R4.1: consider dropping centos templates (centos stream) completly

Dear All,

I wanted to through in few points into the centos template discussion, and if it is worth to invest any effort into centos stream at all, given the use case of EL distributions.
I was looking if i can migrate my qubes setup to 4.1 beta, which triggered this post.

first of all I fully understand why centos 7 was dropped (R4.1: Maintaining or not CentOS 7) and why you will move to centos stream as the latest version (looking at the github tags).

Most of the target audience of centos has probably similar requirements/reasons why they are using centos like me. I might be an extreme case though, never the less it lets you grasp why the out cry was so massive after it was announced by IBM/Redhat that centos 8 is going to be replaced with centos stream.

I am a heavy EDA tool (IC Design) user which sadly forces me to use years old operating systems like centos 7, the tool vendors are so slow that my guess for rhel8 compatibility is in 2 years earliest, despite them being one of the most expensive software on this planet. This kind of enterprise software is only build against very specific versions of libraries (so one specific OS, sometimes 2 in my case the 2020 releases for RHEL/centos 6.5 yes I am serious and RHEL/centos 7.9) and only certified for those.

from my user perspective we only use centos/rhel not because we want to (how willingly runs completely outdated software), but because it gives us the following:

  • binary RHEL compatibility
  • 10+ years ABI stability (the el programs support only a very specific set of OS lib version)
  • extremely long support for (security and basic maintenance) updates (centos 7 till 2024)

if we now look at centos stream, none of the above is valid any more taking away the reason for centos existence for most “enterprise” software.

  • its now upstream RHEL, so why not use fedora if centos stream fits your requirements, “enterprise” software will not.
  • not necessarily ABI stable, being close does not help.
  • much shorter lifecycles, so the slow vendors wont publish compatible software in time.

most other RHEL/centos users probably wont have so slow vendors that maybe already have rhel8 compatibility which sadly does not extend to centos stream and centos 8 eol being at the end of this year.

My proposal would be to save your very valuable time and drop the centos templates all together, given the much smaller user base.

for me I will just have to sadly stick with qubes R4.0 and centos 7, for as long as reasonably possible :),
and after run rocky linux or one of the others rhel clones in a stand-alone VM (with no qubes integration).


Up to the small user base, I’m using CentOS Stream for several projects. So in all the cases, like for Gentoo, I would do it anyway. We recently dropped use of my custom python3.8 COPR repositories and we simply use default python3.6 provided. This is why we anticipated the end of CentOS 8 and we will support only CentOS Stream 8+. You will have soon in repository: qubes-template-centos-stream-8 that you can build already by yourself. We plan to do an announcement by the end of the month and update example configs.