[Beowulf] RIP CentOS 8

Douglas Eadline deadline at eadline.org
Wed Dec 9 16:09:43 UTC 2020

Some thoughts an this issue and future HPC

First, in general it is poor move by CentOS, a community
based distribution that has just killed their community.
Nice work.

Second, and most importantly, CentOS will not matter to HPC.
(and maybe other sectors as well) Distributions will become
second class citizens to containers.  All that is needed is a
base OS to run the container (think Singularity)

Years ago in the early days of Warewwulf, Greg Kurtzer
(Warewulf/Singularity) talked about the idea of bundling the
essential/minimal OS and libraries with applications in custom
Warewulf VNFS image. The scheduler would then boot the application
image -- everything works. Indeed, in my Limulus systems all
Warewulf VNFS images and kernel bootstraps are in RPM files.
Users can load a new VNFS using Yum (and some basic Warewulf
provision commands)

Now jump ahead to containers and HPCng (https://hpcng.org/)

An open source project will release a container that "contains"
everything thing it needs to run (along with the container recipe)
Using Singularity you can also sign the container to assure
provenance of the code. The scheduler runs containers. Simple.

Software Vendors will gladly do the same. Trying to support
multiple distribution goes away. Applications show up in
tested containers. The scheduler runs containers. Things just work,
less support issues for the vendor. Simple.

The need to maintain library version trees and Modules for
goes away, Of course if are developer writing your own application,
you need specific libraries, but not system wide. Build the
application in your working directly, include any specific libraries
you need in the local source tree and fold it all into a container.

Joe Landman also comments on this topic in his blog (does not seem
to be showing up for me today, however)


Bottom line, it is all good, we are moving on.


> Hi folks,
> It looks like the CentOS project has announced the end of CentOS 8 as a
> version that tracked RHEL for the end of 2021, it will be replaced by
> the CentOS stream which will run ahead of RHEL8. CentOS 7 is unaffected
> (though RHEL7 only has 3 more years of life left).
> https://blog.centos.org/2020/12/future-is-centos-stream/
>  > The future of the CentOS Project is CentOS Stream, and over the
>  > next year we’ll be shifting focus from CentOS Linux, the rebuild
>  > of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), to CentOS Stream, which
>  > tracks just ahead of a current RHEL release. CentOS Linux 8, as
>  > a rebuild of RHEL 8, will end at the end of 2021. CentOS Stream
>  > continues after that date, serving as the upstream (development)
>  > branch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
>  >
>  > Meanwhile, we understand many of you are deeply invested in
>  > CentOS Linux 7, and we’ll continue to produce that version through
>  > the remainder of the RHEL 7 life cycle.
> I always thought that Fedora was meant to be that upstream for RHEL, but
> perhaps the arrangement now will be Fedora -> CentOS -> RHEL.
> I wonder where this leaves the Lustre project, currently they only
> support RHEL7/CentOS7 as the server, and more interestingly, people who
> build Lustre appliances on top of CentOS.
> Then there's the question of projects like OpenHPC who've only just
> announced support for CentOS8 (and OpenSuSE15). They could choose to
> track CentOS Stream instead, probably without too much effort.
> I do wonder if this opens the door for the return of something like
> Scientific Linux.
> All the best,
> Chris
> --
> Chris Samuel  :  http://www.csamuel.org/  :  Berkeley, CA, USA
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