CentOS is an open source distribution of Linux derived from and fully compatible with the Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system. It features easy maintenance, suitable for long term use in production environments. This is the 5th branch of CentOS, which is still maintained and based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.
Available for download as installable-only DVDs
The CentOS operating system can be downloaded through Softpedia’s secure servers or directly from its official website (see link above) as installable-only DVD ISO images, one for each of the supported hardware platforms, 32-bit (i386) and 64-bit (x86_64).
As mentioned, the distribution can only be installed on a local drive. Therefore, the user must first write the ISO images to either DVD discs or USB thumb drives in order to boot them from the BIOS of a PC. When prompted by the boot loader, the user must choose to install the operating system.
Graphical and easy-to-use installer
Being based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the CentOS distro features Anaconda, a graphical and easy-to-use installer that will require users to choose a language and keyboard layout, partition the disk and configure the network, choose which software to install, as well as to install the bootloader.
Uses GNOME Classic and top-notch applications
GNOME Classic is the default desktop environment for both CentOS and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, providing users with a traditional session that uses a two-panel layout. Default applications include the Mozilla Firefox web browser, Mozilla Thunderbird email and news client, GIMP image editor, Inkscape vector graphics editor and Vim text editor.
Summing up, CentOS is the perfect operating system for small and medium-sized businesses. Among some of its features, we can mention open management, commercial support (offered by a partner vendor), friendly environment for both users and package maintainers, open business model, long-term support of the core, as well as active development and community infrastructure.