There were clones of — or more accurately downstream projects based on — Red Hat Enterprise Linux before Red Hat bought CentOS in 2014. CentOS started in 2006, and there have been other distributions based on RHEL. (My favorite is still Nux’s Stella from the CentOS 6 days.) There are many (many!) other Linux distributions and BSD projects that can supply a server or desktop operating system. Most of them are not owned by corporations that can limit their distribution on a whim.
CentOS Stream and the end of the CentOS clone: perils, pitfalls, risks and opportunities for Red Hat
<img src="/images/centos_logo.png" style=“float: right”;> Red Hat unleashed the kraken with its recent announcement that its CentOS 8 clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux would be shut down in 2021 instead of 2029, to be replaced by the newish CentOS Stream 8. What is CentOS Stream? It is a reimagining of CentOS as a continuously delivered yet version-constrained development distribution that tracks ahead of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 yet stays within the RHEL 8 world from an ABI1-compatibility standpoint.