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Elastic Compute Service:CentOS EOL guidance

Last Updated:Jun 25, 2024

The CentOS public images provided by Alibaba Cloud are derived from the repositories provided by CentOS. After CentOS reaches end of life (EOL), Alibaba Cloud ends support and no longer provides software updates and security patches for CentOS. If you have Elastic Compute Service (ECS) instances that run CentOS versions, we recommend that you take action prior to the EOL dates to continue to receive software updates and security patches for the instances and mitigate the impacts of the CentOS EOL. This topic describes the EOL options for CentOS operating systems.

Background information

On December 8, 2020, CentOS announced plans to shift focus from CentOS to CentOS Stream. For more information, see CentOS Project shifts focus to CentOS Stream and FAQ - CentOS Project shifts focus to CentOS Stream.

  • CentOS 6 reached EOL on November 30, 2020. CentOS 8 reached EOL on December 31, 2021. Alibaba Cloud ended support for CentOS 6 and 8 on the same dates, respectively. ECS instances that run CentOS 6 or 8 can run as expected, but the instances can no longer receive updates for CentOS 6 or 8.

  • CentOS 7 will reach EOL on June 30, 2024. Alibaba Cloud will end support for CentOS 7 on the same date. To mitigate the impacts of the CentOS 7 EOL, we recommend that you take action prior to the EOL date.

EOL options

We recommend that you migrate your workloads from CentOS to a different operating system to receive software updates and security patches for the new operating system.

Before the migration, assess the following items:

  1. The operating systems to which you can migrate CentOS workloads.

    When you choose an alternative operating system, consider factors such as security, stability, operating system compatibility, budget, and long-term operating system strategy. For information about the Linux alternatives to CentOS, see the CentOS alternatives section of this topic.

  2. The methods that you can use to migrate from CentOS to other operating systems:

    • (Recommended) New deployment: This migration method allows you to create a new instance that runs a different operating system to replace an existing CentOS instance or replace the operating system of an existing CentOS instance with a different operating system. For more information, see Create an instance on the Custom Launch tab and Replace the operating system (system disk) of an instance.

      Important

      After you replace the operating system of an existing CentOS instance, the original system disk of the instance is released and all data stored on the disk is deleted. Before you replace the operating system of an existing CentOS instance, create snapshots for the system disk of the instance to back up disk data. For more information, see Create a snapshot for a disk.

      • Advantages and disadvantages: This migration method allows you to take advantage of the latest operating systems, hardware, technologies, and security updates to achieve better performance. This migration method also resolves all legacy issues to ensure long-term system health and maintainability. However, when you redeploy business, you may need to interrupt services, which affects service continuity.

      • Supported scenarios: If you want to redeploy your business environment due to the EOL of CentOS, you can use this migration method to migrate from CentOS to a different operating system.

      • Supported alternative operating systems: You can select any other operating system as an alternative to migrate your CentOS workloads.

        Note

        You can select Alibaba Cloud public images or use selected images provided by certified software vendors in Alibaba Cloud Marketplace and operating system replacement services provided by service partners. For more information, see CentOS replacement solutions.

      • For more information, see the Method 1: New deployment section of this topic.

    • In-place migration: This migration method allows you to perform an in-place upgrade or conversion by using specific tools to migrate from CentOS to a different operating system. When you perform an in-place migration or conversion, all applications, user data, and system configurations are retained, which eliminates the need to redeploy environments or migrate data.

      • Advantages and disadvantages: This migration method can reduce initial configuration efforts and may inherit issues that the original CentOS operating systems encountered, such as security vulnerabilities and configuration errors. In-place upgrades are suitable for environments that have constrained resources, do not encounter major security or performance issues, and require quick upgrades.

      • Supported scenarios: If you want to retain the data of CentOS instances and the alternative operating systems support in-place upgrades, you can use this migration method to migrate from CentOS to the alternative operating systems.

      • Supported alternative operating systems: The operating systems that are described in the Operating systems that are binary compatible with CentOS section of this topic support in-place migration.

      • For more information, see the Method 2: In-place migration section of this topic.

CentOS alternatives

Operating systems that are binary compatible with CentOS

Note

Binary compatibility is the ability of an operating system to run applications and software that were compiled for another operating system without the need to recompile code. When you redeploy environments after you migrate between operating systems that are binary compatible with each other, you do not need to recompile applications or software to adapt to the changed interfaces. This allows you to save time and resources. However, bug incompatibility may occur.

Operating system

Description

Charged

Technical support

References

Alibaba Cloud Linux

Alibaba Cloud Linux is a Linux operating system provided by Alibaba Cloud that is fully compatible with the RHEL and CentOS ecosystems Alibaba Cloud Linux is optimized for the Alibaba Cloud platform and is backed by free long-term support (LTS) from Alibaba Cloud.

