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CentOS Vs ClearOS, which one is better – this is what I want to ask you here. Planning to start a new venture and need to decide upon the right choice between ClearOS Vs CentOS. Hope I will get the help here.

Hi Guys,
Trust you are doing good there.

We are planning to setup our office, with a team size of around 15-20 people. My first priority has always remained Linux and I am a constant user of Fedora, CentOS and Zentyal. Honestly speaking, Fedora and Zentyle could never attract me, due to the complicated environment they prefer. So apparently, I decided to go with CentOS, just before I heard about a new kid in industry – ClearOS.

A friend of mine suggested me to stick with CentOS while another friend has a long list of ClearOS features. I am familiar with CentOS and has no experience at all about ClearOS. Perhaps this is the reason I am asking this question at ClearOS community, because I feel people here will have some good knowledge about this OS.

So here are a few questions I want to ask:

Ques-1: I have a Fedora workstation. So if I install ClearOS on it, will it offer the same functionality as CentOS?
Ques-2: Does ClearOS has same amount of inbuilt features like CentOS? I don’t want to purchase one app after another to run my system smoothly.
Ques-3: Some says, ClearOS is just a binary replacement for CentOS, and it also works as a security distro and firewall, but doesn’t feature any desktop. What does that mean?
Ques-4: CentOS requires desktop configuration – easy to understand. Then how will ClearOS work?
Ques-5: I read somewhere that ClearOS is a web-based interface which takes some time to understand. But once you are familiar, it is the best in the industry. Is it true?
Ques-6: ClearOS has many features, inbuilt. Ok, but why should I go for a new platform when I can install all those features on CentOS?
Ques-7: I also read somewhere that the web server of ClearOS is very powerful. But if you need it just once, it’s not for you. In case you need it multiple times, ClearOS is much better than CentOS.
Ques-8: But does this also mean that why you should think about installing outside apps on CentOS when ClearOS offers you all of them inbuilt.
Ques-9: It allows you remote access – good thing. You always have to remotely access it – bad thing. Which one is more considerable?
Ques-10: Can I use it as a Home Cloud? If yes, then that would be too cool.

Sorry, I made the list a bit long, but it’s a critical decision which I need to take. Any help, and any answer is highly appreciated.

Thanks in Advance,
Arianna S Bates
Tuesday, April 19 2016, 01:15 PM
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Responses (9)
  • Accepted Answer

    Friday, April 22 2016, 12:07 PM - #Permalink
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    Arianna S Bates wrote:

    Thanks guys for your valuable suggestions and answers.

    Still, the main question remains the same - which one is better, ClearOS or CentOS.

    Both are good, but if you had to choose one, which one would you go for?

    Thanks again.
    It depends on what you want it for. If you want workstations and desktops it has to be CentOS as ClearOS can't do it. For a Server/Router/Firewall/e-mail services I'd use ClearOS because of its integration and ease of set up. Having said that I've never used CentOS
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  • Accepted Answer

    Friday, April 22 2016, 11:39 AM - #Permalink
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    Thanks guys for your valuable suggestions and answers.

    Still, the main question remains the same - which one is better, ClearOS or CentOS.

    Both are good, but if you had to choose one, which one would you go for?

    Thanks again.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Wednesday, April 20 2016, 08:06 PM - #Permalink
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    Arianna,

    Perhaps a good way for you to understand what ClearOS is would be to try it out:

    https://demo1.clearos.com:81

    username: get
    password: clear

    This demo is a ClearOS server in the typical way that it is configured and run, from a browser. As you can see in the demo, the main use for it doesn't have a desktop but rather it is interacted with by desktops to allow for IT tasks such as web hosting, file serving, centralized authentication, and other IT tasks.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Wednesday, April 20 2016, 04:49 PM - #Permalink
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    Arianna S Bates wrote:

    First of all, thanks a ton Dave for your valuable time. I really appreciate your efforts.

    "Most don't even attach a keyboard, mouse, or even monitor to ClearOS after the initial install."

    If I do not have a keyboard, mouse or monitor, how will I operate the system???

    Sorry if this question looks childish, but could not stop asking.


    This is from the main page and explains what ClearOS does.


    After installation you don't need a keyboard, mouse or monitor to control ClearOS. You can administrate ClearOS via the webui from another workstation.



    What is ClearOS?

    ClearOS is an operating system for your Server, Network, and Gateway systems. It is designed for homes, small to medium businesses, and distributed environments. ClearOS is commonly known as the Next Generation Small Business Server, while including indispensable Gateway and Networking functionality. It delivers a powerful IT solution with an elegant user interface that is completely web-based. Simply put.. ClearOS is the new way of delivering IT.

    How Does IT Work?

    ClearOS is agile and versatile. Designed primarily for deployment on server and network devices, it can also be deployed virtually, or can be deployed as the host OS to other virtual machines. ClearOS features Marketplace, which provides a turn-key app installation engine for quickly scaling the functionality of your server.


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  • Accepted Answer

    Wednesday, April 20 2016, 12:20 PM - #Permalink
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    Arianna S Bates wrote:
    ...If I do not have a keyboard, mouse or monitor, how will I operate the system???
    Sorry if this question looks childish, but could not stop asking.


    Mainly you would control the system via webconfig, or if you're an "advanced" user you will also do certain things via commandline by ssh'ing in from another system using putty or something of that nature.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Jim witt
    Jim witt
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    Wednesday, April 20 2016, 08:50 AM - #Permalink
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    Difference between ClearOS and CentOS? ClearOS is sort of security distro that serves as a firewall and features no desktop. CentOS is essentially Redhat Linux, but without the technical support. To contrast, they are both based on Redhat.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Wednesday, April 20 2016, 08:47 AM - #Permalink
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    First of all, thanks a ton Dave for your valuable time. I really appreciate your efforts.

