Linux This Month - The future of CentOS, and Linux on Mars

Linux This Month - The future of CentOS, and Linux on Mars
7 min read
24 February 2021

By now, you've probably seen some sort of news on the landing of the perseverance Mars Rover, but did you know that there's actually a tiny helicopter ingenuity tucked under the Rover better yet? It's powered by Linux.

Linux This Month - The future of CentOS, and Linux on MarsThe flight framework used for the helicopter is called F prime and it was open- sourced a few years back by NASA jet propulsion laboratory JPL, not only that it's built with commercial parts that you could buy right off the shelf, what a victory for open source.

Good news for all plasma users, 5.21 has arrived with several new goodies. There's a new app launcher that now uses a double pane layout and has better a keyboard and mouse navigation. In my opinion, it looks really nice. Also, there are some new themes, a new system monitor new firewall settings that let us set up edit and manage a firewall for our system via a graphical front end for both UFW N firewall D.

Also a packed into 5.21 are improvements to Wayland support, including support for mixed refresh rate, display, setups, and support from multiple GPS. It looks like this might be one of the best plasma releases yet.

Red Hat has announced new no and low cost programs that will be added to RHEL. These include the no cost rail for small production workloads and the no cost rail for customer development teams. The first one expands the red hat developer program. So that individual developers subscriptions for RHEL can be used in production for up to 16 systems. The second one expands the red hat developer program to make it easier for customers to include their development teams on their subscription that no additional costs.

So why does it red hat announced these programs when they originally announced the move from CentOS to CentOS Stream? I don't know. Will this help the community feel less skeptical about the move? I also do not know. Is this at least a good first step? That is yet to be determined.

Now let's hit some top stories starting with Linux skills and then an overview of successors to CentOS now that Red Hat has discontinued all, but the rolling or streaming version. Linux's skills are again in great demand.

Once again, the Linux foundation is released its yearly open-source jobs report for 2020, and there's good news and some more good news while hiring may be down a little because of COVID et cetera, hiring managers are very hopeful and almost 40% say there'll be hiring heavily in the next six months. Certifications are also growing in importance with a 5% growth year over year of hiring managers, wanting to hire those who are certified.

Now this is up from 47% last year. So if you're on a certification preparation path, you're on the right track and even more welcome is the news that properly qualified open-source talent is in short supply with 90% or more of the hiring managers, having difficulty finding talent and filling great positions all across the job spectrum. We've long said that those, those who are studying new skills and getting their certifications in this industry are in a great position. And it's never been more true.

And finally, the most sought after job skills and the Linux and open source arena are... Linux was 76, 4% of hiring managers seeking these skills in new hires, dev ops talent with 65% of hiring managers seeking experience in dev ops professionals, right? And last but not least architects of opensource enterprise solutions come in in serious demand at 63%. The time has never been better to be a skilled individual in the source job market.

And now let's talk about the successors to CentOS, if ever an announcement caused some turmoil, the retirement of CentOS except for the streaming version has caused an absolute tornado of uncertainness in the server hosting in anti-rail communities with an eye to helping those of you who may be wondering just where to go. Let's do a quick roundup of some familiar and maybe not so familiar players you can test out as a replacement for CentOS 8.

Now Rocky Linux, which has been mentioned in the last couple of episodes  is a great alternative led by the founder of the CentOS project. And its initial release is slated for the end of March, which is probably going to be just in time for a lot of folks to use sponsored in part by AWS, a big user of CentOS already. There are a lot of opportunities here to be a sponsor and a hero in this situation, head on over to our friends at and read the FAQ for more information.

Next up is Cloud Linux, which is already in production with a one-to-one binary compatible fork of RHEL 8. These folks are serious about being an alternative to CentOS promising to keep us separate, totally free and compatible version of rail for the current and future versions. They have also promised a single command changeover to Cloud Linux from CentOS 8. And a lot of folks are very excited by this option. They're also dedicated to sponsoring the development and maintenance of this product and building a community around it complete with the governing board.

Last but not least is HPE Clear OS project previously mentioned in Linux This Month and targeted at HPE ProLiant servers. It features an application marketplace with over a hundred apps currently, and many more coming soon. HPE portrays clear O S as being the operating system with a small to medium business market. And it's easy to use is included on their servers at no extra cost and is also easy to customize to your particular needs. That's all for the roundup, we wanted to stick with those items that were clearly branches off of CentOS 8 or RHEL or new like, Clear OS. Now there are always different distributions out there and vendors that you can turn to for enterprise support, such as Canonical and SUSE. 

Jacob Enderson 3560
I'm a tech enthusiast and writer, passionate about everything from cutting-edge hardware to innovative software and the latest gadgets. Join me as I explore the...
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