CentOS Linux 7 Released: Adds Containers, 40GbE, 3D Graphics Support

CentOS has announced the first major release of its enterprise Linux distribution since its joining with Red Hat in early 2014. CentOS Linux 7, an enterprise class open source server operating system, is based on Red Hat’s own Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7 release; RHEL 7 was made available in June of this year.

CentOS Linux 7 is made for use on 64-bit, x86-compatible architectures. However, Karanbir Singh of CentOS added in the release announcement, “as a part of the expanded Core efforts, we are also going to attempt to deliver a CentOS 7 release for 32bit x86, ARM and PowerPC in the coming months.”

The newest release from CentOS includes several new features along with a few changes to default configurations in the OS. First, support for Linux Containers has been added, although Docker images are still on the way. Also, Open VMware Tools and 3D Graphics drivers are now supported upon installation.

Support for the Precision Time Protocol (PTPv2) and 40G Ethernet Cards is also now available. For those working with compatible hardware, installations can be made using UEFI Secure Boot mode as well. Finally, iSCSI and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) are now supported in the kernel space.

CentOS’s default file system is now XFS with CentOS Linux 7. Additionally, OpenJDK-7 has been made the default Java development kit (JDK).

In addition to the changes to the OS itself, CentOS plans on making upgrades less of a hassle for CentOS 6 users. According to the release notes, “For the first time, there is a supported upgrade path from CentOS 6 to CentOS 7. This path is only supported from the latest version of CentOS 6 (being 6.5 at the time of writing) to the latest version of CentOS-7… The tools needed for this functionality are still being tested and will be released at a later time.”

For more information on the upgrade path see Red Hat’s RHEL 7 documentation on the subject.

Forthcoming features of CentOS Linux 7 include support for Docker images, cloud images in third party ecosystems, cloud images for direct download on-premises, and a minimal install version of CentOS Linux 7.

by James Sullivan, Toms IT Pro