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CentOS 7 - Ah ah ah stayin' alive (in 2021)

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Red Hat

I have to admit I was sad to read about the upcoming and early demise of CentOS 8. As soon as I saw the announcement, I remembered the two instances of CentOS installed on my test laptop, 7 and 8, sitting side by side in a lovely, complex eight-boot setup. Both are heavily tweaked systems, used in the desktop fashion, offering stability and fun in the home environment that were never intended from this server distro. And as it turns out, CentOS 7 will outlive the newer version by a long mile, or furlong if you will.

So I thought, well, how relevant can CentOS 7 be in the coming years? After all, it's a good few years behind CentOS 8 software wise. And here, I want to take a purely home use approach. I do not want to discuss or debate the actual announcement or the impact this has on the wider IT industry. I want to see if CentOS 7 is still a viable choice for desktop use, should you decide to put it on your PC or laptop. After me.

[...]

I am surprised not surprised by own experience. I knew CentOS is rock solid, and I didn't expect any complications, but the results surpass my own expectations. I guess I've been removed from the good ole stuff for too long to remember and appreciate the steadfast simplicity from the heyday of the desktop - roughly the first half of the past decade. And if I think more deeply about it, CentOS 7 actually has a wider collection of software available than its successor, as lots of the stuff, even in RPM Fusion and EPEL, didn't make it into CentOS 8. Like LyX. The one thing I'm missing here is Plasma 5, so maybe I will actually hassle myself up to get this working all nice and proper like, just for fun.

But there you have it, a coincidental mini-review of an old distro that keeps on giving. Good stuff, excellent functionality and stability, modern, up-to-date software of all sorts and kinds, a beautiful, elegant, fast desktop despite its inherent shortcomings, and still some four years left on the clock. Makes me feel a bit less sad about CentOS 8. Just a little.

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