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Migrate from CentOS Linux to Red Hat Enterprise Linux or CentOS Stream

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The CentOS Project will discontinue updates and releases of CentOS Linux® between 2021 and 2024. This means current CentOS Linux users will need to choose a migration path:

  • CentOS Linux 8: December 31, 2021
  • CentOS Linux 7: June 30, 2024

Choosing the right CentOS Linux migration path

CentOS Linux users have options, including Red Hat® Enterprise Linux and CentOS Stream.

What is Red Hat Enterprise Linux?

Red Hat Enterprise Linux is a fully supported production-grade operating system (OS) available through a subscription. It’s the best long term migration option for production use.

If your organization needs an IT environment with a reliable foundation to achieve cost and business efficiencies, you need more than the bits and code that make up an operating system. You need defined maintenance and update schedules, full support, security resources, a large ecosystem of certified partners, and long-term roadmaps to ensure stability and success.

What is CentOS Stream?

CentOS Stream is an upstream development platform for ecosystem developers. It’s an option intended for Red Hat partners and others who want to participate and collaborate in Red Hat Enterprise Linux development.

Let’s say you’re a Red Hat Enterprise Linux user who has identified a change that is needed in the next version. You can propose that change to CentOS Stream for Red Hat developers to evaluate. If accepted, your change is tested, verified, and will land in CentOS Stream, and the change will be in the next minor release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.


10 things to consider when migrating from CentOS Linux to a new operating system

Simplify your migration to Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Streamline your CentOS Linux migration to Red Hat Enterprise Linux from start to finish. Red Hat Enterprise Linux migration tools mitigate risk and reduce complexity, whether you choose to do it on your own or collaborate with us.

Do it yourself

Do it yourself with Convert2RHEL, a command line utility that enables you to quickly convert from CentOS Linux to fully supported Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Avoid costly redeployment projects with this streamlined tool that maintains your existing customizations, configurations, and preferences during the migration process. With Convert2RHEL, you have the control, confidence, and freedom you need to migrate quickly and start taking advantage of everything a Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription has to offer. The Convert2RHEL tool is now fully supported by Red Hat. 

Red Hat Consulting

Engage Red Hat Consulting to help accelerate your migration. Red Hat experts bring proven knowledge and experience to your migration project. We can help you identify and convert key applications and workloads, and we mentor and enable you to continue confidently afterward. 

The value of a subscription

According to a recent IDC research paper, organizations that purchase Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions versus using a free, unsupported OS end up realizing value that IDC quantifies as being worth nearly 7 times (573% three-year ROI) the investment costs.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux for production environments

A Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription offers a stable, security-focused foundation to support business requirements. It delivers consistency across the open hybrid cloud—including physical, virtual, private clouds, and public clouds, and edge deployments. It also provides defined maintenance and update schedules, full support, security resources, a large ecosystem of certified partners, and long-term roadmaps.

Key benefits include:

  • Security: Mitigate risk, enforce security policies, and streamline your compliance strategy
  • Performance: Identify performance issues, analyze data, and tune your system 
  • Automation: Automate manual tasks, standardize deployment at-scale, and simplify day-to-day administration
  • Management: Proactively examine systems and propose enhancements and remediations based on specific workloads


  • Organizations needing a production-grade operating system that provides a secure, supported, and flexible foundation for critical workloads and applications

Low-cost & no-cost Red Hat Enterprise Linux

No-cost for development teams

This program provides development teams within Red Hat customer organizations access to Red Hat Enterprise Linux as a no-cost, self-supported* subscription. This subscription provides an opportunity to standardize on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and empowers teams across your organization to build, test, and run on the same platform—enabling tighter coupling between new application development and the transition to production environments.

*Enterprise and professional support add-ons are available.


  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux customers
  • Development usage only 

No-cost for individual developers

An individual developer subscription for Red Hat Enterprise Linux is designed for any individual developer involved in creating enterprise software. It provides access to the most relevant resources to speed productivity including product bits and activations, how-to videos, demos, getting started guides, documentation, and more.

The subscription may be used by an individual developer (not organizations or teams) for demos, prototyping, QA, small production uses, and cloud access. It is designed for personal servers, home labs, and small open source communities and enables small production use cases (up to 16 systems) as a no-cost, self-supported subscription for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

You can also use this subscription to run Red Hat Enterprise Linux on major public clouds including AWS, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure. You pay only the usual hosting fees charged by your provider of choice; the operating system is free for both development and small production workloads.


  • Any individual developer (not for use in organizations)
  • Read the FAQ

Low-cost for research and academia

The Red Hat academic program has historically offered a low-cost option for academic institutions. However, it was previously only available to degree-granting entities. Now, a much broader range of research and academia-related organizations can enter Red Hat’s academic subscription program. This makes it easier to access, run, and maintain Red Hat Enterprise Linux to suit their unique needs—whether it’s simply running a web server to underpinning a high-performance computing (HPC) environment.


No-cost for open source infrastructure

This option is for organizations that are open source projects or non-profit organizations that support the production of open source software and require more Red Hat Enterprise Linux instances than are allowed under the individual developer subscription*.

If a software project is sponsored by a for-profit company, Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions can only be used for independent project infrastructure. The organization must also produce or support the production of software distributed under an approved license to qualify for Red Hat Enterprise Linux for open source infrastructure.

Organizations that meet program qualifications will be granted access to no-cost Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions for any use within their organization, including build systems, CI testing, and general project infrastructure.


*This program is not intended for individual developers, Red Hat customers or partners, or for governmental entities or organizations, hospitals or healthcare organizations, schools, academic institutions, or universities, or NGOs and other non-profits outside of the open source ecosystem.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions are subject to Red Hat’s Enterprise Agreement and do not allow for selling, distributing and/or rebranding the Red Hat Subscription Services. These subscriptions will be unsupported by default, but may be considered for support pending additional qualifications.


  • An organization must either be an open source project or a nonprofit organization that supports the production of open source software. 

Keep reading


What is CentOS Stream?

CentOS Stream is preview of upcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux minor and major releases. This is where our various ecosystem partners and community members add their contributions prior to being incorporated into Red Hat Enterprise Linux.


Why choose Red Hat for Linux?

Red Hat is one of the leading contributors to the Linux kernel and associated technologies in the greater open source community—and he's been since the beginning.


Red Hat Enterprise Linux Technical Overview

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Technical Overview (RH024) is a series of no-cost, on-demand, online videos that provide a technical introduction to Linux for IT professionals.

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