This site updates at 1 a.m. Pacific time every day

This site checks the CentOS 8 Stream XML output for new packages every day. If you want to know when a package really hits the Stream 8 repos, this site can tell you. Often packages have update timestamps and even file timestamps that make it look like they have been in Stream longer than they actually have. Once a package actually moves to the Stream 8 repo, it also appears in the XML — and on this website the following day.

Why did I start this site?

CentOS doesn’t send errata or security notices for Stream. This is my attempt to provide both that and a record of which packages move to Stream — and when.

Who runs this site?

My name is Steven Rosenberg. I’m a longtime Linux (and occasional BSD) user who is interested in CentOS Stream and what it means both for the enterprise-Linux ecosystem and the end user — especially those looking for a desktop distribution with lots of Fedora vibes but less churn and fewer full upgrades.

Contact me at centos@passthejoe.net.

Update on Jan. 5, 2022: I complain a lot on Twitter about how CentOS Stream 8’s kernel is updated (and NOT updated in a timely manner). Shenanigans with the kernel were a large motivator in setting up this site.

I stopped running CentOS Stream 8 earlier this week because I’m tired of trying to convince people that the delays in kernel upgrades are a problem. And since it’s not as easy as it could be to run Stream (or any RHEL-based distro) on the desktop due to missing packages, why fight it? So I’m turning to a distro that puts the desktop first. Rigth now I’m doing a test of Fedora Silverblue. So far it’s going very well. My hope with Silverblue is that updates — and major upgrades — go both more smoothly and quickly than in a “regular” distro.

What is this, anyway?

This site aims to keep up with the news about the current release CentOS Stream 8 and the new CentOS Stream 9.

The backbone of the site are the lists of package updates that the CentOS Project (and by extreme proxy Red Hat) doesn’t provide in human-readable (and distributed) format.

Even though I complained about it plenty, it turns out that CentOS community manager Rich Bowen had already written and distributed a Python script that pulls XML generated by the project and turns it into HTML and plain text that can be read.

For a while, I was using Rich’s script on my own Stream-powered desktop to generate the HTML and then create Hugo blog entries that contained the package-update information and upload them to my main Hugo blog.

I would run Rich’s script every day so I wouldn’t miss any changes. After doing this for weeks, I decided to try to write a script that would do the whole thing for me (and you).

I finally did it. I wrote a server-side Bash script that automatically produces a blog entry when there are package updates. (I will open-source the script when I get it in better shape.)

For now I copied some of my previous blog posts about CentOS onto this site, and I’m thinking about doing more CentOS content, whether that be traditional news posts or opinions, or just links to what others are writing.

It sounds weird, but I’ve had a lot of ups and downs — technically and emotionally — during my last nine months (as of January 2022) running CentOS Stream 8. Maybe I have a problem understading Red Hat/RHEL culture and how it differs from what happens over at Fedora (or Debian, for that matter).

Or maybe Red Hat is kind of broken. Honestly, I don’t know. And that’s a problem.

When I first looked at CentOS Stream, I wanted something that at least resembled what a Fedora LTS would look like. I thought I had that in Stream, and at one point I believed all the Red Hatters who say things will be better in all ways (especially procedures and infrastructure) when CentOS Stream 9 is released. I’m sure it will be somewhat better, but let’s wait and see.

I did participate in Stream development through filing bug reports, and the procedure is exactly like that for Fedora, where my experiences have always been positive.

At this point, I wish the CentOS team all the best, and I hope all the problems with Stream 8 will be in the rear-view mirror when Stream 9 really gets going. For me, “gets going” means a lot more packages in EPEL. As of Jan. 5, 2022, there is too much missing from EPEL to really run a desktop.