 Posted: Jul 20 2011, 08:48 PM
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QUOTE (jamied66 @ Jul 20 2011, 03:58 AM)
And what color are you painting that bike shed?
Flight-data recorder orange, of course!

Seriously, it's a good article. I'm just a bit... well... anal when it comes to those little things.
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joutlan
 Posted: Jul 20 2011, 08:58 PM
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QUOTE (jamied66 @ Jul 19 2011, 11:58 PM)
QUOTE (NeoAmsterdam @ Jul 19 2011, 08:45 PM)
QUOTE (redman @ Jul 19 2011, 10:55 AM)
You can read the full review here.
I don't read reviews where the reviewer can't distinguish between plurals and posessives dry.gif even moreso since he/she is "more than a little OCD [himself/herself]". http://fuzedglobal.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/default/facepalm.gif


And what color are you painting that bike shed?

Thanks for catching that. It was a last-second rewrite that changed the sentence around and I missed it. Grammar correct. smile.gif


Are you Jduncan? Welcome to the forum, whether you are or not! The only thing I saw in the posting was about the life cycle. Users know it's the same as RHEL....we've posted the RHEL life cycle on this forum actually.

Nice article smile.gif


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tux99
 Posted: Jul 20 2011, 09:08 PM
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IMHO the title of this article (and of this thread) is totally inappropriate, it suggests that SL and Centos are enemies, which only plays into the hands of real Linux enemies that try to describe the Linux world as being divided into countless rivaling factions that hate each other, which couldn't be further from the truth.

Diversity and choice is a good thing, nature shows that diversity wins, while mono-culture is a dead end.

jamied66, please consider changing the title of your article, it reflects negatively on Linux, it's users and more specifically on both Centos and SL.


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jamied66
 Posted: Jul 21 2011, 02:23 AM
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QUOTE (tux99 @ Jul 20 2011, 04:08 PM)
IMHO the title of this article (and of this thread) is totally inappropriate, it suggests that SL and Centos are enemies, which only plays into the hands of real Linux enemies that try to describe the Linux world as being divided into countless rivaling factions that hate each other, which couldn't be further from the truth.

Diversity and choice is a good thing, nature shows that diversity wins, while mono-culture is a dead end.

jamied66, please consider changing the title of your article, it reflects negatively on Linux, it's users and more specifically on both Centos and SL.


While I appreciate the opinion, I would hope (expect?) that the vast majority if not all of the potential readers would get a thinly disguised star wars joke, and not assume a violent exchange were imminent.

One thing that I will say is that the fact that this relatively lightweight post received such heavy traffic is that people are looking for actual comparisons between the various RHEL-derived distributions to aid in their own decision-making.

To that end I'll be reaching out to leaders of each of the identified distros in the next few weeks, as well as doing more intensive testing on my side to try and provide a more empirical comparison between CentOS, SL, and others. If any of the leadership here would like to discuss offline I'd love to have a little QA.

I sincerely think it would benefit all of us. IMHO.

thanks!

-Jamie
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tux99
 Posted: Jul 21 2011, 03:31 AM
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QUOTE (jamied66 @ Jul 21 2011, 03:23 AM)

While I appreciate the opinion, I would hope (expect?) that the vast majority if not all of the potential readers would get a thinly disguised star wars joke, and not assume a violent exchange were imminent.


I did get the star wars reference, but I still consider the title inappropriate as it focuses on a rivalry that simply isn't there.

I like the article itself, I just don't like the title at all.


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jamied66
 Posted: Jul 23 2011, 02:38 PM
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After installing SL6, I have a few questions that I'd LOVE someone more familiar with the distribution to offer their opinions on.

If you're interested take a look at the continuation of the conversation at http://lostinopensource.wordpress.com/2011/07/23/clone-wars-2-revenge-of-the-install-dvds/

yes, i totally kept the star wars bit going. </gong> smile.gif
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joutlan
 Posted: Jul 23 2011, 08:17 PM
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I read it quickly....it's the weekend, so things around here can be slow...but which install DVD did you use for SL?

http://ftp1.scientificlinux.org/linux/scientific/6.0/x86_64/iso/

Also, the 'autoupdate' feature only notifies you of updates based on the repo's of course you have open. It doesn't automatically install them. These settings can of course be changed.

Also, you didn't mention that SL 6 has a six month headstart on CentOS 6. All of us around here (save 5.x users) are going to be using SL 6.1 final in about a week to 10 days, so that review will be antiquated rather quickly.

I'm sure others will chime in here, guaranteed smile.gif

PS: Did you install SL's "yum configuration" under SL Addons in the GUI Package Manager?


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jamied66
 Posted: Jul 23 2011, 10:41 PM
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QUOTE (joutlan @ Jul 23 2011, 03:17 PM)
I read it quickly....it's the weekend, so things around here can be slow...but which install DVD did you use for SL?

http://ftp1.scientificlinux.org/linux/scientific/6.0/x86_64/iso/

Also, the 'autoupdate' feature only notifies you of updates based on the repo's of course you have open.  It doesn't automatically install them.  These settings can of course be changed.

