CentOS joins the Red Hat family -- Fedora gets a step-brother

Red Hat Enterprise Linux is a wonderful operating system for commercial users. However, there is one major downside to it -- it costs money. Luckily, Red Hat provides the source code to the open-source community. This enables groups to use the code to build their own free distributions, such as CentOS. While these distributions are just as functional as RHEL, they lack support from Red Hat.

Even though the existence of CentOS can potentially take money from Red Hat's pockets, there never seemed to be any resentment or animosity. In fact, just yesterday, Red Hat surprised the Linux community and announced that it will sponsor that distribution going forward. In other words, CentOS is now owned by Red Hat Inc -- the father has officially adopted its illegitimate baby and Fedora has a new step-brother.

"This collaboration strengthens Red Hat's proven business model by extending the Red Hat open source development ecosystem. Red Hat anticipates that taking a role as a catalyst within the CentOS community will enable it to accelerate development of enterprise-grade subscription solutions for customers and partners", says Red Hat.

The company further explains, "since its initial release in 2004, the CentOS Project has grown to include a significant amount of focus on open source technology integration and a sizable user community. Red Hat and the CentOS Project recognize an opportunity to begin a new era by collaborating to expand the CentOS Project to address innovation, community contribution, and participation up the stack and beyond the operating system. By joining forces with the CentOS Project, Red Hat aims to accelerate community innovation, engagement, and momentum around open source cloud and infrastructure projects".

Congratulations is in order for some core members of the CentOS team, as they have landed full-time jobs with Red Hat. Remember, many Linux contributors do so on their "free time" -- they often work a full-time job too. This hiring by Red Hat will allow the members to focus more time and energy on CentOS.

CentOS users may be concerned and rightfully so. After all, it remains to be seen if this will truly benefit anyone other than Red Hat. Mergers and agreements are warm and fuzzy when they are announced, but time has a funny way of souring these relationships.

Do you think this is a good move? Tell me in the comments.

Photo Credit: Kazuaki Inagaki/Shutterstock

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