Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
CentOS, a derivative of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, was started back in 2002 with its first beta versions appearing in 2003. CentOS is designed to be a high end server OS that runs on a wide variety of different architectures, including x86, Intel IA-64 (Itanium 64-bit), x86-64, PowerPC/32, IBM Mainframe, Alpha, and SPARC. Given all this versatility, and its roots as a server OS, some may be lead to ask the question, “Does it make a good desktop distribution?” We’re about to find out.
CentOS can be downloaded as either a cd or dvd install disk, the latter of which you’ll need to acquire via bittorrent. Of the two, the dvd is the better way to install CentOS and it’s the version I used for this review. The only real difference is that the dvd provides you with a list of packages you can install directly off the DVD rather than having to go through the Yum installer to grab them off the internet when you’re first installing the OS. Initial bootup and install of the OS was amazingly simple.
While CentOS doesn’t have a “live cd” from which to install the OS, as some other distributions do, it still boots into a windowed install environment that allows you to see if CentOS will work for you.