Comparing CentOS vs Ubuntu, we will overview the main key features of these Linux distributions. In this article, we will explain the top differences between CentOS vs. Ubuntu. We will also tell you which OS is better for web hosting?
CentOS vs Ubuntu Overview
Because of the various available options, choosing an operating system for your server can be confusing. When you decide to compare Linux distribution, this process can be more complicated. Linux has various choices, but none of them are as famous as CentOS or Ubuntu. As you know, both of them are two of the most common Linux distributions for web servers. Whether you are a newbie or a professional Linux user, comparing CentOS vs Ubuntu is essential. So, in the following, we will compare these distributions.
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Comparing CentOS vs Ubuntu, both are open-source, completely free to use, and have excellent community support. You can usually select between CentOS and Ubuntu to set up a virtual private server (VPS) or a dedicated server. CentOS and Ubuntu are two major Linux-based operating systems (OS) that most web servers are running. But which one is better suited to your needs? Let us explain them in more details:
CentOS is a Red Hat Enterprise Linux-based (RHEL). RHEL has become a stable and reliable Linux distribution that will deploy in most corporate IT worlds. That is a commercial product that comes with paid support. Close similarity to RHEL, CentOS will give you the option to developing, and making it a safe choice for every user. Thanks to its corporate-level security update feature.
CentOS is very stable and less vulnerable to cyber-attacks, but it’s not user-friendly and doesn’t usually get lots of technical support. It is a free enterprise operating system that its first release was in May 2004. CentOS integrates other Linux-based (such as Debian, Fedora, and FreeBSD) aspects to build a secure server environment. CentOS is highly customizable, stable, and very secure. In 2010, CentOS became the most popular Linux distribution for web servers
On the contrary, Ubuntu is one of the most straight-forward Linux operating systems based on Debian architecture. Its first release was in 2004 as a Debian fork. While Linux is known for its knotty commands, Ubuntu is the world’s most popular Linux operating system and one of the simplest distributions of Linux. It offers a lot of pre–installed apps and is known for its regular updates and cutting-edge features. It has strong community support and extends tutorials but is more vulnerable to web threats due to regular updates.
Ubuntu is available in more than 55 languages and more than 40,000 applications available in its software center. There are three official Ubuntu editions:
- Desktop for standard desktop computers
- Server for small or enterprise servers
- Core for the Internet of Things (IoT)
In the following, we will explore the details you need about the advantages and drawbacks of CentOS vs Ubuntu to make an informed decision.
Comparing CentOS vs Ubuntu:
Now, let us take a look at the differences between Ubuntu and CentOS:
🟢Release Schedule and Updates
A new Ubuntu version is available every six months, often in April or October. This desktop release will support for nine months. The Long-Term Support (LTS) Ubuntu update is released every two years with five years of support. Because of constant updates, Ubuntu always includes newer software in newer versions. It can create conflicts with existing software and configurations.
On the other hand, CentOS comes with significantly longer release cycles and prolonged support. A new version of CentOS is published every three to four years. It’s supported for ten years from the release date and provides security and compatibility updates. It also has a smaller developer team and a lack of access to product updates from third-parties. It typically comes right after the release of a new version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
🟢Package Management in CentOS vs Ubuntu
Comparing CentOS vs Ubuntu, both have different origins or architectures. That’s why they’ve got various software managers.
The Advanced Package Tool (APT) is a standard package management framework for all distributions based on Debian. It’s a very durable software management tool for handling DEB packages. Ubuntu uses the APT package manager to install software from DEB packages.
While CentOS uses the Yellowdog Update Manager (YUM) that is a front-end platform. This platform has been developed to manage network repositories, address dependencies, perform installs, monitor updates, and other action combinations. When new software install, YUM can handle updates automatically. It’s more straightforward and the simplest way to install the software.
The Red Hat Enterprise Linux software management system is RPM. CentOS will also use the RPM packages. You need to download and install RPM packages from the central repository through YUM.
🟢Web Hosting and Cloud Deployment
CentOS, Ubuntu, and Debian are the most popular operating systems used in the web hosting industry. CentOS provides the most compatibility with a variety of management panels required for web management hosting. It builds to be very stable and secure.
Web hosting control panels such as cPanel, Webmin, and DirectAdmin has often focused on CentOS and other Red Hat Enterprise Linux derivatives. On the other hand, the Ubuntu server will use for hosting services on small and medium-sized business websites or servers. Ubuntu does not support cPanel but has few alternatives such as Virtualmin and VestaCP.
Ubuntu is the ideal choice for beginners in web hosting. Some say it’s easier to use. That’s because it will utilize on their home PC. On the contrary, Centos can’t use on desktops, so users think of it as a more complex operating system.
Ubuntu server has excellent support for the virtualization of containers and cloud deployments. On June 19, 2019, Canonical announced “full enterprise support for Kubernetes 1.15 using Kubeadm deployments, its Charmed Kubernetes and MicroK8s; the popular Kubernetes single-node deployment.”
CentOS competes with Ubuntu by providing three private cloud solutions and a public cloud platform through Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Most of the best Linux distributions for gaming are Debian or Ubuntu-based. So, comparing CentOS vs Ubuntu, the latter is a better choice for gamers. It has a custom-designed pack for gamers called Ubuntu GamePack. This pack is a hybrid version of the Ubuntu OS that came pre-installed with the PlayOnLinux, Wine, Lutric, and Steam client.
It also includes support for Adobe Flash and Oracle Java. You can run it in live mode from a USB or a DVD media without any need for installing it. Ubuntu GamePack optimized for more than 6,000 Windows and Linux games.
On the other hand, CentOS didn’t design for gaming services. Its developers did not give priority to playing games on CentOS. But if you’re used to working with CentOS, you can use Fedora Games Spin. It’s a Fedora-based gaming platform open to CentOS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and Fedora users.
Here is the comparison table for CentOS vs. Ubuntu in more detail.
|Update Cycle||As required||Regularly|
|System Core||Based on Red Hat Linux||Based on Debian|
|Hosting Market Share||As of July 2020, 17.5% of Linux users||As of July 2020, 38.2% of Linux users|
|Cloud Interface||OpenStack, OpenNebula, CloudStack||OpenStack|
|Virtualization||Native KVM Support||KVM, Xen|
|Support||Limited library of tutorials and guides||A lot of help and tutorials|
|Ease of Use||Expert Level||User-friendly|
|Platform Focal Point||Focused on the server market||Focused on desktop users|
|Stability||More stable||Stable with some stability issues|
Most web servers run on either the Ubuntu or CentOS operating system. Comparing CentOS vs Ubuntu, CentOS is less vulnerable to cyber-attacks, but it’s not user-friendly and doesn’t usually get lots of technological support. CentOS provides the most compatibility with a variety of management panels required for web management hosting.
On the other hand, Ubuntu has regular updates and cutting-edge features but is more vulnerable to web attacks. Ubuntu has an expansive development team and more access to software updates from third parties. It is primarily used in hosting services for small and medium-sized business servers and does not support cPanel. Therefore, your option between CentOS vs Ubuntu will rely heavily on your personal preferences. CentOS incorporates features of other Linux-based operating systems (including Debian and Fedora) to build a secure server environment. However, many agree that Ubuntu is simpler to use for beginners and better for gamers.