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October news


Update on CentOS Linux strategy

CERN and Fermilab have been closely evaluating the Linux distribution landscape. We observe that national cyber-infrastructure organizations are increasingly supporting more science domains, so in addition to LHC- or HEP-specific considerations, it will be useful to have a choice that is widely recognized and meets the needs of broader science research.

Red Hat has made a proposal to CERN regarding an academic licensing scheme. Ultimately this would require significant overhead at external sites, and therefore we have worries on this proposal’s attractiveness for other sites.

Going forward, we propose to target CentOS Stream as the standard distribution for experiments. We feel that deploying CentOS Stream 8 is low risk, and we now have months of experience running IT services and experiment offline workloads on CentOS Stream 8 without any significant issues. We feel that should issues arise with the adoption of CentOS Stream 8, it would be straightforward to reevaluate other options before CentOS Stream 8 support ends. CentOS Stream 8 is a supported distribution until May 2024. Trivial migration paths are provided by the various ELC (Enterprise Linux Clone) communities.

Continued support for existing workloads on Scientific Linux 7 and CERN CentOS 7 will be maintained as previously planned.