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CentOS Linux 7 EOL — everything you need to know

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CentOS has served as the Linux server of choice for experienced users over the years while also the go-to operating system for most online and server hosting companies. With CentOS Linux 7 reaching EOL (End of Life) on June 30, 2024, you must be prepared to migrate to a newer, supported operating system.

But how do you prepare for something like this? This article will discuss what it means for its users, how to prepare for the transition related to the CentOS 7 EOL, and the suggested alternatives.

Implications of replacing the sunsetting CentOS 7

CentOS 7 is a free and open-source operating system built from the same source code as Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), providing users with a stable environment. With CentOS 7 reaching the End of Life (EOL) next year, The CentOS Project — in coordination with Red Hat — will have a new focus on the CentOS Stream project, meaning that CentOS 7 will be discontinued and will not receive more updates or patches.

Preparing for the CentOS 7 EOL

While June of ‘24 may sound far, do not delay; it will be here faster than you think. It’s a good idea to start planning and be prepared. CentOS 7 users must prepare for a smooth transition, and our Liquid Web staff is available to help bring ease to the process. Our Dedicated Migration Team will be with you at every step to ensure the data transfer goes well.

Transitioning to alternative solutions before the CentOS 7 EOL

While the EOL of CentOS 7 might seem daunting, multiple alternative solutions exist, like Ubuntu, Debian, AlmaLinux, or CloudLinux. For CentOS 7 users with a control panel like cPanel or InterWorx, it’s best to consider AlmaLinux or CloudLinux 8 as their next operating system, being the closest to CentOS 7.

CentOS Linux End of Life (EOL) dates by version

EOL date for CentOS Linux 8

CentOS 8 reached its EOL on December 31, 2021, much earlier than its predecessor. This decision caused significant controversy among the CentOS user community, leading to many seeking alternative options.

EOL timeline for CentOS Linux 7

CentOS 7 is scheduled to reach its End of Life on June 30, 2024, and it is suggested that you prepare to switch to a different operating system in order to receive security updates and the most recent functional enhancements. Doing so ensures that your system remains secure and up to date.

EOL implications for CentOS Linux 6

CentOS 6 has already reached its EOL on November 30, 2020. This fact means that users still on CentOS 6 no longer get updates or security updates, leaving their systems vulnerable to potential exploits. We highly recommend switching to a supported version if you are still using this operating system.

Preparing for CentOS 7 EOL

It’s critical to evaluate your current system configurations and review your application dependencies, including identifying essential applications and services that you have running on your existing server. It’s also important to consider the potential impact of the operating system change on your server's stability and performance. Getting ready for the CentOS 7 EOL is something all website owners have had plenty of time to manage. Due diligence is key in this effort.

Exploring alternative options

As mentioned earlier, there are several alternative distributions to consider after the EOL of CentOS Linux 7. AlmaLinux, developed as a replacement for CentOS, seeks to provide a stable platform for CentOS users, making the transition much easier. CloudLinux 8 would also be a great solution, providing extra security features for your server. Other distributions like Ubuntu, Fedora, or Debian would require much more planning and research to ensure all your applications are compatible with the operating system.

Migrating from CentOS Linux to other distributions

Migrating from CentOS Linux to another distribution involves careful planning and execution. Our Migration team is made up of experienced specialists who make your migration simple and painless and know how to put your needs at the center of the process.

Our team stay in contact with you during the migration process, with regular updates so you know exactly what to expect. They will perform a comprehensive quality assurance, ensuring you’re back up and running and minimizing any potential disruptions.

Ensuring compatibility and stability

Ensuring compatibility with existing applications and services is crucial when moving to a new distribution. It's essential to test the compatibility and resolve any issues before going live on the new server. Stability should be a fundamental consideration, especially in production servers. During our migration process, there will be an important testing phase to ensure that everything is running smoothly in your new environment.

