Choosing an operating system for your server can be a really confusing task due to the huge list of options available. Especially if you want to use your own server with a Linux distribution. There are many choices, but none are as popular as Ubuntu or CentOS. Whether you’re a pro or a beginner, it usually comes down to choosing between the two options. It is safe to say that there is no direct decision. In the post you will read, the comparison of CentOS and Ubuntu will be done using different parameters.
What is Linux?
The Unix operating system was developed and expanded in 1971 by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company. This operating system was expensive and not all people could easily use it. Therefore, the Linux system, which is very similar to Unix and its sub-branches, was chosen as a successor.
In 1991 Torvalds Linux created the Linux kernel. Linux operating system is supported by many companies. Among the most important tasks of the Linux kernel, the following can be mentioned:
- Data storage: Data storage is done in memory that works with random access, in permanent memory, or virtual file system.
- Access to the computer network
- Using input and output tools such as a mouse, keyboard, webcam, and USB flash drive
- Security: This security can include the security of resources as well as users and different user groups.
Types of Linux distribution (distro) is an operating system that is made of a software package based on the Linux kernel and often a package management system. Linux users usually get their operating system by downloading one of the Linux distributions. A typical Linux distribution includes the Linux kernel, GNU tools and libraries, additional software, documentation, a window system, a window manager, and a desktop environment.
To know more about Linux software, you should know its famous distributions. The following distributions are among the most famous:
- Cloud Linux
- Rocky Linux
- Kali Linux
In the rest of this article, we will do a full review of CentOS and Ubuntu distributions and compare them in terms of security, stability, ease of use, and package management.
What is CentOS?
The CentOS operating system (Community Enterprise Operating System) is a server operating system. CentOS is a free distribution of Linux supported by communities and there is no need to pay for it. CentOS is based on the Enterprise version, which is known as the server version of the RedHat Linux distribution. The versions of CentOS that enter the market are basically the mirror version of the versions introduced in Red Hat Enterprise Linux. By choosing this popular distribution, there is no need to pay exorbitant fees to buy Enterprise products.
In most organizations, RHEL is used as the main server, and CentOS is used as a backup and redundant server. This issue will cause other organizations not to need to hire several system administrators, and only by hiring a system administrator who has mastered RHEL, the organization’s CentOS management will be done.
From the perspective of architecture, this distribution has the ability to support x86, x64, and i386 architectures and even PowerPCs. CentOS also supports GNOME and KDE desktops and this operating system can be used as a server and workstation.
Advantages of CentOS:
This operating system is chosen by many users and organizations for several reasons. Some of the important advantages of CentOS are:
- Establishment in the industry
- Long term support
- Active community
What is Ubuntu?
Ubuntu is a popular free and open-source Linux-based operating system that you can use on your PC or Linux VPS server. It’s a massive project that helps millions of people worldwide run machines built with free and open-source software on various devices.
Linux comes in many shapes and sizes, with Ubuntu being the most popular version on desktops and laptops. Note that when we say Ubuntu is free, we don’t mean that it costs only; Rather, unlike most proprietary software (such as Windows and macOS), free and open-source software allows you to edit its code and install and distribute as many copies as you like. You don’t pay to use it; So, so not only is Ubuntu free to download; But you can use it as you want.
Advantages of Ubuntu:
There are many reasons to use Ubuntu, but here are the most important ones:
- This program is free and open source.
- It is easy to install and test. In fact, you don’t need to be an expert to install it.
- It is beautiful and user-friendly.
- It’s stable and fast, typically loading in less than a minute on modern computers.
- It does not have any important viruses and is immune to harmful Windows viruses.
- is up to date; Because Canonical releases new versions every 6 months and provides regular updates for free.
- It is supported and you can get all the backups and guidance you need from the global FOSS community and Canonical.
- Among the different versions of the Linux operating system, Ubuntu has the most support.
The differences between CentOS and Ubuntu
CentOS and Ubuntu are both popular operating systems for web servers in the software operations market. CentOS is basically built on the Linux framework and Linux distribution to provide a free and supported computing platform. Ubuntu is also basically an open-source distribution of Linux and it is considered one of the popular cloud operating systems it runs in most cases and places such as desktop and cloud environments and almost everything related to the Internet.
In the rest of this article, we will compare Ubuntu and CentOS in terms of security, stability, ease of use, and package management.
CentOS vs. Ubuntu: Security
Ubuntu is updated frequently. A new version is published every six months. Ubuntu offers LTS (Long Term Support) releases every two years, supported for five years. These different versions allow users to choose whether they want the “latest and greatest” or the “tried-and-true”. Due to frequent updates, Ubuntu often includes newer software in newer versions. This feature can be fun to play with new features and technologies but can conflict with existing software and configurations.
CentOS is rarely updated. This is partly because the CentOS development team is smaller. It is also due to extensive testing on each component before release. CentOS versions are supported for ten years from the release date and include security and compatibility updates. However, a slow release cycle means a lack of access to software updates. If they have failed to release these updates to the main repository, you can either install the updates manually.
