A Distro (short for distribution) is a version of the Linux/Unix operating system bundled together. Which Distro the system administrator selects is largely dependent on the data center hosting the box and what they provide and support. This page provides some general info about the the currently supported distros and gives those who have a choice some more information to help make a decision.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)
When RedHat discontinued the RedHat Linux line it switched official support exclusively to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, RHEL is a COMMERCIAL product which means that you have to purchase it with a paid subscription. RHEL comes in several versions depending on your needs and budget. RHEL is designed to run web servers and is an excellent product if you are willing to pay for it. It is very stable and rock solid. Some DC’s do not charge extra for it and include the licensing fee with your server rental.
“CentOS is an Enterprise-class Linux Distribution derived from sources freely provided to the public by a prominent North American Enterprise Linux vendor. CentOS conforms fully with the upstream vendors redistribution policy and aims to be 100% binary compatible. (CentOS mainly changes packages to remove upstream vendor branding and artwork.) CentOS is free.” (from the CentOS website).
Why doesn’t the newest version of InterWorx always support the newest versions of all supported distros?
Support for major updates for supported distros is not as easy as simply installing InterWorx on a box running the new version, testing and tweaking as necessary. When a new InterWorx version is being finalized, making sure the new version works on all supported distros is more of a priority for the developers than adding new distro support.
Why does it take so long for new major releases of supported distros to be supported?
Support for major updates for supported distros is not as easy as simply installing InterWorx on a box, running the new version, testing and tweaking as necessary. InterWorx depends on a number of customized packages to run properly, such as
djbdns, etc. (Run
rpm -qa | grep iworx on your system for a list of the ones you have installed on your box).
For each major release, the source code must be acquired, the necessary (generally minor) changes made, and the rpms created. Then they must be extensively tested and tweaked before they can officially be considered supported. In some cases changes to InterWorx itself must be made but at the same time the developers need to make sure that these changes do not break anything on one of the other supported distros because the core InterWorx rpm’s are not distro specific.
What other distros do you intend to support?
The speed at which we support these Distributions is based on the demand. Most major hosting companies seem to prefer RPM-based distributions such as Red Hat EL and CentOS so for now our focus is primarily concerned with those.
I’m running CentOS, but my rpm’s all say RHEL. What’s up?
CentOS is a clone of RHEL and the two are 100% binary compatible. What that means is that RPM’s created for RHEL work on CentOS and vice versa. CentOS rpm’s even incorporate the rhel into the filenames. Our CentOS rpm repository is actually a symlink to our RHEL repository on the updates server.