No

Alibaba Cloud support

Alibaba Cloud Linux

Anolis OS

Anolis OS is released by the OpenAnolis community and is fully compatible with the CentOS 8 ecosystem and other mainstream Linux distributions. Anolis OS is an open source, independent Linux distribution that provides enterprise-level stability, security, reliability, and high performance.

No

Alibaba Cloud support

Anolis OS

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)

RHEL is an enterprise operating system developed by Red Hat. RHEL images are not provided free of charge. You must purchase subscription RHEL images before you can use the images.

You are charged license fees for RHEL images. For more information, see Images.

Joint support from Alibaba Cloud and Red Hat

Red Hat Enterprise Linux

CentOS Stream

CentOS Stream is a rolling-release Linux distribution provided by CentOS.

No

Community support

CentOS Stream

Rocky Linux

Rocky Linux is a community-driven, enterprise-level Linux operating system and a downstream rebuild of RHEL. Similar to CentOS, Rocky Linux offers stable releases for servers and is an alternative that is fully compatible with CentOS.

No

Community support

Rocky Linux

AlmaLinux

AlmaLinux is a stable, community-driven Linux distribution developed by the CloudLinux team. AlmaLinux is 1:1 binary compatible with RHEL and allows you to replace the operating systems of ECS instances without the need to stop the instances.

No

Community support

AlmaLinux

Other operating systems

Operating system

Description

Charged

Technical support

References

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES)

SLES is a highly reliable, scalable, and secure operating system developed by SUSE that can adapt to various environments.

You are charged license fees for SLES images. For more information, see Images.

Joint support from Alibaba Cloud and SUSE

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a Linux distribution developed by Canonical that allows you to install a GUI to facilitate use and management.

No

Community support

Ubuntu

Debian

Debian is a popular Linux operating system that is known for its stability, security, and the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG).

No

Community support

Debian

openSUSE

openSUSE is an operating system built on the Linux kernel. openSUSE is developed and maintained by the openSUSE project and sponsored by SUSE Linux and other companies.

No

Community support

openSUSE

Migrate operating systems and workloads

You can use the following methods to migrate operating systems and workloads based on the CentOS alternatives that you selected and your business requirements. For information about the advantages, disadvantages, and supported scenarios of the migration methods, see the EOL options section of this topic.

  • Method 1: New deployment

    1. Create an ECS instance that runs a different operating system to replace an existing CentOS instance or replace the operating system of an existing CentOS instance with a different operating system. For more information, see Create an instance on the Custom Launch tab and Replace the operating system (system disk) of an instance.

    2. After you create a replacement instance or replace the operating system of an existing CentOS instance, you must redeploy the business-related runtime environments that are deployed on the existing CentOS instance on the replacement instance or the replacement operating system. For example, you must re-install software and repositories, such as Advanced Package Tool (APT) and Yellowdog Updater Modified (YUM) repositories, configure environment variables, and redeploy applications. You can perform the following steps:

      1. Collect the application and software information of the existing CentOS instance and export critical application configurations and data files.

      2. Prepare the new instance (the replacement instance or the CentOS instance whose operating system you replaced). Re-install specific applications and software on the new instance based on the collected application and software information, import the exported application configurations and data files to the new instance, and then check whether the applications run as expected on the new instance.

      3. Stop the application services on the existing CentOS instance, synchronize application data to the new instance, verify that the application services run as expected on the new instance, and then start the applications services on the new instance.

  • Method 2: In-place migration

    The following table describes the migration paths that you can use when you perform an in-place migration.

    Note

    If you want to migrate from CentOS 7 to Alibaba Cloud Linux 3, we recommend that you are familiar with the differences between CentOS 7 and Alibaba Cloud Linux 3 before you perform the migration. For information about the differences, see Differences between Alibaba Cloud Linux 3 and CentOS 7.

    Source operating system

    Destination operating system

    References

    CentOS 7 or 8

    Alibaba Cloud Linux

    Migrate and upgrade the operating system of an ECS instance

    Anolis OS

    Red Hat Enterprise Linux

    CentOS 7

    AlmaLinux 8

    How do I migrate from CentOS 7 to AlmaLinux 8?

    CentOS 8

    CentOS Stream 8

    Start using CentOS Stream

    CentOS

    Rocky Linux 8 or 9

    How to migrate to Rocky Linux from CentOS

Continue using CentOS

If you want to continue using CentOS based on your business requirements and require specific installation packages of CentOS, you must change CentOS repository addresses. For more information, see the following topics:

References