What Is CentOS

Photo of author

By Vijay Singh Khatri

How does CentOS Work?

From small businesses trying to capture the market to even multi-billion dollar companies providing IT applications to their clients, all of them are using CentOS in one way or the other. The use of CentOS in a development project gives it more stability, high security, and an even number of control panel options. In addition to this, if you look at the community behind CentOS, you will see it is exponentially growing and contributing to its development via the Linux distro. The community is creating tons of content for CentOS, so newcomers will find it easy to work with it if they ever find problems. They can refer to wiki content, technical support blogs, forums, etc.

With this article’s help, we aim to educate our readers about the benefits of using CentOS and how it allows developers to work with more freedom to develop incredible applications. In addition to this, we will also talk about the differences between CentOS, Linux, and Ubuntu to find out which one suits your requirements the best. So let’s begin, shall we?

How did CentOS Linux Develop?

One of the most popular Linux distributions is CentOS. Thousands of developers, server administrators, and other users around the world use it to experience enterprise-level reliability and stability. It is worth pointing out that a small number of Linux distributions stand out from the other Linux distributions, because these are the distributions upon which they are built. Among all the Linux distributions, Red Hat Enterprise Linux is one that is highly regarded among everyone in the community. However, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is not an independent entity.

It exists as a symbiotic relationship between CentOS and Fedora. Let’s explain what we mean by that. REHL was designed to assist large enterprises, and Red Hat makes money from RHEL subscriptions. Thus, Red Hat is able to provide much better support to the companies that pay to use their version of RHEL.

According to the General Public License (GPL), Linux was developed to be free. As a consequence, Red Hat provides a free version of its own Linux OS in the form of CentOS since 2004. There are no trademarks, logos, or artwork that are specific to Red Hat. Nevertheless, CentOS still uses RHEL’s source code, which was developed by Red Hat originally.

In 2014, Red Hat acquired CentOS and announced that it would become a part of the Red Hat software family. As a result, CentOS developers became Red Hat open source and standard team employees. CentOS is a community-driven free software, and Red Hat is on the CentOS governing board. Therefore, the people at Red Hat have a lot more say in the development of CentOS than any other board member.

Architecture of CentOS

CentOS works on the architecture of the Linux distribution, and it comes with the support of the x86-64 architecture. As a result, you can use it on both 32-bit and 64-bit hardware. The CentOS bottom layer is mostly hardware-based and consists of physical devices such as computer storage, graphics cards, network devices, and so on.

After the physical layer, you will find the kernel, which is the core component of the OS and it is the one that directly interacts with the hardware present in your computer.

The CentOS Shell is the outermost layer of the CentOS architecture, and it sits above the Kernel. It acts as an interface between the user and the kernel. All of these are part of the application layer that interacts with the shell and kernel so it can work with some user-defined tasks. The applications that are present in the application layer are web browsers, photo editing apps, media players, text editors, and more.

Useful Commands of CentOS

Given below are some of the most common commands in CentOS that you will be using time and time again to get work done.

  • Is: this will provide you with the lists of the contents present in the directory.
  • cd: You are going to use this in case you want to move from one directory to the other or move from one folder to the other in the command line.
  • mv: this is known as the move command, and it is used for moving the files from one directory to the other. You can also use it to rename the file.
  • man: from this command, you are going to get the manuals of other commands that are used in CentOS.
  • mkdir: this one is used for the creation of new directories and subdirectories as well.
  • rmdir: this command is used when you want to delete the directory, and it will also help you recursively remove the files and folders that are present in the mentioned directory.
  • touch: with the help of this command, you will be able to create an empty file. In other words, this is a command for making files.
  • rm: This command works like rmdir, and it will remove the directories.
  • locate: if you want to find something in your storage, then locate is the command you should use.
  • clear: with this command, the terminal screen will be cleared, and you can start fresh.
  • sudo yum update: this command will help you to update all the packages that are installed on your system.
  • This command will install the package that you specified in the command.

Note – By using the extension sh, you can quickly write the set of commands in a sequence of tasks that you want to be done one after the other. After that, you can execute all of them at once by running the.sh, which is nothing but a shell script command.

Key Features of CentOS

If you’re considering installing a new operating system for web hosting or personal use, you should be aware of the advantages of CentOS and how it protects your gear. For a long time, CentOS has been the chosen operating system in Linux distributions. We’ve listed some of the primary benefits of using CentOS below to help you decide whether you should install it or not.

1. Security

In today’s world, one of the things that you must take complete care of is the security of your computer. With CentOS, you are getting multiple security features that come built-in from the start. One of the most prominent ways in which CentOS guards your computer against cyber-attacks is by using the security-enhanced Linux (SELinux) system.

