What Is the Difference Between Rhel7 and Cent Os7?


In the world of Linux operating systems, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 (RHEL7) and CentOS7 are two names that often come up in discussions. Both are renowned for their stability, reliability, and robust performance. However, they are not identical twins but rather distant cousins. In this article, we will dive deep into understanding the fundamental differences between RHEL7 and CentOS7. So, if you’ve ever wondered what sets these two apart, keep reading!

What is the Difference Between RHEL7 and CentOS7?

History and Background

To comprehend the disparities between RHEL7 and CentOS7, it’s essential to start with their roots. RHEL7 is a commercial Linux distribution developed by Red Hat, a prominent player in the open-source software industry. In contrast, CentOS7, short for Community ENTerprise Operating System, is a downstream distribution of RHEL7, driven by the open-source community.


One of the most significant distinctions lies in their licensing models. RHEL7 is a paid subscription-based operating system, while CentOS7 is a free and open-source distribution. This divergence in licensing has notable implications for users and organizations.

Support and Updates

RHEL7 subscribers enjoy extensive support from Red Hat, including timely security updates and expert assistance. CentOS7, being community-driven, relies on community support and might not provide the same level of dedicated support as RHEL7. This can be a crucial factor for enterprises requiring prompt solutions to issues.

Ecosystem and Ecosystem Tools

Both RHEL7 and CentOS7 share a common ecosystem, which includes a vast repository of packages and software applications. However, RHEL7 offers exclusive access to Red Hat’s ecosystem tools, such as Red Hat Satellite, Insights, and Ansible Automation Platform, providing enhanced system management and automation capabilities.

Stability vs. Cutting Edge

Another key difference lies in the release cycles. RHEL7 prioritizes stability, with longer intervals between major releases. Conversely, CentOS7 tends to adopt newer features and updates more quickly, catering to users who prefer staying on the cutting edge of technology.

Security Updates

RHEL7’s subscription model grants access to Red Hat’s security updates, ensuring top-notch protection for your system. CentOS7, on the other hand, relies on community-driven security patches, potentially leading to variations in the level of security provided.

Commercial Support

For organizations seeking official commercial support and certifications, RHEL7 is the go-to choice. It offers a range of support plans and certifications that can be invaluable in mission-critical environments. CentOS7 lacks this formal commercial support.

Use Cases

The choice between RHEL7 and CentOS7 largely depends on the specific use case. RHEL7 is often preferred in enterprise environments that demand robust support, stability, and certified applications. CentOS7 is favored by individual users, small businesses, and development environments looking for a free, community-driven option.

Migration and Compatibility

If you’re considering migrating from CentOS7 to RHEL7 or vice versa, it’s crucial to assess the compatibility of your applications and configurations. While both share similarities, there can be subtle differences that require careful consideration during migration.

Community Involvement

CentOS7 thrives on community involvement, making it a fantastic platform for open-source enthusiasts to contribute, collaborate, and shape the operating system’s future. RHEL7, due to its commercial nature, involves less direct community participation.


Can I switch from CentOS7 to RHEL7 easily?

Yes, it’s possible to migrate from CentOS7 to RHEL7, but it may involve adjustments due to licensing and support differences. A thorough assessment and planning are essential.

Are there any advantages to using CentOS7 over RHEL7?

CentOS7’s main advantage is its cost-effectiveness, making it suitable for budget-conscious users. However, RHEL7 offers formal support and ecosystem tools that can be indispensable for businesses.

Is CentOS7 discontinued?

Yes, CentOS7 reached its end of life in December 2020. CentOS Stream is now the successor to the traditional CentOS releases.

Can I receive official support for CentOS7?

Official support for CentOS7 is limited, as it primarily relies on community-driven solutions. Users seeking extensive support should consider RHEL7.

Is CentOS Stream a suitable alternative to CentOS7?

CentOS Stream follows a rolling-release model and is considered a preview of RHEL’s future versions. While it can be used, it may not be ideal for production environments that require long-term stability.

Which Linux distribution is more secure, RHEL7, or CentOS7?

In terms of security updates and support, RHEL7 holds an edge due to its subscription-based model. However, CentOS7 can still maintain a high level of security with community-driven efforts.

What is the difference between rhel7 and centos7?

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 (RHEL7) is a commercial Linux distribution, while CentOS 7 is a free and open-source version of RHEL7. They are nearly identical in terms of functionality and features, but CentOS lacks official support from Red Hat.

Is Red Hat 7 same as CentOS 7?

Red Hat 7 (RHEL7) and CentOS 7 are based on the same source code and share many similarities, but they differ in terms of support and licensing. RHEL7 is a paid, commercially supported distribution, whereas CentOS 7 is a free, community-supported version of RHEL7.

Is CentOS and Linux same?

CentOS is a specific distribution of the Linux operating system, so it is a type of Linux, but it is not the same as “Linux” in a general sense. Linux refers to the kernel, or core, of the operating system, while CentOS is a complete Linux distribution that includes the kernel along with various software packages and tools.


In the realm of Linux operating systems, the difference between RHEL7 and CentOS7 boils down to licensing, support, and ecosystem tools. Your choice should align with your specific needs and preferences, whether you prioritize stability and official support with RHEL7 or opt for the community-driven, cost-effective nature of CentOS7. Understanding these distinctions empowers you to make an informed decision that suits your unique requirements.

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