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CentOS: Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Minus Red Hat - page 5

Getting Something For Nothing

  • December 23, 2004
  • By Carla Schroder
CentOS releases updates very quickly, within 24 hours of when Red Hat releases them. CentOS uses up2date, just like Red Hat. The difference is it points to a CentOS mirror, instead of Red Hat Network. Be sure to install the GPG key before running it:

# rpm --import http://mirror.centos.org/centos-3/RPM-GPG-KEY-CentOS-3

You don't have to be running a cluster or a mainframe or a mission-critical server on which the fate of humanity rests; CentOS is perfectly happy in humbler roles, such as a workstation or lighter-duty server. You will find some multimedia vexations, because so much of multimedia in Linux depends on non-free programs, and CentOS does not include any non-free packages. It's not the end of the world, it just means extra effort to find and install what you need.

All told, it's a nice distribution. We pummeled on it in various configurations on different machines in our little test lab, and didn't encounter any drama. It just worked. One thing I would like to see in so-called "enterprise" Linuxes are more sophisticated network and system administration tools. Something in the style of Active Directory, except that it works right, and is configurable and dependable. Now that would be a world-beater.

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