back to article To plug gap left by CentOS, Red Hat amends RHEL dev subscription to allow up to 16 systems in production

Red Hat, which is killing CentOS Linux in favour of CentOS Stream, will extend its developer subscription to allow free production use of RHEL for up to 16 systems. CentOS Linux is a community build of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and therefore suitable for production use. CentOS Stream, which will remain available, is a …

  1. Dwarf

    Whats the betting ??

    CentOS - Free download, no login necessary, install, get on with life.

    RHEL - Register, Get accepted, Permit to download via private link,

    Customer database updated.

    Constant marketing pushes to see if you would like to "upgrade"

    I bet this changes at some point in the future too, once all the noise has quietened down again.

    It will be a no from me then...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      CentOS - Free download, no login necessary, install, get on with life.

      Yes, that's exactly the reason RedHat changed that. No money from CentOS. And people at RedHat don't work for free nor leave just breathing air.

      Another demonstration, if ever needed, that most Open Source supporters are just freeloaders looking to exploit someone else's work for nothing.

      All that blabbling about "freedom", "code access", "contributing", etc. etc. are true only for a small minority of users. The majority is just made of freeloaders.

      Just more and more open source projects will move the same direction of Red Hat to survive, especially since the big cloud providers have started to make a lot of money from their code without giving anything back, and customers are moving there.

  2. sgp

    The trust is gone and it's not coming back.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      This is something that usually escapes top management. And yet the same top management will insult staff's intelligence by "motivational" posters saying how important it is to keep existing customers and how hard to get new ones.

      "Doesn't apply to us."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: posters saying how important it is to keep existing customers


        Yesterday Red Hat sent me a reminder email to renew my subscription. I replied back say that due to the ending of CentOS I wasn't sure I was going to renew.

    2. Bruce Ordway

      The trust is gone and it's not coming back.

      I don't remember ever trusting Red Hat.

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: The trust is gone and it's not coming back.

        But there wasn't any active distrust either.

  3. ecarlseen

    Can't put the toothpaste back in the tube.

    Announcing LTS for CentOS was a huge commitment that influenced a lot of behavior (including ours). To back out on it creates a significant reputation hit, but one that could have been managed if done in a halfway intelligent manner. To back out without notice for organizations to change their behavior is the reputational equivalent of dropping a thermonuclear bomb on themselves. It's complete annihilation. There is no coming back from this. RHEL is dead to us, because they have rendered their commitments have been rendered meaningless.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Jan 0 Silver badge

      Re: Can't put the toothpaste back in the tube.

      No relevance to the sorely missed Centos, but you can put toothpaste back in a tube. (Your local art supplies dealer has open ended aluminium "tubes" that you can spoon your toothpaste into:)

      1. Tomato Krill

        Re: Can't put the toothpaste back in the tube.

        Crucial though *a* tube vs *the* tube...

    3. David Austin

      Re: Can't put the toothpaste back in the tube.

      I think they may have gotten away with it if they didn't cut the support for CentOS 8 from 2029 to 2021, in the timeframe where everyone had either just finished a migration or was deep into planning one.

      At lest set the EOL Date to match CentOS 7 in 2024.

      1. Jay 2

        Re: Can't put the toothpaste back in the tube.

        That's probably the biggest kicker. Thankfully we had only just put our toes into the CentOS 8 water (a bit behind the times I know), so in EMEA I'd only deployed three servers; one of which was my own test box and another two for devs who wanted CentOS 8 for various reasons.

        The catch now is having to do all that again (and more) with a new OS... which we're still trying to figure out what to jump to. At this rate some more immediate/important stuff may go for the 'free' Oracle Linux (yeah, I know, but any port in a storm) and the rest may be able to wait until Rocky Linux is up and running.

        1. Symon

          Re: Can't put the toothpaste back in the tube.


          I'm waiting for Rocky. I'm hoping they release a montage of the development process.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Can't put the toothpaste back in the tube.

          I know many people are cautious of the Oracle Linux option, but to be honest, it has been running for a good number of years now, and as the saying goes "better the devil you know".

          We're considering the same path currently, at least until one of the alternatives matures - which we'll be offering support in terms of donations and advocacy in the meantime.

      2. Soruk

        Re: Can't put the toothpaste back in the tube.

        They should have left CentOS 8 EOL at 2029, left Stream in parallel as it is today and jus announced there would be no CentOS 9.

    4. naive

      Re: Can't put the toothpaste back in the tube.

      This is point on, trust is totally gone after investing heavily in CentOS-8, and even deploying many instances just to have the carpet pulled under ones feet.

      For sure, IBM landed many fat contracts, since most legacy banks converted from AIX to RedHat/VmWare in the last decade. Being IBM, they think the consumer and small business world is irrelevant. They forget that availability and trustworthiness of CentOS for over 20 years is what made RedHat mainstream in large corporate environments..

      I hope the rock linux project will turn out to be viable, until that time Ubuntu 18.04 LTS is a good alternative for use in production environments, although the differences with CentOS cause headaches at times, count twice the implementation time for the first few (web) server instances.

  4. demon driver

    Who guarantees...

    ... someone who changes their 16 CentOS production servers to 16 developer-subscription based RHEL servers that, two years ahead, Red Hat won't suddenly cut the number of allowed servers down to, say, 8, starting to demand fees for the others?

