What is CentOS-2?
CentOS-2 is a freely distributable OS built from the source at: ftp://ftp.redhat.com/pub/redhat/linux/enterprise/2.1AS/en/os/ It strives to be as close to RHEL2.1AS as possible with the exception of removing trademark and copyright restrictions.
CentOS-2 is both free as in beer and free as in speech. There are no trademarks restrictions on CentOS-2 and distribution is not only permitted but encouraged.
CentOS-2 aims to be as close as possible to RHEL21AS (the upstream product). This means that for the most part it is bug for bug compatible. Once you find the bugs you will be glad that you are not paying for the upstream version.
There are some showstopper bugs which have been fixed in CentOS-2 which are still not fixed in the upstream sources. This makes CentOS-2 better than the upstream product.
CentOS-2 was formally part of the cAos Project but is now part of the stand alone CentOS project. More information can be found on the CentOS web site.
There is no ES or WS versions of CentOS-2. AS is a superset of ES and WS so there is no need to make separate versions. CentOS-2 is designed to run on i686 processors. It may also run on i386, i486 and i586 processors. Athlon processors may work but have not been tested. The athlon SMP kernel is not included on the installation CD but is available from the updates repository. IA64 is not supported. Installing on i386 is not possible due to a feature check in anaconda. This may get altered at some stage but it is possible to install on an i686 and move the hard disk into an i386 box.
Why use CentOS-2?
CentOS-2 is almost 100% compatible with RedHat Linux 7.2. It makes the perfect upgrade choice for people looking for a free upgrade path from RedHat Linux 7.2 or any other 7 series like 7.0, 7.1 or 7.3.
CentOS-2 should be 100% compatible with RHEL 2.1 AS/ES/WS and would make an ideal choice if you do not want to pay for support. The CentOS-2 updates are also fully compatible with RHEL so you can maintain your RHEL box without having to pay for ongoing support.
CentOS-2 will be supported by free patches at least as long as I use it. Hopefully support will continue until the upstream product end of life (May 31 2007). Community support is available on the centos mailing lists, web forum or IRC. If you want me to answer your questions, use the mailing list because I only use the forum or IRC infrequently.
CentOS-2 is available from a number of mirror sites. Check the list of sites the CentOS web site.
The most convenient way to download CentOS-2 is to download the two CD images. These can be found in the centos-2/final/i386/isos directory. You need to download i386-disc1.iso and i386-disc2.iso. You should probably also download and check the MD5SUMS.
Once you have confirmed that your .iso files were successfully downloaded you should burn them to CD.
If you want to do local network installs you can download the entire i386 directory instead. These files are all included on the two CD images so it is probably better that you download the CD images and then extract the files locally.
Installation is the same as for the upstream product. You can read and obtain the documentation from here. (Remember to use the 2.1 version documentation)
FTP and HTTP network installations can be performed directly from your mirror using the following settings. You will need to adjust the hostname and path for your the specific mirror that you want to use
site name: mirror.centos.org
CentOS-2 does not include or support up2date. CentOS-2 does not use the RHN. All updates to CentOS-2 are release into the centos-2/updates directory of the CentOS mirrors. The errata information is normally the same as the upstream product and can be viewed here. You can also subscribe to the centos-announce list which will notify you of errata.
There are a number of tools available
for downloading and installing the updates but the easiest is yum.
CentOS-2 includes a preconfigured version of yum. If you are not familiar
with yum then you should at least read the yum man page before running it.
If you need to use an http proxy then you should set the http_proxy environment variable before running yum
# export http_proxy=http://myproxy.me.com:8000/
With the exception of the RHN, all the upstream documentation should apply to CentOS-2. You can read and obtain the documentation from here. (Remember to use the 2.1 version documentation)
Join the centos mailing list or mail me directly.
List of bugs in upstream source which should be fixed
This is by no means a complete list, just a list of things I have found. I can't see how these ever got past the QA team at RH. I am dumfounded that they have not been fixed by now. You can look for your self in the RH bugzilla
It is not the plan of CentOS-2 to fix outstanding RH bugs but in some cases the fix is either required or trivial but desired at out site. In these cases I have modified the RH package to fix the bugs. The package release strings included in CentOS-2 final do not indicate packages which have been modified. Starting from now, modified package will have the suffix .c2.1 added to the release string. .c2 indicates this is a Centos-2 package and .1 indicates the first release. The procedure for creating these modifications is being automated to ensure high quality and reproducible results.
|#90477||2003-05-08||vfree(): sleeping in interrupt!! (When ppp user calls in)||Look at the opened date! Basically you can't use compression on your ppp links. RH really need to pull their fingers out.|
|Not a huge problem but even when the Oracle people want it done it takes for ever. Update: According to bugzilla, this finally made it into U7.|
|#113114||2004-01-08||Quotas causing kernel panic, with repquota also not showing usernames (only uids).||Not fixed in CentOS-2 but I have a patched
kernel which I use at work. Let me know if anyone wants
it. (also includes etherchannel bonding and smbfs with unix
Update: The U7 kernel contains a small fix in the quota code, I don't know what it is meant to fix but I can easily reproduce quota errors.
|Not a problem with CentOS-2 because all packages are built under CentOS-2. RH acknowledge this as a bug yet it remains unfixed even after the Q7 update. Update: This is finally been fixed, but over 12 months later, and they call that Enterprise?|
|#120019||2004-04-05||mozilla launcher button in gnome missing icon||Fixed in CentOS-2 final. This is a simple 1 line fix in the spec file. I have sent this to RH. They don't care.|
|#122494||2004-05-05||nautilus-mozilla-content-view does not work with mozilla 1.4.2||Fixed in CentOS-2 final with a mozilla style wrapper script. Since the mozilla 1.4.2 this has been broken. It means things like gnome documentation can't be read.|
|#127659||2004-07-12||lesspipe.sh still uses wrong flags for *.tar.bz2||Fixed in CentOS-2 extras. This bug has been in RHL for years and is so trivial to fix. Update: According to bugzilla this will NOT be included in the next update. +1 for CentOS -1 for RedHat|
|#62100||2002-03-27||ImageMagick does not start from Gnome menu panel||Fixed in CentOS-2. The fix is in bugzilla and the bug is CLOSED yet it is broken in RHEL.|
|#125510||2004-06-08||useradd segfaults if too many users in one group||Upstream bug present in EL21 & EL3. I have a fix which increases a static limit in gshadow from 1024 to 4096. If anyone wants me to fix it in CentOS-2 let me know. Seems RH had a real patch already... The patch has now been accepted upstream and might one day end up in RHEL.|
|This is a CentOS-3 issue. Lots of buck passing but no resolution for the users. Update: Finally fixed|
There has also been a swag of firmware updates for new HP servers (in my case the DL380G3) which should help with stability. Perhaps the quality control at HP is not up the the level that Compaq used to have...??? At least HP seems to be trying to fix the problem (though they only admit the problem once they have solved it). I don't know if I am getting too cynical these days, but these companies are willing to take our money even when they know that their products are not up to scratch. Unfortunately a community hardware project is somewhat harder than a community software project.
Packages in CentOS-2 which have been modified
New packages in CentOS-2
Packages removed from CentOS-2
Other small differences