The Linux community was caught unprepared when, in December 2020, as part of a change in the way Red Hat supports and develops CentOS, Red Hat suddenly announced that it’s cutting the official CentOS 8 support window from ten years – to just two, with support ending Dec 31, 2021.
It created a peculiar situation where CentOS 7 users that did the right thing and upgraded quickly to CentOS 8 were left using an OS with just a year’s official support remaining – while users of CentOS 7 still get full support until June 30, 2024.
Worse, the fact that stable releases of CentOS were discontinued in exchange for the rolling-release CentOS Stream means that to secure their workloads most CentOS 8 users have to opt for an entirely different Linux distribution, with just a year to choose, evaluate and implement an alternative.
Red Hat’s unexpected decision underlined to what degree software users depend on official support windows for their software security. Countless organizations are now left scrambling to secure or replace CentOS 8 – or run the risk of relying on an OS that’s no longer supported, with no official fixes for new vulnerabilities.
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