Centos 8 lifecycle end 2021

Hello, this is a question about news on Centos project.

Seems like Centos (stream) will be only not production o.s.

Somebody have plan alternatives?
with a quick search on google i find oracle linux, but in virtualmin documentation

there are no mention about it.

so i think to switch to Debian,
i like Centos for long life cycle (9-10 years). Debian is only 5, but if there are no alternatives…

is only to share ideas…
thank you

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I would agree with you @ale.ab. CentOS Stream will not be a production OS.

And it shall, by design and policy, have deliberate exposure not only to zero day but also to 0+n day vulnerabilities, so I do not foresee CentOS Stream being used on a public facing server. However, the code is open source so I expect there will be alternatives and variants offered by sundry other players between now and 2021 when C8 becomes EoL.

This will cause an unnecessary fragmentation of the OS marketplace so Virtualmin devs and the community will have to tread carefully over the next few weeks and months. Other panels based on CentOS will be much worse off than Virtualmin - we should thank our stars that the devs had the foresight, when they were designing and developing Virtualmin, to continue the Webmin legacy of supporting multiple OSs. It must have been hard work for them with lots of extra complexity to support multiple OSs but our devs soldiered on and the entire community is better off for it today. Three cheers for the devs: @Ilia, @Joe, @Jamie, @Eric!

With a big question mark over CentOS’s suitability as a OS for use on production or public facing servers, the Virtualmin community already has multiple options for alternate OSs. Virtualmin on Debian for servers which don’t need new features and don’t need to be maintained too actively; Virtualmin on Ubuntu for for servers which need the newest feature set but with admins that can keep a watchful eye on testing and maintenance. Virtualmin also supports, to varying degrees, a wide range of other OSs for those who prefer these: Mac OS X, Raspbian Linux, Mandriva Linux, Fedora Linux, SuSE and OpenSuSE Linux, Gentoo Linux, Amazon Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, DragonflyBSD, Solaris and OpenSolaris.

Can you imagine, friends, how difficult things must be today for those admins who are invested in a panel other than Virtualmin - one of those single-OS panels which is based on CentOS? These admins have no choice but to either pay for RH or abandon CentOS (and consequently the panel they currently use as well) and migrate to an entirely new OS and panel. Server migration is never easy and if an admin has to migrate to an unfamiliar OS and an unfamiliar new panel… I certainly would not like to trade places with him.

But we will be okay. Virtualmin systems on CentOS with LEMP should be made to migrate to Virtualmin systems on Debian / Ubuntu with LEMP and Virtualmin systems on CentOS with LAMP should be made to migrate to Virtualmin systems on Debian / Ubuntu with LAMP. If we follow this simple rule, all shall be well.

Edit: caveat - see comment #23 - Centos 8 lifecycle end 2021

Every new problem presents a new opportunity and the Virtualmin community could use this to refresh our own servers from the old C6 and C7 to new OSs; and also to introduce friends who are on CentOS on other panels to Virtualmin. Let’s make our community grow and make Virtualmin adoption more widespread by bringing in refugee panel users to the wonderful world of Virtualmin. It is a win-win for all.




I have same issue now… I was running Virtualmin in CentOS 6 for years… and last month I started migrating to a temporal server I already had running CentOS7, and after starting this thing I said “Ok, lets continue an migrate to CentOS 8 no avoid doing this till 2029”… i finished this last week… and now I see this :smiley:… Murphy’s law!

What options do we have now? I see a better solution moving to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS that has extended support till 2030… than Debian that has it for fewer years… any contraints or suggestions? Or any easier way to avoid migrating again from my fancy new CentOS 8 that I was super proud of :smiley:



Hi there,
It’s sad, I’ve used CentOS for years, last few days I just solved few problems in CentOS 8 with Virtualmin and after that I saw the news, so today I started with Ubuntu 20. Let’s see how that goes.

I have always used CentOs on production/server side. Personally dont use or like Ubuntu for that. I just put another server online with CentOs 8, no plans to switch over to Ubuntu or Debian tomorrow. Too soon to decide as over time it will be confirmed what will happen next with existing CentOs, Stream, forks and whatnot. Whatever OS will come out as a preference for you, with Virtualmin backup/restore function - should not be too much of an issue. Bear in mind that Stream is already in use in production environments all over, public facing or not.

I wonder how this will affect CloudLinux? I’ve used it a few times and was happy with it, and I still use their KernelCare product on CentOS 7.