Impact of CentOS 7 EOL

Every time an operating system reaches its End of Life, there are concerns in the community about security and support. Without frequent updates and security patches, the system becomes vulnerable to exploits and potential cyber threats. It’s important to have a plan in place to lower the risks during the transition and ensure the ongoing security of the infrastructure.

Addressing security concerns

It's suggested to closely monitor your applications and promptly update systems with the latest patches during the transition to address security concerns. Prioritizing security and implementing solutions can significantly decrease the risks associated with the EOL of CentOS 7. Packages like Server Secure Plus or F5 Distributed Cloud App Infrastructure Protection (AIP) will increase the security of your server, not only during the CentOS 7 EOL period but also beyond, ensuring continued protection.

Mitigating risks during the transition

It’s essential to carefully plan and execute the migration process in order to minimize the potential security risks during the migration. Planning ahead would be the best solution, ensuring that the system is still up to date and supported before the migration.

Strategies for system maintenance

As CentOS 7 reaches its EOL, it's crucial to reevaluate your system maintenance strategies. This effort may involve more proactive monitoring, frequent security audits, and regular updates to ensure your infrastructure's long-term stability and security.

Conclusion — embracing change

While the CentOS 7 EOL may present challenges, it also opens up opportunities to embrace change and explore new options in the Linux ecosystem. As an operating system approaches its End of Life, the community often becomes apprehensive about security and support implications. Without regular updates and security patches, the system becomes vulnerable to potential exploits and cyber threats. Developing a well-structured transition plan is essential to mitigate risks and uphold the ongoing security of the infrastructure. By carefully planning the transition, exploring alternative distributions, and ensuring compatibility and stability, you can quickly adapt to the new operating systems and continue to enjoy a reliable operating system.

Migrating from CentOS Linux to another distribution can be a complex process. Our Migration team ensures everything goes smoothly and guarantees a secure process. Our support team is on standby, ready to provide additional details on these and any other hosting queries you might have. If you need help with server setup or have any questions about the data mentioned earlier, please do not hesitate to contact us by calling or opening a chat/ ticket.

Get web hosting now — Liquid Web product offerings

After considering all these factors, users grapple with where to turn next. Undoubtedly, it is no easy task to find a substitute for CentOS 7, with its unique offerings as one of the limited open-source upstream Linux OS platforms. That stated, AlmaLinux is an almost one-to-one RHEL replacement for CentOS, so it is easy. Go with AlmaLinux 8 since it supports all of the control panels we offer at Liquid Web — cPanel, Plesk, and InterWorx. We 100% recommend AlmaLinux 8 as the optimal Linux OS distribution to replace your CentOS 7 EOL system.

Choosing the right product for your business might be challenging, so we provide a wide range of Dedicated, Private Cloud (built with VMware), or VPS servers, helping you explore the different Linux distributions and choose the best option for your application and services:

  • Private Cloud servers powered by VMware are a perfect choice for testing compatibility and resolving any issues during the migration process. They are built around a simple resource-based pricing model for your virtual machine (VM) setup. Free of per-VM fees, the number of VMs you can deploy will only be restricted by your available resources, making it much easier to spin up a test server with your preferred Linux distro without interfering with the production one.
  • Dedicated servers provide superb performance and optimal security for your site or web application. Dedicated servers will be the best choice if you know which Linux distro you want to migrate to and have done all the needed testing.
  • VPS servers ensure your websites and applications can handle pressure effectively. We have introduced Next-Gen VPS hosting, designed for growing businesses seeking additional memory and processing power to enhance performance.

Don't just take our word for it! Join the countless businesses that have trusted Liquid Web for their hosting needs and witness the difference for yourself.

Avatar for Luke Cavanagh

About the Author: Luke Cavanagh

Product Operations Manager at Liquid Web. Devoted husband and Tween wrangler. Synthwave enthusiast. Jerry Goldsmith fan. Doctor Who fan and related gubbins.

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