CentOS-8.1.1911-x86_64; progress, but not ready yet.

All of my CentOS 7 infrastructure is up to date on CentOS-7.7-x86_64-1908 now.  And I’ve made good progress with CentOS 8, but it’s just not there yet.  I knew weeks ago that I should’ve just waited for 8.2 to be released.  But I couldn’t resist the urge, so I’ve been working on an 8.1 migration.  Sometimes a person really should just wait, and maybe go fishing in the meanwhile.

As of today (2020-Feb-26), CentOS-8.1.1911-x86_64 is still running about six (6) weeks behind CentOS-7.7 and RHEL-8.1 for many patches and updates.  And there are still wonky bugs plaguing reposync/repotrack capabilities in CentOS-8.1

Currently the only reliable way to mirror CentOS-8.1.1911 is to use rsync mirroring.  For those who have the bandwidth and storage arrays, that’s not a big issue.  For those of us who need to save bandwidth/storage, reposync/repotrack is the simpler (less bit-fiddly) way to do things.  Further complicating things, CentOS 7’s yum, reposync, repotrack, and createrepo do NOT have the ability to process the new repo modules used by CentOS-8, RHEL-8, Fedora-31.  Upstream bug tracker conversations show that the fix has already been developed, it just hasn’t made it’s way back downstream into the c8 build yet.

I’ve recently updated my CentOS-7.7.1908 infrastructure to provide PXE/KS (kickstart) services for building new VMs with CentOS-7.7.1908, centos-8.1.1911, rhel-8.1, and fedora31.  I just can’t host the 8.x/f31 repos on the same centos7 server.  Regardless of where the repo/install media is at, this centralized PXE/KS provides a great way to streamline the initial build/config of all those VMs.

Fortunately, the CentOS team is doing a great job of fulfilling the long term support promise of providing patches/updates for CentOS-7.  Given what they’re dealing with regarding the new “stream” and “module” paradigms, I’m impressed with the progress they’ve already made.

As for the (remaining) lifecycle of CentOS-7, the centos.org team refers us to … Redhat’s website, https://access.redhat.com/support/policy/updates/errata/, which is currently showing:

  • 7.7 (ends August 30, 2021; Final RHEL 7 EUS Release)
  • 7.7 (ends August 30, 2023; Final RHEL 7 Update Services for SAP Solutions Release)
  • Version 7 – “Product Retirement” – June 30, 2024

https://wiki.centos.org/About/Product also shows CentOS 7 to receive maintenance updates thru June 20, 2024.

The takeaway from all of this is… stay calm, don’t panic.  lol.

8.1 made progress.  The 8.2 release should be significantly better.  And we know our current 7.x systems have plenty of life left in them.