Red Hat Announces There will be No CentOS 9

Red Hat has announced that the end of life date for CentOS 8 will be brought forward to December 31, 2021 after which there will be no further updates. They have also announced that when RHEL 9 ships, there will be no CentOS 9 equivalent.

In place of the “version” based releases, users will need to switch the CentOS Stream, a version of CentOS which will continually update with new features and bug fixes.

This essentially means that CentOS will migrate from being a free version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) to being a testing ground for the next version of RHEL (joining the Fedora distribution in this capacity) consisting of a rolling sequence of updates.

An exciting prospect for users who like to live on the edge, but probably less appealing for production level deployments that need the most stable and secure platform, instead of the latest, untested package updates.

It is hard to predict at this stage the types of users that will stay with CentOS after CentOS 8 reaches EOL. It is also possible, though probably unlikely, that an independent group will emerge to create a new Linux distribution based on the RHEL source code.