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CloudLinux, which develops a commercial distribution kit of the same name based on the RHEL package base, announced the Lenix project, within which, with the participation of the community, it is planned to develop a free clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux similar to CentOS. More than a million dollars a year will be allocated for the development of the project.

It is noted that CloudLinux has ten years of experience in creating assemblies based on RHEL source packages, a ready-made infrastructure and a large staff of developers and maintainers. The motivation for developing a free RHEL build is associated with promoting a commercial Linux kernel update service without rebooting KernelCare and providing extended support services. For example, CloudLinux provides an extended support service for CentOS 6 that continues to publish updates until 2024, despite the end of the maintenance cycle of the CentOS 6 branch.

Like CentOS, the Lenix distribution will be free, open source, and one-to-one binary compatible with RHEL 8. The first release is slated for the first quarter of 2021. Updates for Lenix 8 will be released until 2029. For migration from CentOS 8, a toolkit will be prepared that will allow one command to replace repositories and keys from CentOS to Lenix.

CloudLinux will sponsor the development and provide the necessary resources, but the distribution will be developed separately from CloudLinux OS in the form of an independent project. All tools used to develop the distribution will be open and in case of dissatisfaction with the actions of CloudLinux, the community will be able to pick up the development of the project at any time. Around Lenix it is planned to form a community, from which representatives will be formed a governing council, coordinating issues related to the development of the distribution.

CloudLinux also conducted a survey of 1,500 CentOS users, which showed that 61.5% of respondents will wait for a new RHEL fork, 16.9% are considering migrating to Debian, 11.4% can migrate to Ubuntu and 10.2% are willing to switch to openSUSE.

Dec 15, 2020