CentOS vs RedHat
RedHat Linux was one of the most popular Linux based operating systems until 2004, when it was discontinued. However, Red Hat now (after 2004) develops a commercial version of Red Hat called Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). CentOS is a free Linux based operating system, which is directly based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
Red Hat Linux was one of the most popular operating systems based on Linux, developed by Red Hat. It was discontinued in year 2004. Its initial version (Red Hat Linux 1.0) was released in 1994. At that time it was known as “Red Hat Commercial Linux”. The popular packing format called RPM Package Manager was used for the first time by Red Hat Linux. The graphical installer called Anaconda (for novice users) introduced by Red Hat Linux has been adapted by some other Linux systems as well. Firewall configuration tool called Lokkit and an automatic tool for hardware discovery and configuration called Kuduz were also introduced by Red Hat. Default encoding for characters was UTF-8 (after Version 8). Native Posix Library was supported starting Version 9. Red Hat Linux has paved the way for other similar Linux distributions such as Mandriva and Yellow Dog. Red Hat Linux 9 was the final release of the series, but after 2004 Red Hat started developing a Linux version for enterprises called Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). RHEL is developed for the commercial market. It is open source, but not free. X86, x86-64, Itaniaum and PowerPC are supported by RHEL server versions, while X86 and x86-64 are supported by desktop versions.
CentOS (Community ENTerprise Operating System) is a Linux based operating system, which is directly based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. CentOS is community-based, free and open-source. As the name suggests, CentOS strives to provide enterprise quality Linux system exactly similar to RHEL for free. Among web servers, CentOS is the most popular Linux distribution. It is being used by 1/3 of Linux web servers today. Because RHEL is open source, CentOS developers directly use the RHEL source to create CentOS. But Red Hat’s brand name and logo is not being used by CentOS. Even though CentOS is free, there is considerable technical support via mailing lists, forums and chat rooms. Only x86 (both 32-bit and 64-bit) is supported by CentOS. Therefore it does not support Itanium, PowerPC or SPARC.
What is the difference between CentOS and Red Hat?
Red Hat Enterprise Linux is a commercial Linux distribution by Red Hat, while CentOS is a free Linux based operating system almost similar to RHEL. Even though both are open source, Red Hat Enterprise Linux is a commercial version and is good for large enterprises, while CentOS is completely free. RHEL provides paid technical support, while CentOS users receive community-based technical support at no cost. Itaniaum and PowerPC are supported by RHEL, while CentOS does not support either of these architectures.