    Just asking...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who guarantees...

      It'll be free if you run it on Power or Mainframe.

  5. Lorribot

    Seems to me that this sort of thing is inevitable in teh open source world, and where you have many distributions of teh same thing, when something become popular someone else sees a way to make money from it.

    I see a lot of CentOS instances in appliances, so there are a lot of big companies enjoying a freebie that now have to expend a lot of time and effort moving to a new distrbution, they may like to expend some effort in making their code easier to move between distributions as this is only likely to happen more regualrly as distro come and go or are acquired.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      The purpose of the alternative builds mentioned in the text is to minimise this effort.

  6. sbt

    If they really thought this would help ...

    ... they should have announced it before the changes to CentOS.

    Doing it this way suggests this is a reactionary PR exercise to try and claw back some of the defectors to alternatives/forks. Probably too late for many.

    1. LovesTha

      Re: If they really thought this would help ...

      Also implies the entirely predictable response was a surprise......





    Other flavors

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Meh,

      Or same flavour, other builds.

      1. Ben Tasker

        Re: Meh,

        My only concern with the other builds is one of longetivity.

        Will they continue to be supported/maintained, or will they fizzle out eventually?

        Of course, it's a chicken and egg thing, if everyone hedges and goes to (say) Ubuntu LTS instead then of course they won't continue to be developed, as they won't be receiving enough community support. But, there being multiple alternative builds makes things a bit tricky if their paths digress and then the one you've chosen goes away.

        Either way, though, as someone else noted, the trust is gone, so RHEL (free dev or otherwise) is out

  8. Mike Tubby

    RedHat ... baaaa!

    We were Fedora Core users until the split at FC9 and moved Ubuntu.

    Now that RedHat, Ubunu and Debian have all lost their way with the preposterous joke that is 'systemd' we've settled on using Devuan 3.0 - and very good it is too. I can have unlimited *proper* servers doing unlimited workloads and without a sniff of systemd anywhere.

    Systemd might be what you need if you're trying to create a windows equivalent environment, but if you just want simple, reliable, server platforms its a joke.

    We now have mission critical and business critical systems just work, for days, weeks, months or years on end ... we don't have to pay anyone for the privilege and there's no systemd to f**k things up.

    Life is good.

    Don't believe all the BS ... pick your server OS carefully.


    1. John Sturdy

      Re: RedHat ... baaaa!

      The pattern I'm used to is that corporations choose something in the Red Hat line for the servers, while the developers install something in the Debian group on their development machines.

      So switching servers from RH may even reduce development effort.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    16 can be a lot. Or next to nothing.

    16 is fine when you do S/4 HANA on them. Single partition E980 of 100cores, 16TByte ram each...

    16 is shit when it is a couple of (web)servers which have to be segregated for compliance reasons.

    What were they thinking?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 16 can be a lot. Or next to nothing.

      And time will tell if they put core/CPU limits on these free instances.


    That wasn't the deal...


  11. IT Hack

    Several years ago I was approached by RH as they were looking for a service delivery manager based in Brno. Eventually got to interview.

    What a complete shambles. From the hiring manager excusing himself from the interview because he 'had something important to do' to being asked what I would to support the companies charitable work and gave as an example how I would deal with someone on my team who did not want to be involved.

    Needless to say I didn't get involved in what was clearly a toxic environment. I don't know if its changed or not but after that experience and some of the quite rankly bizarre tech choices they've made I am glad I didn't get involved.

    Oh yeah my answers - to the guy that left I said that was not making a good impression on me but he still fucked off and the charity one....frankly I really do not think it is a sign of leadership to tell people which charities they need to support and that the suggestion was pretty bad and that whoever thought this was a good idea was an idiot. Clearly by that time I had no interest in them.

    That they are now with IBM and getting seriously reamed is not a surprise.

  12. J27

    All my employers Linux servers are running Ubuntu Server. We've never really had any issues with it, glad we didn't go with CentOS now. Might be an option to migrate to for you CentOS orphans.

  13. JohnSheeran

    IBM buys RedHat. One year later they are screwing their customers.


    1. David Austin

      Only surprise in all this is they messed up so bad, oracle (Via their Linux flavour) is potentially a viable, slightly less disastrous option.

  14. tekHedd

    But... this is great news.

    I'm pretty sure I'm alone on this but,..

    I never really liked RedHat's tools, from RPM on up. This news brings me personal joy because maybe work will now move to a distro that I actually like working with.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But... this is great news.

      Agree 100%. I use Arch because pacman > yum.

      (Not in the enterprise though)

  15. Vocational Vagabond

    up to 16 systems Free*

    !! not so fast there Reg .. read the fine print ... .

    16 VM's on 2 sockets .... see point 8 at the link.

    Eminently less usefull I'd point out, and just a marketing "Damage Control" exercise . .

    1. TheBard

      Re: up to 16 systems Free*

      Sadly that's some FUD you got going there.

      The Free RHEL Developer Subscription allows for 16 Physical or Virtual Systems in any combination.

      To quote from the PDF Link to "Individual Developer subscription for RHEL" from their page "":

      "The Individual Developer Subscription includes entitlements to run any combination of the Red Hat Software included in the Individual Developer Subscription on up to sixteen (16) Physical Nodes or Virtual Nodes for Individual Development Use and/or Individual Production Use."

      Cheers Mate.

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