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CentOS 7 End of Life

Getting worried as CentOS 7 end of life is approaching? we’re here to help you with switching to other Linux distributions according to your requirements. 

The Current Scenario

CentOS 7 is presently the only supported version of CentOS; it will continue to receive security updates and bug fixes from the community until June 2024.

Now, CentOS 7 is in the “Maintenance Support 2” phase, during which only critical and crucial security updates and high-priority bug fixes are issued.

Red Hat Software, the organization that supported the CentOS community project, has announced that it will cease producing stable CentOS versions to match the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) release in December 2020. CentOS 8 was the final stable community release of the RHEL , with no minor versions to follow; which reached the end of life on December 31, 2021.  

Barriers Ahead

Normally, you would migrate to CentOS 8 during the available window of time. But, as CentOS 8 has reached its end of life, switching to CentOS 8 is no longer a possibility, and there is no CentOS 9.

The majority of enterprise users and production workloads cannot utilize CentOS Stream outside of a development environment. Due to its rolling nature, it is not an identical replica of the corresponding RHEL release, hence application compatibility can easily be broken. Hence it is recommended to move to a different Linux distribution.

Remember that the fact that CentOS 7 will no longer receive updates after its end-of-life date does not eliminate the emergence of new vulnerabilities. The increased scrutiny of code has led to an increase in vulnerabilities affecting older operating system versions and older software in general.

The Future

The viable replacement for CentOS are:

Rocky Linux: A community-maintained distribution that aims to replace CentOS, led by the original CentOS developer. Rocky Linux 8 will be supported to 2029. Essentially CentOS with a new name, but not fully functional.

AlmaLinux: Maintained by CloudLinux, a firm that also offers the commercial CloudLinux OS. According to their FAQ, CloudLinux will continue to support AlmaLinux until 2029.

Oracle Linux: managed by Oracle, with commercial support available as an option. It is not meant to replace CentOS, but it should function.

Ubuntu: It is from the Debian Linux family and uses additional software packages than CentOS. Ubuntu is not an RPM-based Linux distribution, however.

Elevate Project by Almalinux

The Elevate project is an initiative to support migrations between the major versions of RHEL derivatives. The ELevate project supports only CentOS repositories. It doesn’t support other external repositories. Also, there can be issues while migrating large servers.

cPanel/WHM with Centos 7 

cPanel & WHM version 110 will be the last version that supports CentOS 7. Support for version 110 will end on June 30, 2024. We encourage you to migrate to an AlmaLinux 8 or CloudLinux™ 8 server before June 30, 2024.

Click HERE to read the official cPanel support page.

We need to set up a new AlmaLinux 8 or CloudLinux™ 8 server with cPanel/WHM and migrate the websites to it before June 30, 2024. 

There is a cPanel Elevate project available that provides a script to upgrade an existing cPanel & WHM CentOS 7 server installation to AlmaLinux 8 or Rocky Linux 8. But this is an experimental project and there is no guarantee that the system will be stable after the migration as per the official documentation. Installation of this software could cause significant functionality failures, even for experienced administrators.  Please click HERE to know more about this project. 

It is a best practice to set up a new AlmaLinux 8 or CloudLinux™ 8 server with cPanel/WHM and migrate the websites to it for a stable production environment. Our experienced support team is available to take over the complete setup and migration for any production server.

Alright, then, what CentOS alternative distribution do you want to shift to? Have you already decided? Or Are you confused about selecting an alternative distribution? Regardless of at which stage you are, we, the Skynats team are here to help you.

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