CentOS 8 is due for release on September 24 according to the project’s official Twitter account. The announcement comes after a long development cycle which began at the start of May. It’s not clear at this point but we could also see CentOS 7.7 released on the same day or earlier as the project previously announced it was deferring CentOS 8 work to focus on the 7.7 update which will provide security patches for existing CentOS installations.
CentOS is a free operating system supported by the community and aims to be compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). As RHEL requires users to buy a license, some prefer to opt for CentOS which provides updates free of charge. One of the drawbacks is that CentOS releases always take a bit longer than RHEL releases to become available while the community tests packages and makes branding alterations and the like.
On Twitter, the CentOS project tweeted a somewhat ambiguous message claiming that the “next version” of CentOS would be released soon. With the previous announcement that CentOS 8 would be deferred in favour of CentOS 7.7, some people started asking which version was the “next version” exactly. Thanks to a response in the mailing list we know that the next version does indeed refer to CentOS 8 and not version 7.7.1908 “which is just around the corner”.
If CentOS 8 sticks to the same life cycle as RHEL 8, full support will last until around May 2024 while maintenance updates will be provided until May 2029 – that’s ten years support in all on a freely available operating system.