CentOS (Community Enterprise Operating System) was a Linux distribution that provided a free, community-supported computing platform functionally compatible with its upstream source, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). In January 2014, CentOS announced the official joining with Red Hat while staying independent from RHEL, under a new CentOS governing board.
The first CentOS release in May 2004, numbered as CentOS version 2, was forked from RHEL version 2.1AS. Since version 8, CentOS officially supports the x86-64, ARM64, and POWER8 architectures. Releases up to version 6 also supported the IA-32 architecture. As of December 2015, AltArch releases of CentOS 7 are available for the IA-32 architecture, Power ISA, and for the ARMv7hl and AArch64 variants of the ARM architecture. CentOS 8 was released on 24 September 2019.
In December 2020, Red Hat terminated CentOS development. Red Hat will however continue to support the related rolling-release distro, CentOS Stream. As a response, CentOS founder, Gregory Kurtzer, created the Rocky Linux project as a successor to the original mission of CentOS.