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CentOS 6: interview with Karanbir Singh

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CentOS developers are working hard to release CentOS 6, the latest incarnation of the popular Red Hat rebuild, widely used around the world. We decided to make some questions about CentOS 6 status (italian language here) to Karanbir Singh, a long time CentOS developer, part of the CentOS Admin team, infrastructure team and responsible for the CentOS Build services.

Q: Recently you wrote a tweet regarding CentOS 6 status asking your readers to choose between CentOS 6 or 5.6. Could you summarize the results obtained from the readers´ answers?

A: "The aim of that question was to get a sense for what people consider to be more important and how they prioritise things. For us, thats a big deal - delivering and working on whats the most important thing at the moment. We like to think of ourselves as being a fairly agile group of people. And like any small agile team, its important to focus on the most important thing for the time rather than spreading the wings too thin and not being able to deliver on any count. The user feedback was as expected, a large majority consider 5.6 to be the more important delivery since it impacts an existing installed production base. So thats what we are working to release first".

Q: In a past tweet you said that CentOS 6 is almost done. Could you describe to our readers the state of the art of CentOS 6´s development?

A: "CentOS-6 still needs a few weeks worth of work before its ready for release, so once 5.6 is released we will refocus on 6.0".

Q: Which are the main difficulties developing CentOS 6?

A: "Its a new system compared to CentOS-5, so its just the time taken to audit sources and workout individual package policy that takes time. Also CentOS-6 is going to have more packages than any other previous CentOS release, making things even slower.

Having said that, we have had a few more people start contributing and there has been a general favourable turn in the passive userbase. These things take time to evolve and I feel the next few months should see an even larger contributor base come together".

Q: Could you summarize the most important new features we have to expect in CentOS 6?

A: There are quite a few interesting things coming up. A newer base kernel with some enhancements in performance and management tools, a newer virtualisation layer, newer ruby and python stacks with lots of developer oriented features and packages. Overall more modern and much improved desktop experience etc. Stay tuned for the release!"

Q: CentOS is a widely used distribution, also in mission critical environments. Have you ever thought to require a payment for enterprise users or donations are all you need to continue CentOS´s development?

A: We do take on contributions and the entire centos network runs from donated equipment and resources. All the developers contribute their own spare time, so donations etc are always welcome. While the funds are not a motivator to continue working with CentOS, having access to better hardware and better resources definitely makes the process easier and more fruitful. If anyone is keen to contribute, take look at the webpage at".

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