Compare CentOS(RedHat) vs Ubuntu

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CentOS and Ubuntu is two popular Linux distributions used in enterprise environments as well as personal environments. In this tutorial we will examine CentOS and Ubuntu Linux distributions from different perspectives. As a note CentOS distribution is free and open version of RedHat Enterprise Linux. So we will compare RedHat and Ubuntu too in this tutorial.

Base Distributions

Ubuntu

Ubuntu is based full open source and free distribution Debian. Debian distribution strictly tracks free and open source software philosophy but Ubuntu bend the rules according to its enterprise targets.

CentOS

CentOS is clone of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux or RHEL. Red Hat provides its distribution source packages as free. CentOS community compile them into binary. Red Hat also supports CentOS as a test bed.

Update Frequency

Ubuntu

Ubuntu follows Debian packages for most of the situations. So package release cycles for Ubuntu is very low which means packages updated regularly and faster than CentOS.

CentOS

CentOS sticks to the stable packages. Provided packages are tested again and aging in order to eliminate bugs and incompatibilities. So CentOS provides older packages than Ubuntu.

Stability

Ubuntu

As stated in previous part Ubuntu uses most recent packages which requires less testing time and hurry. This will affect the stability of Ubuntu but in general manner Ubuntu is stable distribution.

CentOS

CentOS is more stable than Ubuntu because it sticks old and more tested packages versions. Product owners generally prefers CentOS because of its stability. Avaya, Checkpoint etc. uses mainly CentOS in their products.

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User base

Ubuntu

Ubuntu provides different flavors like desktop, workstation and server. The desktop version mainly designed for end users which create more user base for Ubuntu than CentOS.

CentOS

CentOS has only server version and other subversion. CentOS do not provides end user version but CentOS also claims the Red Hat Enterprise Linux user base too.

Difficulty

Ubuntu

Ubuntu is more user centric distribution. It provides more user friendly management interface and tools.

CentOS

CentOS is more like big boss with some high level tools. CentOS is more difficult to learn than Ubuntu.

Package Manager

Ubuntu

As a Debian derivative Ubuntu uses apt  and deb package manager suite. They are simple and easy to use.

CentOS

CentOS uses yum and rpm package management suite. They are very similar to apt and deb while working.

Enterprise Support

Ubuntu

Ubuntu support is provided by Canonical which is the creator of the Ubuntu distribution.

CentOS

CentOS support can be get from different global or local consulting firms. Or CentOS can be upgraded to the RHEL where we can get support from RedHat.

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