Also, you didn't mention that SL 6 has a six month headstart on CentOS 6.  All of us around here (save 5.x users) are going to be using SL 6.1 final in about a week to 10 days, so that review will be antiquated rather quickly.

I'm sure others will chime in here, guaranteed smile.gif

PS:  Did you install SL's "yum configuration" under SL Addons in the GUI Package Manager?


I used the images downloaded from:

http://ftp1.scientificlinux.org/linux/scientific/6.0/x86_64/iso/SL-60-x86_64-2011-03-03-Everything-DVD1.iso

and then of course http://ftp1.scientificlinux.org/linux/scientific/6.0/x86_64/iso/SL-60-x86_64-2011-03-03-Everything-DVD2.iso

I selected the absolute defaults. I didn't do any package customization.

Of course I understand that you can disable the yum autoupdater, I'm curious at this point why SL decided to have it enabled by default. And of course, the other questions I noted.

I'm not touching the "who's doing it faster" game with a ten foot pole. wink.gif
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joutlan
 Posted: Jul 24 2011, 12:40 AM
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QUOTE (jamied66 @ Jul 23 2011, 06:41 PM)
QUOTE (joutlan @ Jul 23 2011, 03:17 PM)
I read it quickly....it's the weekend, so things around here can be slow...but which install DVD did you use for SL?

http://ftp1.scientificlinux.org/linux/scientific/6.0/x86_64/iso/

Also, the 'autoupdate' feature only notifies you of updates based on the repo's of course you have open.  It doesn't automatically install them.  These settings can of course be changed.

Also, you didn't mention that SL 6 has a six month headstart on CentOS 6.  All of us around here (save 5.x users) are going to be using SL 6.1 final in about a week to 10 days, so that review will be antiquated rather quickly.

I'm sure others will chime in here, guaranteed smile.gif

PS:  Did you install SL's "yum configuration" under SL Addons in the GUI Package Manager?


I used the images downloaded from:

http://ftp1.scientificlinux.org/linux/scientific/6.0/x86_64/iso/SL-60-x86_64-2011-03-03-Everything-DVD1.iso

and then of course http://ftp1.scientificlinux.org/linux/scientific/6.0/x86_64/iso/SL-60-x86_64-2011-03-03-Everything-DVD2.iso

I selected the absolute defaults. I didn't do any package customization.

Of course I understand that you can disable the yum autoupdater, I'm curious at this point why SL decided to have it enabled by default. And of course, the other questions I noted.

I'm not touching the "who's doing it faster" game with a ten foot pole. wink.gif


I will because that's the most important part. Why do you think most of us are here? wink.gif Reaction time to security issues is important to us, as well as staying up date. ohmy.gif


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tux99
 Posted: Jul 24 2011, 02:15 AM
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QUOTE (joutlan @ Jul 24 2011, 01:40 AM)

I will because that's the most important part.  Why do you think most of us are here?  wink.gif  Reaction time to security issues is important to us, as well as staying up date.  ohmy.gif


I agree, in fact that is by far the most important factor.

We are talking about clones here, the other tiny differences are completely irrelevant in practice, what counts is being able to rely on timely security and bug fix updates, that's what really sets them apart.


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jamied66
 Posted: Jul 24 2011, 12:53 PM
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QUOTE (tux99 @ Jul 23 2011, 09:15 PM)
QUOTE (joutlan @ Jul 24 2011, 01:40 AM)

I will because that's the most important part.  Why do you think most of us are here?   wink.gif  Reaction time to security issues is important to us, as well as staying up date.   ohmy.gif


I agree, in fact that is by far the most important factor.

We are talking about clones here, the other tiny differences are completely irrelevant in practice, what counts is being able to rely on timely security and bug fix updates, that's what really sets them apart.


I don't consider CentOS / SL RHEL "clones" at this point, after looking deeper into the communities over the past few weeks. Derived from RHEL, sure, but each take their own ideas and fold them into their distribution. With SL, for example, leaving out the ABRT is still a puzzler for me.

As for the "security updates in a timely manner" discussion, I commend your community on working out the 6.0 builds as quickly as you did. But what happened to 5.6? CentOS came out with 5.6 2 months ahead of SL. It was more a matter of priorities, I think, than abilities within either community. That's why I don't think it's the right discussion to have.

If anyone has metrics on how fast various communities come out with updates from the RHEL sources, it'd be interesting, maybe. I just don't have the time/setup to calculate that right now.
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joutlan
 Posted: Jul 24 2011, 07:12 PM
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Scientific Linux 5.6 was being used by users 2 months ahead of CentOS's 5.6 release in April....they had (5.x) it on a "rolling" cycle. They did an "official" live release in June of this year.

6.0 was released six months ahead of CentOS, and 6 months behind RHEL. This was a milestone most of us were waiting waiting for because of the vastly improved support for modern hardware.

I can't see comparing a point release to a major release. Go read the "CentOS Refugees" thread in Anything Goes and you'll find out why almost all of us are former CentOS users. In fact, this entire Forum is borne out of dissatisfaction! mad.gif

Thread closed (by no fault of Jamie). Take it up HERE. as this is a better place to continue the discussion.


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