CentOS, on the other hand, is based on the Linux framework and is therefore very secure and protected through 3 layers of security. Ubuntu also has good security layers, but sometimes it may be prone to web threats due to frequent updates.
Regardless of the differences between CentOS and Ubuntu, both are secure with regular updates.
CentOS vs. Ubuntu: Stability
The stability of an operating system means that its bugs are fixed quickly. Stability is one of the most important things that affect the performance of servers because an error can lead to the loss of information or server down. This in itself is considered an irreparable disaster, which is associated with a large financial burden. CentOS operating system consists of a strong kernel so its stability is guaranteed and it is better than other Linux distributions.
One of the reasons that makes Ubuntu suitable for beginners is its stability. You may have heard that if you use Linux, you should be well aware of how to manually fix things and use the command line. This is definitely not the case with Ubuntu. Stability is the main reason why Ubuntu is the first choice of operating system for beginners. Once you’re done with the installation process, all you have to do is keep the packages up-to-date on your system, nothing else. Since packages are tested before being included in the official repositories, you can be sure that your system won’t crash when you install new software. Ubuntu is stable enough to run on servers where uptime and performance are a priority.
CentOS vs. Ubuntu: Ease of Use
Ubuntu has gone a long way in designing its system to be user-friendly. The graphical interface is intuitive and easy to manage with useful functionality. Running applications from the command line is simple. But on the other hand, CentOS is more suitable for users with more expertise in this field.
CentOS is primarily based on Red Hat Linux and is more difficult to learn than Ubuntu due to its smaller community and less documentation. In Ubuntu, it is easier to learn due to the support of more communities and the large number of tutorials and books on the market and the Internet.
CentOS vs. Ubuntu: Package Management
A software package is an archive of compiled binary files, resources needed to build the software, and scripts to install and run the software. A package also includes a list of packages in the form of dependencies that must be installed on the system to run the desired software. While the features and facilities of this package manager are very similar in different Linux distributions, the format of packages, tools, and commands are different.
In Ubuntu, the package format is deb. APT (Advanced Packaging Tool) provides commands for various tasks with packages, including installing, updating, removing, and finding packages in repositories. APT commands act as front-end and high-level commands for the low-level dpkg tool. dpkg can be used to install package files that are on the system. You can also use the apt-get and apt-cache commands (the older version of the apt command) to manage packages in most Debian-based distributions.
CentOS uses rpm format packages. In CentOS, the yum tool is used to manage the packages in the repositories as well as the packages on the system. The low-level rpm tool can also be used to install the package files that are on the system. In recent versions, the dnf command is used instead of yum.
Which is better for your needs: CentOS or Ubuntu?
In this section, in general, by providing several different parameters, including the origin, purpose, support model, how to install programs and application communities, we will give you the opportunity to decide which is better for your needs depending on your needs.
CentOS and Ubuntu are both Linux operating systems, but they are based on different Linux distributions. Next, we explore the key differences between CentOS and Ubuntu.
1) Origin: CentOS is developed from Red Hat’s commercial operating system. For this reason, CentOS is commonly used as a commercial-grade Linux distribution. While Ubuntu is developed from the roots of Debian and is known as a Linux distribution based on the Debian family.
2) Purpose: CentOS is primarily designed for server environments and business and enterprise uses. Ubuntu is often considered a general purpose, desktop distribution and is suitable for everyday use, servers, and desktop systems.
3) Support model: CentOS typically uses a long-term support model. This means that released versions of CentOS will be updated and supported for a long time. In contrast, Ubuntu comes with two standard versions, namely LTS (Long-Term Support) and regular (non-LTS) versions. LTS versions receive security updates and support for five years, while non-LTS versions receive support for about nine months.
CentOS consists of a set of Red Hat software, including the Apache web service, MySQL, and Python programming language. On the other hand, Ubuntu uses software such as LibreOffice, Evolution e-mail program, and Firefox browser.
4) How to install applications: CentOS uses the YUM (Yellowdog Updater Modified) package manager, while Ubuntu uses the APT (Advanced Package Tool) package manager. These two package managers work with differences in syntax and functionality.
5) User Communities: Both CentOS and Ubuntu have strong and active user communities. However, the Ubuntu user community is much larger and more active, and there are more discussions about Ubuntu. This means more resources, online tutorials, and community support from users.
Ultimately, choosing between CentOS and Ubuntu depends on your needs, preferences, and uses. If you need a stable and reliable operating system for servers and business use, CentOS is a good choice. If you need a desktop Linux distribution for daily use and development of software and games, Ubuntu can be a good option. Also, if you’re looking for a larger user community and the most training and support resources, Ubuntu might be the best option. However, to choose between CentOS and Ubuntu, it is better to consider your personal needs, skills, and experience and determine the best option for you by testing and experimenting with both distributions.
To conclude this comparison of CentOS and Ubuntu, both are famous and one of the best Linux distributions that have their own advantages and disadvantages. Choosing one is easy if you consider your needs and are willing to do some work. The purpose of this article was to compare CentOS and Ubuntu and provide an overview of the differences between these two Linux distributions to facilitate the decision-making process.