SOLVED Questions about Extended Support for CloudLinux 6

ffeingol

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On Wednesday cpanel posted this announcement: cPanel, the Hosting Platform of Choice, Announces Partnership with CloudLinux extending support for Linux Systems Based on RHEL 6 and CentOS 6 | cPanel Newsroom This paragraph sounded really good, as it would relieve some of the burden of migrating from V6 to V7 (we run CloudLinux on all our shared/reseller servers):

To mitigate this scenario and reduce maintenance burden for our community, cPanel and CloudLinux will work together to support CloudLinux OS 6 for cPanel & WHM users until June 30, 2024. Full details about this initiative can be found at cloudlinux.com.
I then contacted CloudLinux to get more clarification on this. From what I got back from CloudLinux (Level 1 support) was that CloudLinux will support the CloudLinux OS 6 hybrid kernel until June 30,2024.

So if CloudLinux is keeping the kernel updated, who is keeping all the rest of the packages updated?
 

ffeingol

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Crickets, that's a bit disappointing. From what I can see there seems to be a disconnect between what cPanel says is being supported and what CloudLinux says is being support. It would be really nice to get some clarification (or whom to contact to get clarification).
 

cPanelMichael

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Hello @ffeingol,

For anyone else reading this , the purpose of this thread is to seek clarification on the extent to which CloudLinux will publish updates for packages such as "openssh-clients" to the CloudLinux OS 6 YUM repo after November 30th, 2020 (the EOL date for RHEL/CentOS 6).

My understanding is that after November 30th, 2020, continued maintenance to the CloudLinux OS 6 hybrid kernel will occur through June 30. 2024. Updates to packages such as "openssh-clients" on the CloudLinux OS 6 YUM repo are not planned. To install newer versions of packages such as OpenSSH, upgrading to CentOS/RHEL/CloudLinux 7 is required.

Update: Good news! I've been in touch with CloudLinux and I can confirm that with the extended support, CloudLinux OS 6 will continue to receive the same package updates that it receives now. The caveat is that updates to packages will be limited to security issues only. Thus, from a security perspective you are covered until June 30, 2024, and from the cPanel & WHM perspective you get all of the updates for the packages we manage until June 30, 2024 as well.

Here's the corresponding CloudLinux blog post if you've not seen it:


Thanks!
 
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ffeingol

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@cPanelMichael,

First, thank you very much for taking the time to research and reply. Per my original post, I had already reached out to CloudLinux and the answer that I got back was that they were only supporting the hybrid kernel.

The announcement sounded very exciting (as we were really not looking forward to having to migrate accounts off CentOS V6 to V7), but based on these replies, it looks like we will have to do that. Having an up to date kernel once CloudLinux V6 goes EOL is nice, but if no one is maintaining the rest of the OS packages it looks like security disaster / nightmare waiting to happen.
 

cPanelMichael

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Hello @ffeingol,

I'm going to continue to look into this for you over the next couple of days to see if I can provide you with more information from CloudLinux specific to this topic. The intent here is to provide a safe alternative for anyone currently using RHEL/CentOS 6, so I believe we may just be lacking some general technical information about CloudLinux OS itself that might address your concern.

Thanks for your patience.
 
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ffeingol

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If it helps, we've used CloudLinux for quite a while, so we are pretty familiar with it. While I only got a reply from "Level 1 Support", he made it pretty clear that they would only be supporting the hybrid kernel on CL V6.

I'm certainly interested in any further information that you can provide.
 

cPanelMichael

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Hello @ffeingol,

I'm still looking into this, but for others seeing this thread I did want to point out one key benefit of converting your CentOS 6 and/or RHEL 6 servers to CloudLinux OS 6:

Extended support for cPanel & WHM

Here's a key quote from the cPanel Blog:

cPanel & WHM Version 86: The last version to support CentOS 6
https://blog.cpanel.com/centos-6-eol-cloudlinux-6-os-and-you/
We are planning on carrying support for CentOS 6 until the next LTS version of cPanel & WHM, Version 86. Only one version of cPanel & WHM enters the LTS tier each year, and is supported until March 31st the following year. In this case, Version 86 will be 2020’s LTS version, and will be supported by us until March 31st, 2021.
Then, over on https://news.cpanel.com/partnership-with-cloudlinux-extending-rhel-6-and-centos-6/ :

Users of the hybrid kernel in CloudLinux OS 6 will effectively enjoy extended support of RHEL 6/CentOS 6 until 2024. By that time, hosting providers will be able to safely migrate directly to RHEL 8, skipping RHEL 7 deployment entirely. RHEL 8 and CentOS 8 will be supported until May 5, 2029. For enterprises and hosting companies running their systems on CloudLinux OS 6, this equates to fewer migrations and less administration.
Next, over on https://documentation.cpanel.net/display/CKB/Third-Party+Software+End+Of+Life+Policy :

What happens when an OS reaches EOL?
An OS that reaches EOL continues to function normally. Existing cPanel & WHM installations on systems that reach EOL also continue to function normally.

