AlmaLinux, the CloudLinux alternative to CentOS 8

CloudLinux developers released they have recently approved the name of "AlmaLinux" for the continued development of the CentOS 8 branch.

The project was originally called Lenix, but now it has been decided that AlmaLinux would be a more appropriate name to replace CentOS than Lenix Linux. The first version of the distribution kit is promised to be formed during the first quarter of 2021.

Like the classic CentOS 8, distribution will be based on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 base package and it will be fully compatible with RHEL binaries.

Users will be able to use AlmaLinux as a transparent replacement for CentOS 8, in addition to mentioning that the migration will be extremely easy.

Updates for the AlmaLinux distribution branch based on the RHEL 8 package foundation will be released until 2029.

About AlmaLinux

The main sponsor of the development is CloudLinux, that will provide resources and developers to the project. In general, is planning to spend a million dollars a year in the development of the project, despite the fact that the distribution will be absolutely free for all categories of users and will belong to the community to which the decision-making functions will be delegated.

The interaction and governance model from the AlmaLinux community will be built similar to the Fedora project and all developments will be published under free licenses.

The main issue for CentOS users, in the context of the transformation from classic CentOS to CentOS Stream, was the premature removal of support for CentOS 8.

When migrating their working systems to CentOS 8, users expected that the project support would last until 2029, but Red Hat decided to stop releasing updates at the end of 2021, leaving only the possibility of migrating to CentOS Stream, whose stability and compatibility with RHEL is questionable.

Apart from AlmaLinux, Rocky Linux and Oracle Linux are also positioned as alternatives to the old CentOS. Rocky Linux is developed entirely by the community, it does not depend on the interests of individual companies, but it may lack resources and enthusiasts.

Oracle Linux is tied to Oracle, which can rethink the game at any time. AlmaLinux is trying to find the optimal balance between corporate support and community interests; On the one hand, CloudLinux resources and developers, who have extensive experience in supporting RHEL forks, will participate in the development, and on the other hand, the project will be transparent and under the control of the community.

"The disappearance of the stable version of CentOS left a very large gap in the Linux community that led CloudLinux to step in and launch a CentOS alternative," said Igor Seletskiy, CEO and founder of CloudLinux Inc. "For CloudLinux it was an obvious move - The Linux community needed it, and the CloudLinux OS is a CentOS clone with a significant pedigree, including over 200.000 active server instances ...

Meanwhile Facebook and Twitter have opted for CentOS Stream and they have proposed the creation of a Hyperescale working group. This group will focus on the development of solutions based on CentOS Stream and EPEL for large infrastructures such as Facebook and Twitter.

Team members will develop specialized sets of packages and tools to deploy CentOS Stream on these infrastructures.

The group's tasks include backporting new versions of some major projects, such as the Facebook-backed systemd port for CentOS, based on Fedora packages.

These backports can be used as a transparent replacement for the packages provided in the main CentOS Stream distribution.

Another objective of the group is to organize large-scale tests of functional changes in the distribution to simplify the integration in the distribution of innovations, such as copy-on-write support in DNF and RPM, which affect the entire package of packages.

This feature is currently being tested on Fedora, but the working group intends to make it possible to test this functionality in CentOS Stream-based production environments.


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