Red Hat Inc. says it will help the CentOS Linux enterprise distribution expand to become a next generation computing platform.

CentOS, a community-based Linux distribution derived from Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), said Tuesday it is joining forces with Red Hat Inc. to broaden CentOS beyond the operating system to connect to other open source projects such as the OpenStack cloud computing platform, the companies said in a news release.

Red Hat, which makes commercial products based on Linux, said it will contribute its resources and expertise in building open source communities to help establish more open project governance and a roadmap. The goal in part is to expand components that can layer on top of CentOS such as such as OpenStack, RDO, Gluster, OpenShift Origin, and oVirt.

“CentOS owes its success not just to the source code it’s built from, but to the hard work and enthusiasm of its user community,” Karanbir Singh, lead developer of the CentOS Project, said in a news release. “Now that we are able to count Red Hat among the active contributors to the CentOS Project, we have access to the resources and expertise we’ll need to expand the scope and reach of the CentOS community while remaining committed to our current and new users.”

“Today is an exciting day for the open source community,” said Brian Stevens, executive vice president and chief technology officer of Red Hat. “By joining forces with the CentOS Project, we aim to build a vehicle to get emerging technologies like OpenStack and big data into the hands of millions of developers.”

While CentOS is derived from the Red Hat Enterprise Linux codebase, CentOS and Red Hat Enterprise Linux are distinguished by divergent build environments, QA processes, and, in some editions, different kernels and other open source components, the companies said in a statement. As a result the CentOS binaries are not the same as the Red Hat Enterprise Linux binaries.

The two also have very different focuses. While CentOS delivers a distribution with strong community support, Red Hat Enterprise Linux provides a stable enterprise platform with a focus on security, reliability, and performance as well as hardware, software, and government certifications for production deployments, they said. Red Hat also delivers training, and an entire support organization ready to fix problems and deliver future flexibility by getting features worked into new versions.

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