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Understanding the Impact of CentOS Stream 8 EOL on Enterprise Environments

Rohan Timalsina

January 16, 2024 - TuxCare expert team

  • CentOS Stream 8 will reach the end of life on May 31, 2024
  • Using CentOS Stream 8 after EOL could lead to security and compliance risks
  • TuxCare extends the CentOS Stream 8 lifecycle for up to 4 more years

CentOS Stream is the upstream development platform for the upcoming RHEL versions. The first release, CentOS Stream 8, was released on the same day as CentOS 8 (September 24, 2019). 

CentOS Stream 8 stands out as a reliable and stable platform for enterprise users. After the end of support for CentOS 8, migrating to CentOS Stream was a convenient decision for many enterprises. However, the fact that it is also nearing the end of life (EOL) presents significant challenges in the areas of security, support, and compliance for enterprises.

This article will analyze the potential challenges of CentOS Stream 8 EOL and provide insights into how businesses can effectively prepare for these challenges.


Understanding CentOS Stream 8 End of Life (EOL)


CentOS 8 reached the end of life (EOL) on December 21, 2021. On the same day, RedHat discontinued “stable” CentOS (including CentOS 8) to focus on CentOS Stream, advising CentOS 8 users to migrate to CentOS Stream 8 or RHEL.

CentOS Stream has only major versions, and its support ends when the corresponding RHEL release is out of the full support phase. RHEL 8’s full support ends on May 31, 2024, which means CentOS Stream 8 will also reach the end of life on the same day. After this day, users will not receive further official updates, including security and bug fixes.  


[Check out a step-by-step migration guide from CentOS to AlmaLinux here.]


But what does EOL mean for current users of this version of CentOS Stream?

No Security Updates


Security updates are essential for maintaining a strong defense against cyber threats. With CentOS Stream 8 EOL, the newly discovered vulnerabilities remain unpatched, leaving enterprise systems exposed to potential threats.   


Lack of Official Support


After the official support ends, CentOS Stream 8 will no longer receive updates, patches, or bug fixes. With the absence of support, the systems will be prone to compatibility issues, instability, and increased downtime.  


Compliance Issues


Many industries and regulatory bodies require the use of supported software to ensure data security and compliance. The CentOS Stream 8 EOL transition creates difficulties in maintaining compliance for enterprises operating in regulated environments. To stay compliant, businesses should evaluate their current infrastructure and look into long-term supported operating systems that comply with industry standards.

Mitigation Strategies for CentOS Stream 8 EOL


What can organizations do to prepare for this impending end-of-life transition?

Migrating to a Supported OS


The latest release, CentOS Stream 9, is supported until May 31, 2027. Businesses can consider upgrading to CentOS Stream 9 or switching to alternative Linux distributions with long-term support (LTS). Popular alternatives include AlmaLinux, Oracle Linux, RHEL, or Rocky Linux.

However, strategic planning is necessary for the transition away from CentOS Stream 8. It is crucial for enterprises to thoroughly test and validate their selected alternatives before starting the migration process. This involves evaluating system stability, performance, and application compatibility. A carefully planned migration can help to minimize disruptions and ensure a seamless transition.


Extended Lifecycle Support


TuxCare extends the security lifecycle of CentOS Stream 8 for an additional 4 years, providing security updates until 2028. CentOS Stream 8 Extended LifeCycle Support (ELS) from TuxCare ensures your systems remain secure and compliant with vulnerability patches beyond the EOL date. It also gives plenty of time to plan and initiate the migration process.

Switching to TuxCare for CentOS Stream 8 Support is easy. Connect to the TuxCare repository using a simple script, and the system will receive security patches until June 2028. No reboot is required!


Final Thoughts


Enterprise users may face hurdles due to CentOS Stream 8 EOL, but they can easily overcome them with careful planning and strategic decision-making. With Extended LifeCycle from TuxCare, businesses can keep their CentOS Stream 8 deployments safe and stable beyond the end-of-life date.

Contact a TuxCare Linux expert to sign up for CentOS Stream 8 Extended Lifecycle Support.

Discover why some enterprises continue to use End of Life Linux distributions.

Article Name
Impact of CentOS Stream 8 EOL on Enterprise Environments
Explore the security, support, and compliance challenges as the CentOS Stream 8 EOL approaches. Learn how businesses can mitigate risks.
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