Introduction to CentOS
CentOS that stands for Community Enterprise Operating System is one of the Linux Distributions started by Gregory Kurtzer that provides an enterprise-class free and open source Operating System which is also functionally compatible with the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) which also its upstream source. That RHEL is the enterprise-class OS but with a paid subscription. CentOS developers use the RHEL source code and create a product very similar to it. The technical support for CentOS is given only via community and web portals.
‘yum’ is the package manager for the CentOS. Anything that runs on CentOS is assured to run on the RHEL platform. CentOS images are one of the tops employed Operating Systems in the Amazon Cloud and Azure Cloud.
CentOS also follows the same architecture as that of any other Linux distro and supports only x86-64 architecture which means that it supports both 32-bit and 64-bit machines –
- The bottom-most layer is the hardware or physical devices like the computer, storage, and network devices.
- On top of this sits the kernel which is the core component of the OS and it directly interacts with the hardware.
- On top of kernel sits the shell which acts as the interface between the user and the kernel.
- Above all these layers is the application layer which interacts with the shell and kernel to do some user-defined tasks. Applications include your web browsers, text edition, file explorer, media player, etc.
Working with CentOS
Here is a set of commands which will help you work.
- ls – This lists out the directory contents.
- cd – This is used to change the directory or to navigate to a different folder from the current folder.
- mv – This is the move command. This helps to move a file from one directory to a different location or also to rename a file.
- man – This is the command to get manual about any other command that will be used in the OS.
- mkdir – This command is used to create new directories (and also subdirectories).
- rmdir – This is the command to delete the directory. Adding –rf will recursively remove the files and folders in the mentioned directory.
- touch – This command creates an empty file. This is also called as the make file command just like the make directory command.
- rm – Just like rmdir removes the directories, rm removes the files.
- locate – This command will help you to locate a file in the whole of storage.
- clear – This is the command to clear the terminal screen.
- sudo yum update – This will update all the installed packages.
- sudo yum install <package name> – This command will install the mentioned package.
One can write the set of commands in a sequence of tasks to be done in a file with an extension .sh and execute them all at once by running the .sh file (which is called as the ‘shell script’) by using the command sh <filename>.sh
One can also create his own self-defined commands in this shell scripting (which of course is entirely an individual domain to explore about and beyond the scope of this article) and use them for different purposes.
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Here are some advantages of using CentOS –
- It is lightweight, reliable and fast.
- It is a free and open source and it is enterprise grade.
- Along with the CentOS, you will also get the open source server software such as Apache Web, CUPS, MySQL, etc. and version control tools like git comes installed by default.
- Excellent community support with the provision to directly report bugs to the bugs.centos.org
- Latest CentOS also includes the hypervisor and virtualization technology like Docker, oVirt, Xen, etc.
- It shares almost 95% of the features which the commercial Red Hat Enterprise Linux has. And this is available for free!
- Compared to other open source and free Linux distros, CentOS is widely preferred (even over Ubuntu) for its stability and less frequent package updates.
How to learn CentOS?
Well, the best way to learn CentOS is to get some hands-on experience operating it.
- You can download it from centos.org and install it on your laptop as the running OS.
- If you have Windows OS then you can install some Type-2 hypervisor like Virtual Box and install CentOS on top of it.
- Followed by this, explore the Operating System by enrolling yourself for several available certified courses from Red Hat Inc.
Future of CentOS –
- Is the acquisition of Red Hat Inc. by IBM going to affect the CentOS in any fashion?
- No, given the free & open source nature of CentOS, the presence of CentOS and its growth will continue happening the way it going on now.
How this technology will help you in your career growth?
- If you are someone looking for career opportunities in the domain of Linux Administrators then working expertise on CentOS would make you attractive to the recruiters.
- Apart from this, CentOS being a free and open source project, contributing to such projects is of great value to you.
- Also, one can look forward to doing a lot of software developments keeping CentOS as their underlying platform.
- Being comfortable with CentOS will also make one comfortable to work with almost any Linux distro for that matter.
With all the enterprise-class features, abilities and availability of ISO images even on cloud platforms, CentOS forms a great Operating System to know about and to use for software development for business class purposes.
This has been a guide to What is CentOS? Here we discuss Architecture, some commands, Advantages, Future scope and how to learn CentOS. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –