Progress cannot be made without change. As technologists, we recognize this every day. Most of the time, these changes are iterative: progressive additions of features to projects like oVirt. Sometimes those changes are small, and sometimes not. And that’s, of course, just talking about our project. But one of the biggest strengths of our community’s software is that we are not alone, and because of that, changes to other projects have ripple effects that can affect our own, even in positive ways.

This week, our collaborators in the CentOS Project have announced a change in the way their software is released moving forward.

Beyond this week release of CentOS Linux 8, the CentOS team has announced CentOS Stream, a rolling release distribution that will be the “midstream” between Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

To be clear, Fedora will remain as the first upstream of RHEL. But when RHEL branches off, CentOS will be upstream for ongoing work on those RHEL versions. This change gives public visibility into ongoing work on released RHEL, and a place for developers and community projects like ours to collaborate at that level.

CentOS has been heading in the direction of Stream for quite some time. CentOS SIGs — the special interest groups for virtualization, storage, config management, and so on — have given our project a way to provide input into the CentOS platform. Now, though, we can actually provide direct improvements or fixes to CentOS Stream platform that will be beneficial to our project. Long-term, those project-specific changes can find their way into the next release of RHEL, providing smoother transitions for those users of our downstream projects.

We expect the positive effects to extend beyond our own project’s ecosystem. Through CentOS Stream, developers will have early access to new features and content that are being built into the upcoming RHEL version. This will help to allow next-generation applications to have compatibility with future versions of RHEL.

The benefits of these changes are clear for ecosystem developers working on projects such as ours, writing hardware drivers, or extending protocols for RHEL. As we push the innovations that start in Fedora through the new CentOS Stream, the community will have a clear vision of the future of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

For users of oVirt, we expect CentOS Stream to be the preferred upstream platform on which oVirt should be run, especially with the capability for our users to now contribute changes to our software and the community-built platform on which oVirt runs.