    "Most don't even attach a keyboard, mouse, or even monitor to ClearOS after the initial install."

    If I do not have a keyboard, mouse or monitor, how will I operate the system???

    Sorry if this question looks childish, but could not stop asking.
    The reply is currently minimized Show
  • Accepted Answer

    Tuesday, April 19 2016, 10:47 PM - #Permalink
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    Arianna S Bates wrote:

    Ques-3: Some says, ClearOS is just a binary replacement for CentOS, and it also works as a security distro and firewall, but doesn’t feature any desktop. What does that mean?
    Ques-4: CentOS requires desktop configuration – easy to understand. Then how will ClearOS work?


    ClearOS is intended to be used as a server. It comes equipped with a web-based interface that lets you admin these server functions from another computer. As such, it doesn't require any desktop.
    *IF* you intend to install third-party applications on ClearOS which benefit from having a desktop, that is possible, but not supported. I am investigating ClearOS7 Business right now and have installed a desktop...but only because of a third-party app and the fact that I am the only linux person in my company. The Windows people have to see that they can interact with the application, and that means having a GUI. Outside of my narrow circumstance, you wouldn't put a desktop on ClearOS. I know going without one seems odd at first but you don't need it for the ClearOS apps.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Tuesday, April 19 2016, 04:49 PM - #Permalink
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    First, ClearOS is not intended to be a desktop OS. Second, ClearOS is based off of CentOS and many aspects between the two are essentially the same.


    Ques-1: I have a Fedora workstation. So if I install ClearOS on it, will it offer the same functionality as CentOS?
    Yes and no. Because ClearOS is a server-centric OS, you would need to jump through many hoops to install a desktop workstation using ClearOS. In addition, our focus is not on the desktop so you'd be better off using a Desktop-centric Linux distribution to replace a workstation.

    Ques-2: Does ClearOS has same amount of inbuilt features like CentOS? I don’t want to purchase one app after another to run my system smoothly.
    Yes, ClearOS is based on CentOS and uses some of the same repositories if you turn them.

    Ques-3: Some says, ClearOS is just a binary replacement for CentOS, and it also works as a security distro and firewall, but doesn’t feature any desktop. What does that mean?
    No, ClearOS lays server, gateway, and networking features onto CentOS. We replace certain packages with others that are designed to give a seamless server integration rather than a collection of disjoined packages. ClearOS makes setting up Server, Network, and Gateway functions typical for Small, Medium, and Distributed businesses. We don't 'feature' desktop applications but we have all the same ones as CentOS. We don't focus our efforts, however, into the improvement, bug support, or market differentiation to CentOS on the desktop.

    Ques-4: CentOS requires desktop configuration – easy to understand. Then how will ClearOS work?
    CentOS does not require a desktop configuration. The minimal configuration of CentOS does not contain a Desktop. That is basically how ClearOS comes as well in regards to the Desktop. You have to start with a minimal platform instead of having the Desktop from the start. Most administrators only manipulate ClearOS from a web browser and a terminal shell. Most don't even attach a keyboard, mouse, or even monitor to ClearOS after the initial install.

    Ques-5: I read somewhere that ClearOS is a web-based interface which takes some time to understand. But once you are familiar, it is the best in the industry. Is it true?
    The web-based interface is for use to manipulate services and features of ClearOS. For example, from your Fedora workstation, you could browse to the IP address of the ClearOS server on port 81 and install services like Plex Media Server, Windows Networking, Attack Detector and others that would turn your ClearOS Server into your personal media server that has defenses against attack from the outside.

    Ques-6: ClearOS has many features, inbuilt. Ok, but why should I go for a new platform when I can install all those features on CentOS?
    If you are looking for a server OS the reason for choosing ClearOS is because of the tight integration of services. For example, we use the same or similar packages to CentOS for OpenLDAP, Samba, Squid, and Dansguardian. But if you install these on CentOS, you will need to be a subject matter expert in order to get the Samba to use the OpenLDAP as its backend directory. Then to further integrate that with Squid so that you can authenticate Windows users who are authenticated to the domain to transparently authentication via single sign-on to squid and then further sort that web-traffic by group in Dansguardian would take you hours, and hours and then you are supporting the configuration all on your own. With ClearOS, this type of tight integration is standard. Simply install a few free apps from the marketplace and they will auto-magically work together.

    Ques-7: I also read somewhere that the web server of ClearOS is very powerful. But if you need it just once, it’s not for you. In case you need it multiple times, ClearOS is much better than CentOS.
    The web server on ClearOS is the same as on CentOS; namely, Apache. They essentially work the same. On CentOS you will only manage it through command line. On ClearOS you can use the web interface in addition to command line.

    Ques-8: But does this also mean that why you should think about installing outside apps on CentOS when ClearOS offers you all of them inbuilt.
    The core apps are the same. The key difference is that on ClearOS, many of those apps are delivered pre-configured for the purposes of home and business use.

    Ques-9: It allows you remote access – good thing. You always have to remotely access it – bad thing. Which one is more considerable?
    Access is under your control. You can leave remote access turned on or turn it off at your discretion.

    Ques-10: Can I use it as a Home Cloud? If yes, then that would be too cool.
    Yes, I mentioned some apps that can be used such as Plex Media Server which enables you to be your own Hulu/Netflix-esque cloud. You can also install ownCloud which allows you to be your own Dropbox-esque service. There are several types of VPN as well mail solutions. You can tie all that together with Dynamic DNS so that even if your ISP only gives you dynamic addressing, you can get to your home-cloud.

    I cannot stress enough that ClearOS is NOT a desktop OS. It is a server, networking, and gateway OS that works like a platform for applications and services. It is based on CentOS.
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