CentOS exists to provide a free enterprise class computing platform to anyone who wishes to use it. CentOS 2, 3, and 4 are built from publically available open source SRPMS provided by a prominent North American Enterprise Linux vendor. CentOS conforms fully with the upstream vendors redistribution policies and aims to be 100% binary compatible. (CentOS mainly changes packages to remove upstream vendor branding and artwork.). CentOS is designed for people who need an enterprise class OS without the cost or support of the prominent North American Enterprise Linux vendor.
Neither the CentOS Project (we who build CentOS) nor any version of CentOS is affiliated with, produced by, or supported by the prominent North American Enterprise Linux vendor. Neither does our software contain the upstream vendor's product ... although it is built from the same open source SRPMS as the upstream enterprise products
The purpose is to provide stable Linux solutions for organizations and individuals who do not need strong commercial support to achieve successful operation.
To meet that overall goal, we strive to achieve:
- easy maintenance
- self hosting distribution (one that can build on itself)
- suitability for long term use in production environments
- friendly environment for users and package maintainers
- long-term support of the core
- active development
- community infrastructure
- open management
- open business model
- commercial support - offered by partner vendors
CentOS uses the original sources whenever possible. Under normal circumstances CentOS will NOT add patches to original upstream source packages. The vast majority of changes made will be made to comply with the upstream vendor's re-distribution policies concerning trademarked names or logos. Any other changes made will be spelled out in the Release Notes for the individual CentOS product.
Technical support and assesment included by e-mail for about 30 days.