How to Buy CentOS: A Comprehensive Guide

Your Guide to buying the best CentOS


This buying guide provides an overview of CentOS, a Linux-based operating system developed by the CentOS Project. It offers an in-depth look at the features and benefits of using CentOS, as well as information on how to acquire the software and the available pricing options. With this guide, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about whether CentOS is the right choice for your business or personal computing needs.

Key features

  1. Version Compatibility - Make sure the version of CentOS is compatible with your hardware and software.
  2. Installation - Consider how you will install CentOS on your computer, including if you need an external hardware device.
  3. Security - Determine if the security features of CentOS are sufficient for your needs.
  4. Scalability - Consider how well CentOS will scale as your data or user base grows.
  5. Data Recovery - Evaluate the data recovery capabilities of CentOS to ensure you can maintain access to your data.
  6. Support - Understand the level of support you can expect when using CentOS.
  7. Updates - Confirm that CentOS has the latest updates to ensure you are getting the most secure and up-to-date version.
  8. Pricing - Compare the pricing of different versions of CentOS to make sure you are getting the best value.

See the most popular CentOS on Amazon

Important considerations


  • Free to Use and Open Source: CentOS is a free and open source operating system, making it a great option for those who are interested in using Linux but may not want to pay for a commercial version.
  • High Levels of Security: CentOS is built to be a secure operating system, with patches and updates released regularly to help protect users from vulnerabilities.
  • Reliability and Stability: CentOS is designed to be a reliable and stable operating system, with minimal downtime and maintenance required.
  • Compatibility: CentOS is compatible with many popular applications, making it easy to use on a wide variety of systems.
  • Great Community Support: The CentOS community is active and helpful, providing timely advice and support to users who need assistance.
  • Flexibility and Scalability: CentOS is highly adaptable and can be scaled up or down to meet the needs of a variety of businesses and organizations.


  • Ease of Use: Although CentOS is an easy-to-use operating system, it can still be difficult to navigate for those who are new to Linux-based systems.
  • Server Requirements: CentOS typically requires more resources (CPU, memory, storage, etc.) than other Linux distributions, which can increase the cost of hosting a server.
  • Limited Support: CentOS is a free and open-source operating system, so official support for it is limited.
  • Software Selections: Some software packages are not available for CentOS, so users may need to find alternative solutions.
  • Updates: Software updates can be difficult to apply and sometimes require manual intervention.

Best alternatives

  1. Ubuntu - A popular Linux distribution based on Debian, offering both desktop and server options.
  2. Debian - A free, open-source Linux operating system with tens of thousands of packages.
  3. openSUSE - A community-supported Linux distribution sponsored by SUSE.
  4. Fedora - A Linux distribution sponsored by Red Hat and supported by the Fedora Project.
  5. Arch Linux - A lightweight, independent Linux distribution with rolling releases.

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Common questions

  1. What is CentOS? CentOS is a free and open-source Linux distribution derived from the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) sources. It is a widely-used operating system for web servers, applications, and desktop computing.
  2. Which version should I choose? The latest version of CentOS is version 8, released in May 2020. CentOS 8 includes many of the same features as Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, including an improved installer, better user authentication, and access to the latest development tools from the CentOS Stream project.
  3. What hardware requirements must I meet? System requirements for the installation of CentOS 8 include a minimum of 4GB RAM, 2GB swap, and at least 10GB of storage space on the system drive.
  4. What type of software is included? CentOS includes a wide variety of free and open-source software packages, including the GNOME 3 desktop environment, the Apache web server, the MariaDB database, the VLC media player, the Python programming language, and more.
  5. Are there any differences between CentOS and Red Hat Enterprise Linux? CentOS is built from the same sources as Red Hat Enterprise Linux but includes a limited set of features, such as the absence of certain enterprise-level features and a reduced set of fully-supported hardware platforms.
  6. What documentation is available for CentOS? CentOS provides extensive documentation in the form of manuals, installation guides, and system administration guides. The CentOS Project also offers community support on its mailing lists and IRC channels.


In the early days of the CentOS project in the 2000s, the project manager and lead developer, Karanbir Singh, ran the project out of his parents' basement! The project gained traction and eventually grew to what is now a widely used open-source Linux distribution. After the success of the project, Karanbir thanked his parents for their support by buying them a house. This story highlights the dedication of the CentOS team and its commitment to open-source software. Source:

Disclaimer: This buying guide was not created by humans, and it is possible that some of it's content is inaccurate or incomplete. We do not guarantee or take any liability for the accuracy of this buying guide. Additionally, the images on this page were generated by AI and may not accurately represent the product that is being discussed. We have tried to convey useful information, but it is our subjective opinion and should not be taken as complete or factual.