I wouldn’t have any issues paying for CloudLinux again if it made my life easier, but last I heard there were numerous and substantial conflicts with Virtualmin, especially as regarding Apache and PHP. I actually wouldn’t have any problems paying for self-supported RHEL, either, if I thought I could convince the clients to pay for it.

Debian is an option, of course. The question would be whether switching clients over to it would be worth the hassle compared to simply buying an RHEL license and converting in-place from CentOS to RHEL.

I may wind up spinning up a Debian server for my own sites, though. Then the main problem would be cleaning up the inevitably dirty IP addresses I’d be issued; unless I take down the server altogether, start from scratch with Debian, and restore from backups.

Such fun…


I am unable to understand how that can be. Security patches will be released last of all for CentOS Stream so by design and policy, it will have deliberate exposure not only to zero day but also to 0+n day vulnerabilities. Can a vulnerable server, which has a documented exploit freely available in the public domain, be used in production environments?

The writing is on the wall. I quote from https://blog.centos.org/2020/12/future-is-centos-stream/

If you are using CentOS Linux 8 in a production environment, and are concerned that CentOS Stream will not meet your needs, we encourage you to contact Red Hat about options.

i think yes, maybe to soon to decide…

if i decide today i use Debian, but i hope in an alternative/fork of Centos…
Ubuntu LTS is suuported 5 years, if i want to use for 10 years i must purchase it , right?

seems 75$ / year / VM

thank you

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Of course they would say that, ‘encourage you to contact Red Hat’. They need to show being diplomatic but professional. The writing isnt on the wall. IBM has now a reaction they wanted - how much of this hype will be accelerating their attention and business?

Its too soon to confirm a, b and c. I noticed there are automated scripts that will update CentOs 8 to CentOs 8 Stream etc. without a rebuild. Basically adds additional packages/repos and clean up old. I dont know if that is a good approach or not. Unless you have used Stream for donkey years and/ or OS expert - why negative about Stream when we know so little.

I am not an expert but it must be a reason why it is being changed. Suspect part of this is the rapid changes platforms are required to change and adapt, supporting businesses but also private/individuals. There was a time we could have a 3 year strategy but not anymore.

Facebook runs millions of servers supporting its vast global social network, all of which have been migrated (or are migrating) to an operating system they derive from CentOS Stream.

I don’t think that follows?

Stream still receives updates, and 0-day is literally unavoidable with any OS; 0-day means the vendor doesn’t know about it until it’s already in the wild, so no OS can be immune.

What does cause concern about Stream vs. a stable CentOS in the traditional sense is that software that works today may not work the next time you update. The long compatibility guarantee CentOS has historically given you, the strongest and longest in the free Linux distro world, is extremely valuable if you don’t want to have to babysit your servers every time you run an update.

A side effect of that “updates might break my servers” will be that people upgrade less often. Already many users are afraid to update the OS due to lack of understanding of how strong the compatibility guarantee in CentOS has been historically. Now, it’ll be more like Ubuntu (probably somewhere between LTS and the regular Ubuntu releases, but even LTS Ubuntu versions sometimes have breaking changes on minor version upgrades, so it may be more in line with that, we won’t know until we see how it’s implemented).

So, to be clear: I’m not gonna panic, and y’all shouldn’t either. I don’t like this change, as it means that when supporting CentOS we will always be in a state of “will it work today?” If it turns out to be much worse than Ubuntu LTS or Debian in that regard, it will be painful. We can manage it, if it’s on par with those…if it’s much worse than those, it will be hard. CentOS has always been my favorite server OS, despite its flaws (like very old versions even early in the release cycle), because I knew that if it worked today, it’d still work a year or three from now no matter how many software updates were applied. I’m much less confident of that for any other popular free distro (including Ubuntu LTS, which is probably second in line).

There are some benefits to a stream release cycle, too. CentOS may finally have reasonably new packages most of the time? But, reliability, stability, and predictability are gonna go down, by necessity. And, that will increase our load when supporting it and your load when using it on servers (but that may balance out by not having to jump through so many hoops to run recent versions of PHP or whatever).

Let’s just see how it plays out before we panic. As you know, switching distros with Virtualmin is mostly pretty easy. Not as easy as going from one CentOS version to the next, but not far from it. So, if we all have to migrate to Ubuntu LTS to maintain our sanity, we can. But, for now, Ubuntu LTS is quite a bit more problematic than CentOS on the dimensions we’re complaining about here…so I wouldn’t rush to switch, if you’re happy with CentOS today. That’s just signing on for the problems you foresee coming to CentOS a year before you need to.