However, you will be unable to perform the following tasks on an operating system that reaches EOL:
  • Fresh installations of cPanel & WHM — We prevent new installations after the OS reaches EOL.
  • Upgrades to new versions of cPanel & WHM — We prevent upgrades after the OS reaches EOL.
  • OS-specific fixes — We do not provide fixes, security or otherwise, after the OS reaches EOL.
One note, I notice that CloudLinux 6.x still appears next to November 30, 2020 on the operating systems table of this document. I'll look into this some more to determine if an internal case is needed to correct the document.

Thank you.
 

skhristich

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If it helps, we've used CloudLinux for quite a while, so we are pretty familiar with it. While I only got a reply from "Level 1 Support", he made it pretty clear that they would only be supporting the hybrid kernel on CL V6.

I'm certainly interested in any further information that you can provide.
Hello! We will be supporting:
1. Hybrid kernel
2. CL6 kernel
3. Regular RHEL6 kernel
As part of CL6 extended lifecycle support.
Thank you.

Regards, Marketing coordinator CloudLinux
 
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cPanelMichael

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Hello @ffeingol,

Good news! I've been in touch with CloudLinux and I can confirm that with the extended support, CloudLinux OS 6 will continue to receive the same package updates that it receives now. The caveat is that updates to packages will be limited to security issues only. Thus, from a security perspective you are covered until June 30, 2024, and from the cPanel & WHM perspective you get all of the updates for the packages we manage until June 30, 2024 as well.

Let me know if this helps.

Thank you.
 
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mtindor

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That is good news, Michael. Thanks for the clarification. Of course, the ability of one to update through all of the latest WHM versions over that extended period will not be available (from what I've taken in based upon reading about WHM and CentOS 6) -- Thus the farther along past the EOL date somebody continues to run CL 6 + cPanel, they are going to be missing all sorts of features / updates that people on CentOS 7 / CL 7 will get by virtue of those people having access to the newest versions of WHM/cPanel. So it is still best for everyone to plan on migrating to CentOS 7 / CL 7 before the EOL date.

Mike
 

cPanelMichael

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Hello @mtindor,

Actually, I believe that one key aspect of the extended support for CloudLinux OS 6 is that support for cPanel & WHM will extend as well (meaning your CloudLinux OS 6 servers are not stuck on old cPanel & WHM versions). I've opened internal case DOC-13015 to get confirmation of that (and if so to have Third-Party Software End Of Life Policy - cPanel Knowledge Base - cPanel Documentation updated to reflect this). I'll update this thread with more information once this case is processed.

Thank you.
 

mtindor

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It would be grand
Hello @mtindor,

Actually, I believe that one key aspect of the extended support for CloudLinux OS 6 is that support for cPanel & WHM will extend as well (meaning your CloudLinux OS 6 servers are not stuck on old cPanel & WHM versions). I've opened internal case DOC-13015 to get confirmation of that (and if so to have Third-Party Software End Of Life Policy - cPanel Knowledge Base - cPanel Documentation updated to reflect this). I'll update this thread with more information once this case is processed.

Thank you.
It would be great if that turns out to be the case. I'll keep an eye on the thread. I am just remembering (perhaps incorrectly) having to abandon CentOS 5 prematurely because ether CentOS was not going to update OpenSSL further on it or cPanel wasn't going to support HTTP2 on it or something like that. Whatever the case, it was one whereby EOL wasn't actually reached and CentOS 5 / CL 5 were already crippled because some other OS-delivered software wasn't being updated downstream. And if i'm right that it happened with CentOS 5, then it very well could happen with CentOS 6 (especially with the extended support with CL 6 running hybrid kernel). But if cPanel is going to continue providing new versions of WHM for the extended period on CL 6+Hybrid, that'll still be a good thing.

Mike