CentOS is an open source, community-supported and enterprise-ready distribution of Linux based on the publicly available sources of the commercial and highly acclaimed RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) operating system.
Besides being based on Red Hat, the project is also fully compatible with the award winning enterprise Linux distribution. Key features include active development, easy maintenance, open management, community infrastructure, and open business model.
The distribution is suitable for long term use in production environments, deployed as a server. It provides users and package maintainers with a friendly and familiar environment, as well as long-term support of the core and commercial support (offered by a partner vendor).
Availability and boot options
It is distributed as two installable-only DVDs, as well as minimal and netboot CD ISO images. Supported hardware platforms include the standard 64-bit (x86_64) and 32-bit (i386). In addition, Live CDs are also available for download separately on Softpedia.
The default desktop environment used in CentOS is powered by the GNOME project, providing users with a user-friendly and familiar graphical session that pleases even the most discerning eye.
Among the included applications and packages, we can easily mention the LibreOffice office suite, Mozilla Firefox web browser, GIMP image editor, Inkscape vector graphics editor, K3b CD/DVD burning software, Vim text editor, and Mozilla Thunderbird email client.
Server-oriented packages include the Apache web server, MySQL and PostgreSQL database server, OpenSSH and OpenSSL tools for encrypted communication sessions, Perl, Python and PHP programming languages, Postfix email server, and Samba network sharing framework.
As expected, the project provides support for multiple languages, and comes with built-in support for well known file systems, including EXT3 and EXT4.
Summing up, CentOS is a stable, reproducible, easy to maintain and supported Linux distribution specifically engineered to be deployed on enterprises' local servers, as well as behind firewall protections to secure sensitive data.