cPanel on older Linux distros: Extend your deadline, at a cost


You can literally buy yourself more time to run cPanel on CentOS or CloudLinux 7 before they fall out of support.

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If you're running cPanel on CentOS, or on a similar Linux distro like CloudLinux 7, then it hopefully isn't news to you that these operating systems are on their last legs. Something you may not know, though, is that cPanel is now offering to support CentOS for a little while longer. At a cost.

CentOS was once the only option for running cPanel on Linux, but the clock started ticking on this arrangement when CentOS entered its end-of-life (EOL) phase in 2021. There were twists in the story since then but the important facts are:

The ELS will kick in automatically for all qualifying instances of cPanel from the start of next month. The program's costs will follow a month later, from the start of August. The only way to opt out is by moving off CentOS/CloudLinux 7.

Screenshot of cPanel Tools menu.

Keep an eye on your 2025 cPanel budget

Anything that involves cPanel and license costs is worth watching very carefully. WebPros have been testing out their own pricing power for years now.

As far back as 2021 we warned that cPanel price rises will keep coming and this January duly marked the fifth consecutive year of annual hikes. So believe it when cPanel say that "this [ELS] fee is subject to increase after six months (January 1, 2025)". We expect that both cPanel itself and the ELS program will get more expensive at the same time.

The fact is that cPanel is a sticky system. Once you're using it, it's hard to switch away. This is why WebPros know that they can tighten the price ratchet every year. It's easier for customers to swallow a few more dollars in costs than to make major changes to their servers and possibly their entire business. The ELS, which will essentially be a compulsory add-on for some customers, will end up costing whatever WebPros think they can charge for it.

Perhaps this will be the final nudge that some cPanel users need to un-stick themselves.

Your three options

There are a trio of paths for you to choose between. They all involve some technical decision-making, so remember that you can always get in touch with us for advice and guidance.

Firstly, you could avoid the ELS but stay with cPanel by migrating your servers to a new distro this month. In-place upgrades are possible, but in a lot of cases the better option is to make a fresh start by spinning up a new server.

Secondly, you could join, and pay for, the ELS program by staying where you are for now. This is only a deadline extension, not a solution to the bigger problem of CentOS going away. You'll still need a longer term plan that you can put in place before the start of 2026. Remember that the cost of this option throughout 2025 is up in the air.

Thirdly, and most decisively, you could move away from cPanel and WebPros' ever-rising prices. There are a lot of alternatives to consider, and every case is different, so the best first move is probably to talk with us to understand what's possible.

Time keeps ticking

As we write this, there are less than four weeks before CentOS is officially out of support and the ELS program begins. There are less than two months before WebPros will start charging for ELS. And it's only a year-and-half before this program, which is only stopgap measure, will expire.

The end of CentOS has been a fact for most of this decade. If it's only just starting to feel real, it's time to put some serious thought into what comes next. Need help? Just ask.

Image modified from a photo by PublicDomainPictures on Pixabay

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