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Was looking into RHEL clones that use their source but have their brand remove and are therefore free to use. Are there any larger differences between those three (performance, security, ...
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  1. #1
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    Scientific Linux 6 vs RHEL 6 vs CentOS


    Was looking into RHEL clones that use their source but have their brand remove and are therefore free to use.

    Are there any larger differences between those three (performance, security, usability) or do they provide on par performance and the only benefits are their respective communities that allow support, be it paid or free?

  2. #2
    oz
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    Regarding performance, security, and usability, they should be about the same since they are all compiled from the same source code. The logos and artwork will be different, as will the level of support provided depending on whether that support is paid, or free support. Timely version releases by their repective developers might be another consideration.

    Note that each distro has an entry at wikipedia that might give you more detailed information for comparison purposes:

    Scientific Linux - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Red Hat Enterprise Linux - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    CentOS - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    oz

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    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    CentOS doesn't have a version 6 out yet, so I switched to Scientific Linux 6 (using it right now). SL is maintained by the computer divisions of two of the world's premier physics labs, Fermi National Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois USA, and CERN in Switzerland. SL is used by scientific laboratories (not just physics ones) all over the world for servers, workstations, computing clusters, etc. Right now, I think that it, and its hardened offspring Fermi Linux, are just about the only RHEL6 clones available. All packages and sources are freely available, and they provide yum repository files for a number of add-on packages (epel, atrpm, rpmforge, etc).

    As for performance and usability, SL6 is definitely on par with RHEL6. For security, it is probably more secure as they have been actively fixing issues with kerberos and the andrew file system if those are of interest to you. Those fixes are pushed upstream to Red Hat, but who knows when Red Hat incorporates them (other than major vulnerabilities which get priority) into the main code base.

    I've been using SL6 since early January, and have been delighted with it. Stuff that simply would not work with CentOS 5.5 and earlier, such as my bluetooth dongle and headset, now work flawlessly. The kernel automatically detects the USB transceiver and initiates it, pairs easily to the headset, and the sound system detects the headset once paired, allowing me to use the microphone for input, and either the headset earbud or the main speakers for output. So, where I could not Skype from my workstation before, I can now.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rubberman View Post
    CentOS doesn't have a version 6 out yet, so I switched to Scientific Linux 6 (using it right now). SL is maintained by the computer divisions of two of the world's premier physics labs, Fermi National Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois USA, and CERN in Switzerland. SL is used by scientific laboratories (not just physics ones) all over the world for servers, workstations, computing clusters, etc. Right now, I think that it, and its hardened offspring Fermi Linux, are just about the only RHEL6 clones available. All packages and sources are freely available, and they provide yum repository files for a number of add-on packages (epel, atrpm, rpmforge, etc).

    As for performance and usability, SL6 is definitely on par with RHEL6. For security, it is probably more secure as they have been actively fixing issues with kerberos and the andrew file system if those are of interest to you. Those fixes are pushed upstream to Red Hat, but who knows when Red Hat incorporates them (other than major vulnerabilities which get priority) into the main code base.

    I've been using SL6 since early January, and have been delighted with it. Stuff that simply would not work with CentOS 5.5 and earlier, such as my bluetooth dongle and headset, now work flawlessly. The kernel automatically detects the USB transceiver and initiates it, pairs easily to the headset, and the sound system detects the headset once paired, allowing me to use the microphone for input, and either the headset earbud or the main speakers for output. So, where I could not Skype from my workstation before, I can now.
    Thanks, that's what I wanted/hoped to hear

    Does SL6 contain Spacewalk/Satellite for managing other pc's? Do the other computers need to run SL6, Fedora or can they be any distributions (that user RPM's)?

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    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    SL6 can run anything RHEL6 can. I'm not familiar with those specific tools that you mention, but if they can manage those other platforms on RHEL, then they should work on SL6 equally well.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rubberman View Post
    As for performance and usability, SL6 is definitely on par with RHEL6. For security, it is probably more secure as they have been actively fixing issues with kerberos and the andrew file system if those are of interest to you. Those fixes are pushed upstream to Red Hat, but who knows when Red Hat incorporates them (other than major vulnerabilities which get priority) into the main code base.
    I'm sorry anybody could believe you know what you are talking about... Red Hat ignoring security bugs?!

    It's interesting to here what do you think about the delay between a RHEL update and CentOS/SL catching up...

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    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by avalonit View Post
    I'm sorry anybody could believe you know what you are talking about... Red Hat ignoring security bugs?!

    It's interesting to here what do you think about the delay between a RHEL update and CentOS/SL catching up...
    I was referring specifically to Kerberos and AFS issues, not RHEL security in general. Sorry if that was not clear. As for CentOS being "behind the wheel" with regards to RHEL 6 / CentOS 6, I know that they are working on CentOS 5.6, but have not yet released anything related to version 6, so if you want a RHEL 6 clone, Scientific Linux 6 is your (currently) only option.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    Blackfooted Penguin daark.child's Avatar
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    Not sure if its been mentioned by Scientific Linux, makes some changes to RHEL and adds custom packages whereas CentOS tries to keep things quite similar to the upstream RHEL minus the branding. This however does not affect Scientific Linux compatibility with RHEL.

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    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daark.child View Post
    Not sure if its been mentioned by Scientific Linux, makes some changes to RHEL and adds custom packages whereas CentOS tries to keep things quite similar to the upstream RHEL minus the branding. This however does not affect Scientific Linux compatibility with RHEL.
    SL is trying to minimize that with version 6 (changes to RHEL stuff) by moving some of those things to other repos, such as epel, atrpms, etc. They are pretty explicit on what those are on their web site.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    I have just looked at the SL homepage.

    scientificlinux.org/distributions/6x/rnotes/sl-release-notes-6.0.html#changed
    looks like kerberos package is not changed from RHEL so I don't see how SL kerberos can be more secure.
    Also I don't see SL 5.6 available. To me this means important updates are not yet delivered to the SL community.

    I don't want to tell anybody to choose one or the other, but want to be clear that there are lots of benefits drinking water from the spring... Just go to the relevant web pages and talk to the creators/community of the distributions, scientificlinux.org/about centos.org redhat.com/software/subscriptions.html

    Look carefully how much you can tolerate delays in security updates. Are you knowledgeable and have the time to support yourself when you have a problem... do you want to support development of the product that allows you to have your work done?
    Just don't blindly believe in the "it's the same thing" myth but make an educated decision what is preferable for your particular situation.

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