Information Services

Overview of Linux Operating System support

The IS Unix Section provide support for Red Hat Linux and its derivatives i.e. CentOS and Scientific Linux.

We are also able to answer general questions about other Linux systems but may not be able to provide the same level of support.

Red Hat Linux

Red Hat Linux is a commercial product and requires licensing. A Red Hat licence provides access to the Red Hat network allowing you to manage your Red Hat services and apply patches. Information Services have dealt with the following company:


Alternatively, if cost is an issue or you need early access to the latest features, there is a community-based supported operating system called CentOS. This operating system will be developed and maintained by a group of volunteer Linux developers. Information Services would recommend this release for servers and end-user desktop use where critical support cover is not required. Alternatively, we also support the use of Scientific Linux, which is a clone of the commercial Red Hat release without some of the tools and licensing restrictions and is aimed at research users.

Scientific Linux

Scientific Linux is a variant of Red Hat Linux that has been developed and maintained by research institutes and universities predominately working within the high-energy physics community.

It is an almost identical copy of Red Hat, with only some Red Hat tools and images being left out. It is therefore ideal for server installations or general desktop use.

Scientific Linux is the operating system provided on the ECDF cluster and the Linux platform provided on the managed desktop service through LCFG. You can find out more about Scientific Linux on the Scientific Linux website.