The Software Collections ( SCL ) Repository
Enterprise Linux distributions are designed to be around for a long time. They are also designed to maintain ABI/API compatibility over the lifetime of the distribution, so that you can create your own custom programs on day 1 of the release and have them work as long as the distribution is supported. For CentOS that is currently 10 years. This means, however, that by the end of the lifetime of a distribution, the programming language or database versions (think php, python, perl or mysql, postgresql) included are getting very old compared to those that are available in "cutting edge" Linux distributions.
For many enterprise users, that is OK ... Think a major retailer who spent $10 Million to create an inventory solution using the default languages available and they want to leverage that solution securely for the entire 10 year lifespan to get a return on their programming investment. But many enterprises also want to be able to create software with newer programs as well. They want both stability AND newer software. They want it to work alongside the other system software so they can choose slow and steady or newer software for development.
Enter Software Collections, also known as SCLs. As an example, SCLs allow you to run the default python that comes with CentOS (so yum and other system tools in CentOS work), while also allowing a newer version of python to be installed alongside the default python for use creating and running software with newer requirements.
2. Gaining Access to SCLs
In order to gain access to SCLs for CentOS, you need to install the CentOS Linux Software Collections release file. It is part of the CentOS Extras repository (x86_64 only) and can be installed with this command:
yum install centos-release-scl
3. Available Collections
The available collections are mostly tracked here.
These are managed by the SCL Special Interest Group (SIG).
4. Installing Software Collections
The following documentation explains the usage of Red Hat Software Collections:
See the details about the SIG for the applicable mailing lists and any bug tracking required.