Information Services

Overview of Linux Operating System support

The IS Enterprise Services Section provide support for Red Hat Linux and its derivatives i.e. Rocky, Oracle Linux, 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 e.g. Ubuntu.

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:

Rocky Linux

Alternatively, if cost is an issue or you need early access to the latest features, there is a community-based supported operating system called Rocky. Information Services would recommend this release for servers and end-user desktop use where critical support cover is not required.

Rocky Linux website

Oracle Linux

We support Oracle Linux for particular database workloads e.g. Oracle or MySQL. Oracle Linux is derivative of Red Hat but it has an alternative kernel that is available as an option that provides for uninterruptible updates to the running kernel. It can currently be run without a commercial support contracts but Oracle will provide support contracts for it if that is required. 

Oracle Linux website


Due to changes in Red Hat, the CentOS release will no longer be developed and maintenance of the CentOS 7 releases will end in summer 2024. 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. You can find out more about Scientific Linux on the Scientific Linux website.