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RedHat Limits Access to RHEL Source Code, Sparks Controversy in Linux Community

Red Hat announces its decision to restrict access to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) source code and limit it to only public sources for CentOS Stream.

RedHat has made a significant announcement today that is set to shake up the Linux community. In a move that may not sit well with some users and developers, Red Hat has decided to limit access to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) source code. Going forward, CentOS Stream will become the exclusive repository for public RHEL-related source code releases.

However, it is important to note that paying RedHat customers will still have access to the full RHEL sources through the trusted RedHat Customer Portal.

This strategic decision by Red Hat is expected to have implications for various community-driven enterprise Linux distributions, including Alma Linux, Rocky Linux, and Oracle Linux. With the RHEL public sources now confined to CentOS Stream, these distributions will face greater challenges in providing 1:1 binary compatible builds for the corresponding RHEL releases.

Over two years ago, Red Hat introduced CentOS Stream as a platform for collaboration centered around RHEL. The primary goal was to facilitate faster feedback cycles between Red Hat engineers, partners, customers, and communities. Simultaneously, CentOS Stream aimed to enhance visibility into the upcoming innovations in RHEL.

As the CentOS Stream community continues to grow and the enterprise software landscape undergoes dynamic shifts, Red Hat is doubling down on its commitment to CentOS Stream as the bedrock of enterprise Linux innovation. Consequently, CentOS Stream will now serve as the sole repository for public RHEL-related source code releases.

As of publishing this, Rocky Linux and others have communicated that they are working to find a solution for the enterprise and general users.

The rationale behind this change stems from Red Hat’s previous approach of pushing public sources for RHEL to However, with the CentOS Project pivoting its focus to CentOS Stream and no longer building CentOS Linux downstream of RHEL, maintaining separate, redundant repositories have become inefficient. Red Hat recognizes the need to adapt to evolving priorities for customers and partners, leading to this streamlined approach. It is important to note that the latest source code will continue to be accessible through CentOS Stream.

Red Hat customers and partners can rest assured that they will maintain access to RHEL sources via the customer and partner portals, as stipulated in their subscription agreements.

Via announcement

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