Best of Linux

CentOS Stream vs CentOS

CentOS Stream vs CentOS

CentOS and CentOS Stream are two popular choices that serve different needs. Picking the right one can really help your organization work better, be safer, and be more successful overall. Understanding the differences between these options is vital to ensure that your organization thrives in an ever-changing technological landscape.

Not sure what makes them different? No problem; this article is going to provide you with the critical differences between CentOS and CentOS Stream, delving into their key features and use cases.


CentOS, short for Community Enterprise Operating System, is a free and open-source Linux distribution based on the sources of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). It has been widely used by businesses, organizations, and individuals for years, providing a reliable, stable, and secure environment.

CentOS Stream

CentOS Stream is a new offering in the CentOS family. It functions as a rolling-release distribution, positioned between Fedora and RHEL, offering a sneak peek at the features expected in the upcoming RHEL release. CentOS Stream offers a more up-to-date environment compared to traditional CentOS.

CentOS Stream vs CentOS: Key features

Features CentOS CentOS Stream
Stability CentOS has been known for its rock-solid stability. Updates usually come after careful checks to make sure it stays safe and dependable. While CentOS Stream is still stable, it’s designed for users who need more frequent updates and access to new features. As a rolling-release distribution, it offers a more dynamic environment but with a slightly higher risk of encountering issues due to the faster pace of updates.
Release Cycle CentOS follows the RHEL release cycle, providing new major releases every 3-4 years and minor updates roughly every six months. This offers a predictable and well-tested environment suitable for production use. CentOS Stream does not follow a specific release cycle. Instead, updates are provided continuously, allowing users to benefit from the latest technologies and improvements.
Support CentOS users can access support through the community via forums, mailing lists, and chat rooms. Additionally, CentOS frequently receives support from various companies offering software and hardware solutions. Similar to CentOS, CentOS Stream users can seek support through the community. However, as a newer distribution, it may have a smaller user base and thus limited resources compared to CentOS.
Software Packages CentOS provides a vast collection of software packages tested and certified for compatibility. These packages are usually not the newest ones, but they focus more on being stable and safe instead of having the latest features. CentOS Stream offers a more up-to-date selection of software packages with more frequent updates. Therefore, it’s an appropriate choice for those seeking the most recent upgrades and features.
Community The CentOS community is vast and active, providing support, documentation, and collaboration opportunities. It’s an invaluable resource for CentOS users, helping them overcome challenges and contribute to the project. While the CentOS Stream community is growing, it’s not as large as the CentOS community. However, users can still expect a supportive environment and ample resources to address their needs.
Use Cases CentOS has been a popular choice for various use cases, including businesses, developers, and educational institutions, primarily due to its stability, security, and compatibility with RHEL. It is an excellent fit for critical infrastructure, development environments that require a stable platform, and educational institutions that need a reliable and consistent system. On the other hand, CentOS Stream is more suitable for those who require access to the latest technologies, features, and updates. It is a better fit for developers working with cutting-edge technologies or testing applications against the upcoming RHEL release, as well as businesses and educational institutions that need a more dynamic environment and can accept the associated risks of a rolling-release distribution.


Both CentOS and CentOS Stream have their advantages and use cases. While CentOS provides a stable and secure environment for businesses and developers, CentOS Stream offers a more dynamic experience with access to the latest features. Ultimately, your selection should be based on your individual needs and priorities.


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