SELinux is one of the most secure access control mechanisms that can quickly provide rules on processes and files based on the policies that you have defined. Apart from this, it also reduces the vulnerabilities of privilege-based escalation attacks. What this means is that if an attacker is able to take control of a process, he will only have access to normal functions and the files of the process. Anything outside the process is still out of reach to the hacker, and they can’t use it. CentOS out of the box is more secure than any other operating system. Even if you use it the right way, you don’t need to make any changes to make it safer. In addition to this, CentOS also pulls up backports straight from RedHat, and then your system will have those nightly updates installed on it pretty soon after the release.

2. Extended Support

Any person who is running an application in production searches for stability in the operating system along with the long run of support for the platform. If the application you are using is going to last for about seven years, Then the OS that is built on it will only get updates for a maximum of 4 to 5 years. Once the OS reaches the end of its life cycle, you will start to have problems with it in the fields of security, compatibility, and ease of usage.

But when you are using CentOS, you will get at least ten years of support with all the major versions and will receive the security updates for the OS as needed with no delays. Let’s look at the example of CentOS 7, which was released in 2014, and it is going to be supported till the end of 2024. This gives users much more breathing space to keep on using the OS for longer periods of time with nothing to be worried about.

With CentOS, you are getting a more stable and mature version of the software because the release cycle on CentOS is much longer than on the other operating systems. As a result, influential organizations and developers like to use CentOS in order to save money and lower the cost that is associated with the downtime of an application that is used for the update. Likewise, you don’t need to upgrade the hardware so frequently as CentOS comes with support for all forms of hardware that are present on the market. As a result, you get to have a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). This is why CentOS is considered a much more favourable option by larger corporations and developers who are looking for a more reliable and creative option for the OS. Lastly, due to CentOS being a free and open-sourced Linux distribution, it doesn’t have any pocket costs that one needs to take care of.

3. Software Management

With the latest release of CentOS 8, users are getting the first-hand experience of the YUM package manager that works on DNF technology. This package manager is able to provide support for modular content and increased performance, along with a well-designed, stable API, so it can be integrated with all sorts of tools. The new version takes care of the installation of new software using the YUM tool. YUM v4 also works pretty well with YUM v3 when you are using it with the command line, editing, or creating configuration files. As a result, you can use most of the commands in the same way you used to do them in CentOS 7.

One more thing that every user of CentOS should know about the latest version is that CentOS 8 is distributed with RPM 4.14. It is a bit different from RPM 4.11 as it comes with more enhancements, such as support for the weak dependencies; you can install the debuginfo packages in parallel. The package files can now exceed the size of 4GB, and now there are file triggers as well.

If you are someone who is looking to establish a broad-based system that can easily handle a single task or a wide array of functionalities, CentOS is the operating system that perfectly fits this description. The latest version of CentOS is able to take advantage of containerization and virtualization, along with microservices platforms like Docker and Kubernetes.

4. Great OS for Documentation

Over the years of being a preferred choice for hosting platforms, CentOS has become the de facto industry standard. Another great thing about using CentOS is that you have tonnes of information and documentation available to make new users comfortable with the workings of this operating system. CentOS has a massive list of community-driven forums that include developers and users.

These forums are a pool of intelligence and user experience that helps other users deal with the issues that they might come across during their usage of CentOS. There are multiple layers of instructions written in the form of documentation to guide users about setting up and configuring CentOS in a proper way.

5. Management Panel

CentOS comes with the support of multiple management platforms that include cPanel, InterWorx, WebMin, DirectAdmin, Spacewalk, CWP, Plesk, ISPConfig, Virtualmin, and more. All of these management panels make it possible for users to choose one which they are expert in or feel comfortable using. In addition to this, they will help users host multiple websites on a single server. At the same time, it does keep all the core processes and server procedures easily managed.

With these management panels, you are able to create an email list, websites, FTP access, and a number of other functions for users who are accessing your server. You get a complete management solution for all kinds of complex tasks that are associated with server management with just a couple of clicks. It also has backup management, software installation, DNS, backup, network, databases, and additional security features such as a CSG firewall, protection from brute force attacks, and many more.

Wrapping Up

CentOS is one of the best Linux distributions for both personal and server use. Though it may seem a bit tricky at first, with practice and time, you will easily learn how it works. We hope this article has helped you gain a deeper understanding of CentOS. Feel free to ask any further questions you may have. Feel free to ask any questions you have, and we will reply accordingly. Until then, happy learning!

Leave a Comment