First look at CentOS 7

In July, a month after the release of RHEL7, the CentOS team had released their clone of the 7 series. Time to take a look, since this will likely be the standard version for new projects I will be building, at the very latest by the middle of next year when a minor release has further stabilized the series.

New and noteworthy

  • The installer now aligns with what we have become familiar with based on the Gnome 3 desktop in Fedora, which is overall a good experience.
  • XFS is now the default root file-system including boot. That decision seems fairly bizarre when EXT4 is the default everywhere else and has an upstream path towards Btrfs.
  • Systemd is now in full effect, so I will have to take some time to finally learn the startup script changes properly.
  • Network interfaces are now carrying “Predictable Network Interface names”. While that’s a nice idea it also means that old common tricks such as “dhclient eth0” no longer work. Side note: Minimal install does not even contain ifconfig, so find your interfaces in /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg*, if you went with minimal. 
  • PHP 5.4.16, this is the part I’m most excited about, since this was the primary reason in my work to install third-party repositories such as IUS to get above ancient 5.3 versions present in the RHEL6 series.
  • You will look for the package mysql-server in vain, MySQL is now to be found via the fork mariadb-server.