With CentOS Stream 9, the latest major release of the Linux distribution from Red Hat is ready for productive use. The rolling release system is based on Fedora 34 and forms the basis of the upcoming RHEL 9 (Red Hat Enterprise Linux). The latter has been in beta since the beginning of November.
According to Red Hat, the Linux distribution is geared towards stability and reliability – software and its updates must meet the same standards as for RHEL’s nightly builds. Stream is an exact upstream outlook on what users can expect in RHEL in the future.
Red Hat itself and the CentOS community are involved in the development. ISOs are common to many architectures freely available: 64-bit x86 (x86_64 v2 +) and ARM (AArch64) as well as IBM Z (s390x Z14 +) and Power (ppc64le POWER9 +). The system is intended for users willing to test, the provider does not offer any commercial support.
Stream saw the light of day in 2019 and fundamentally changed the work on the distribution: While the developers of the regular CentOS always had to wait for its RHEL basis, the tables now turned. However, full compatibility was also said goodbye.
At the end of 2020, the announcement that Stream would completely inherit version 8 of CentOS caused heated discussions. With AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux, two successors soon came into play, which are now also generally available.