I switched to Ubuntu in Feb of last year when maintaining Centos under virt became too much of a chore. When IBM bought RedHat i was concerned CentOS might be shucked away…and now it has been effectively.

Great response @Joe !

I am in CentOS 7, so I am going to wait a little in order to take a deccision.

But, What do you think is more stable in Virtualmin: Ubuntu LTS or Debian Stable?

I think is Debian… but I haven’t use this system…


As much as I hate to say it, Ubuntu LTS is a better choice for most users for servers than Debian due to longer lifecycle, more applications are built for it, docs more often cover it, etc.

I think Ubuntu does a lot of stupid stuff and goes down a lot of dead end development paths and drags their userbase (and us) along with them, Debian does less stupid stuff. But, nonetheless, Ubuntu has market share and that leads to lower friction when deploying Ubuntu servers. You find help/docs more readily, packages are more likely to be well-tested, etc. It’s true for Virtualmin, too. Virtualmin on Ubuntu just gets more testing than Debian, so it ends up being better supported most of the time (though those stupid dead end dev paths bite us when new versions come out).


FWIW, it’s already planned on being forked by the original CentOS founder - see rockylinux.org

Edit: and according to this post CloudLinux will release a free version. Should be ease enough to make Virtualmin compatible with either, or maybe even Oracle :face_vomiting:

I’m not touching Oracle Linux unless Oracle pays us. :wink:

But, I’ll look into other options. Though I really don’t want to expand the number of targets we have to maintain. We’re already overwhelmed with the distros and versions we currently support.


Who WANTS to touch Oracle? :wink:

Upgrading from CentOS to stream is done with a one-time, so should be easy enough to test the setup there also tbh. Maybe it’s not as much hassle as first imagined?
My 2 cents, as I don’t really care, .deb FTW. :slight_smile:

In view of Igor’s post on WHT, I suggest that any project he launches be one that Virtualmin seriously consider supporting. He’s a good man. Along with Adam Wills and his crew at Turnkey Internet, and the entire crew here at Virtualmin, he’s one of the few people left in this business whom I still trust completely.

There are very few people and companies left in this industry who have both good products and good ethics. Y’all need to stick together.



I know what most people think about rolling releases (not stable, a lot of support and maintain - which might be very well true). However, just sharing my side of the story, in my experience, I have been happily running Fedora Server for the past 5 years and underwent 10 successful, and most of the time, pain-free distro upgrades, which only took 15 minutes to perform. I realize it will not necessarily going to work for all users but certainly could for some.

We might try to officially support CentOS Stream, and Fedora Server in particular, and see how it goes with these Grade B systems.

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From Igor Seletskiy at CloudLinux:

Also, this thread on WHT from Post 51 on goes into a bit more detail about what they have in mind, and why. Among the reasons are that they also sell KernelCare, which dynamically updates the kernel to avoid the vast majority of reboots. It’s very inexpensive and well worth the cost in my opinion.



CloudLinux may be an option, if I’m reading correctly that they’ll be maintaining an Open Source and free fork of RHEL going forward (historically, they had quirky licensing that I had concerns with). Way back when CentOS took months to release version 6, we added Scientific Linux support (and even ran our own servers on Scientific for several years) to the installer and repos and such…as long as CloudLinux is extremely similar and binary-compatible, we can probably just add OS detection and some minor tweaks and make it go.

Actually, this change also will break our assumptions about RHEL, so we’ll have to deal with that (we don’t have a lot of users on RHEL, but a much higher proportion of our paying customers use it, so we have to support it). I don’t actually develop on RHEL anymore…I used to have RHEL development VMs for all of our supported versions, but CentOS was so close that it turned out to be unnecessary, I just needed to get the repo names right and it always Just Worked. So, it’s definitely piling a lot of new work on us…and we’ll probably have to find another distro that is a straight ahead rebuild of RHEL. Whether that will be CloudLinux or RockyLinux is currently unknown, but I’m glad it’s on the horizon.

As an aside, IBM is really shooting themselves in the foot with this move. I don’t see how it can do anything other than reduce their influence and marketshare on servers. Short term gains in revenue, but long-term loss. I think they’ve built a time-bomb that will effectively destroy Red Hat Enterprise Linux within a few years.