Thursday, April 9, 2015

Upgrading to CentOS 7 – Deciding on a Lightweight Desktop Environment

Introducing a new voice to the 45 Drives blog – Brett Kelly, one of the R&D engineers for 45 Drives, who shares his experience with upgrading to CentOS 7. 

45 Drives is built on the idea of highly customizable storage servers in the form of our Storinators. Whatever your configuration, including operating system, we can build it.  This includes choice of OS – we regularly configure and ship systems with a range of Linux distros, FreeBSD and Microsoft Server 2012.

With all that said, the default OS in Storinators is CentOS, and rightly so – it’s a popular choice for our users, especially the hardcore server users.  In fact, more than 85% of our customers opt for CentOS (FreeNAS would be next in popularity).

Over the last month or so, we’ve been mulling over changing the default OS in our Storinator from CentOS 6 to CentOS 7. This seems like an easy and painless change, but some things had to be considered and tested before we just started shipping the newer OS.

Since I led the project to evaluate our options when upgrading to CentOS 7 as the default, I’m writing this post to share our (my) love of CentOS and provide some background into our testing and decision making.