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What is CentOS Stream

CentOS Stream

CentOS Stream is a Linux distribution that has been in the news recently, thanks to the changes made by Red Hat, its parent company. If you’re new to Stream and want to know what it is and how it differs from CentOS 8, keep reading.

What is CentOS Stream?

Stream is a rolling release distribution that sits between Fedora (Red Hat’s community-supported distribution) and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). It provides a stable and predictable development platform for RHEL, allowing developers to get access to new features and updates before they are released in RHEL.

How is it different from CentOS 8?

Previously, CentOS was a downstream clone of RHEL, which means it was built from the same source code as RHEL, but with a few modifications. CentOS 8, for example, was built from the same source code as RHEL 8 and received updates and security fixes until the end of 2021. Stream, on the other hand, is an upstream distribution of RHEL, which means it receives updates and new features before they are released in RHEL. It also has a shorter support lifespan, with updates and security fixes available for only a year.

Why did Red Hat make these changes?

The changes made by Red Hat are designed to streamline the development process for RHEL and make it more predictable for developers. By having a rolling release distribution like Stream, Red Hat can get early feedback on new features and updates and make changes as necessary before they are released in RHEL.

How do I use CentOS Stream?

If you’re interested in using Stream, you can download the ISO image from the Stream website and install it like any other Linux distribution. You can also upgrade from CentOS 8 to Stream using the dnf package manager. However, it’s important to note that CentOS Stream is not a drop-in replacement for CentOS 8, and some packages and applications may not work correctly.

Is CentOS Stream suitable for production use?

While CentOS Stream is a stable distribution, it may not be suitable for production use, especially in environments that require long-term support and stability. Red Hat recommends using RHEL for such environments, as it provides a more predictable and stable platform with long-term support and regular security updates.


CentOS Stream is a new Linux distribution from Red Hat that provides a rolling release platform for RHEL development. While it differs from CentOS 8 in several ways, it provides developers with early access to new features and updates and can be a useful tool for testing and development. However, it may not be suitable for production use, and users should consider using RHEL in such environments.

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