CentOS is removing support for CentOS 8 due to their shift to only supporting the CentOS Stream project. This means that all existing CentOS 8 systems will require a transition to a different Operating System (OS) in order to receive bug fixes and security updates beyond December 2021.
CentOS itself is a binary compatible, repackaged version of Red Hat Enterprise (RHEL) source code but without the Red Hat support. New projects have popped up to replace CentOS 8, which are:
- AlmaLinux (from the CloudLinux team)
- Rocky Linux (from the original CentOS founders)
- Virtuozzo Linux (from our virtualisation stack provider, Virtuozzo)
The Conetix team have been evaluating the use of each and all of these variants over the last few months. While the distributions are nearly identical, we also need to ensure all vendors (such as Plesk) have ensured and guaranteed long term support as well. This evaluation process has identified AlmaLinux as the preferred distribution.
Conversion of existing systems is currently underway. Due to the volume of servers to convert, we’re unable to give individual ETA’s on when this will be completed. As of February 2022, approximately 50% of all systems have been converted.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is CentOS forcing the change?
CentOS have outlined some of their reasoning in their FAQ here: https://centos.org/distro-faq/
What’s the difference between the versions?
All of the RHEL 8 derivatives are binary compatible, meaning the code within the application is exactly the same. The difference comes down to who is compiling the server packages.
Do I need to do anything?
No. Conetix will automatically upgrade your system with near zero disruption. Some services may restart as changes are applied so the impact should be a few seconds for most customers.
Will I lose any data?
No. All data including website data, emails, databases and logs are left untouched. As a precaution, Conetix will ensure a recent backup also exists before the upgrade occurs.
Is there any functionality change?
No. The distributions are binary compatible and the differences come down to the support and support tooling for each.
Will I be told the day and time of the update?
Due to the number of systems we manage, the transition will be handled in an automated fashion, including automation of the checks before and after the transition. We expect this transition to be progressively completed over the next 2-4 months.
What if a critical update is released?
Conetix has already established a way of pushing a critical updates which haven’t been packaged. In the event of a critical security issue, we’re able to push this out within minutes using our automated, orchestration system.
Is CentOS Stream compatible with Plesk?
At this stage, Plesk do not support the CentOS Stream project. More detail and an up-to-date answer can be found in their support article.