Ever noticed how similar CentOS and Ubuntu are? If you didn’t know, the two are Linux’s major distributions. They are relatives in so far as they share a common parent at the root, but each of them has a different personality.
Their biggest difference is the distro. CentOS is built on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Ubuntu’s origin is Debian.
The makings of CentOS and Ubuntu
CentOS replaced all the Red Hat Labels(RHL). Its compatibility with RH software means that whatever runs in RHEL runs in CentOS too. Linux’s initial distro in 1995 was Red Hat. RHEL came into the spotlight in 2000.
After the discontinuation of RHL in 2003, a merger with The Fedora Project led to the creation of Fedora. RHEL 2.1 is the source that created CentOS in 2004. CentOS’s target market is servers.
Debian is the source for Ubuntu which debuted in 2004. Debian was first created in 1993 but the stable version was not developed until 1996. Ubuntu’s packages are based on Debian’s packages, which are unstable. The target market for Ubuntu is desktops.
Differences you need to know about
The CentOs and Ubuntu faceoff isn’t over just yet. There are five additional differences
Ubuntu is supported by canonical. Meaning, you can purchase support contracts. CentOS has no formal support, but it does have support from third parties like OpenLogic. They are both open-source distributions.
CentOS is server-oriented. Amazon’s Linux, its core is CentOS/RHEL, forms the foundation of almost all of their cloud services. Ubuntu on the other hand is reserved for personal computers.
CentOS updates are infrequent, normally containing security updates and bug fixes for each main version. Support for each main version lasts for 10 years from the date of release. They are able to do this, because of the rigorous testing done before releasing each version.
Ubuntu has frequent updates every 6 months. Support for each version spans a five-year period. Making the software fresh but also contributes to its instability.
CentOS and Ubuntu come from the Linux family. Meaning they have a similar core. However similar they may be, the two have different management tools. This means that there is distro-specific information that’s not readily exchanged between the two.
CentOS utilizes the RPM package format. RPM is a program used in the management of CentOS packages. The management of network repositories, dependencies, and other combinatorial actions, is carried out by yum (now dnf on CentOS 8) a front-end tool.
Ubuntu utilizes the DEB package format. Apt is used in the management of DEB packages.
How do they stack up against each other?
CentOS is the top contender. It is the ideal option for a business or organization. The reason being, it has airtight security and it’s very stable. Additionally, when you employ enterprise support for CentOS, it’s the best option for enterprise Linux.