Few days ago the release of the beta version of the AlmaLinux 9 distribution was announced, built from the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 branch packages and containing all changes proposed in this release.
The distribution is identical to RHEL in functionality, except for the rebranding and removal of RHEL-specific packages such as redhat-*, insights-client, and subscribe-manager-migration*. AlmaLinux is free for all categories of users, developed with the participation of the community and using a management model similar to the organization of the Fedora project.
Main new features of AlmaLinux 9
In the beta version we can find that distribution migration to Python 3 completed so the default branch is Python 3.9 and Python 2 has been deprecated.
The desktop is based on GNOME 40 and the GTK 4 library and in which the virtual desktops in Activity Summary mode have been changed to landscape orientation and are displayed as a continuous scrolling chain from left to right. Each desktop displayed in overview mode provides a visual representation of the available windows that dynamically scroll and expand as the user interacts. It provides a seamless transition between the list of programs and the virtual desktops.
GNOME has a power profiles daemon driver that provides the ability to switch between power saving mode, power balance mode, and maximum performance mode on the fly.
All audio streams have been moved to the PipeWire media server, which is now the default instead of PulseAudio and JACK. Using PipeWire allows you to bring professional audio processing capabilities into a regular desktop edition, get rid of fragmentation and unify audio infrastructure for different applications.
By default, GRUB boot menu is hidden if it is the only distro installed on the system and if the last boot was successful. To display the menu during boot, simply hold down the Shift key or the Esc or F8 key several times.
The updated security components are also highlighted, since now the distribution uses a new branch of the OpenSSL 3.0 cryptographic library. By default, more modern and secure cryptographic algorithms are enabled. The OpenSSH package has been updated to version 8.6p1. Cyrus SASL was moved to the GDBM backend instead of Berkeley DB. The NSS (Network Security Services) libraries no longer support the DBM (Berkeley DB) format. GnuTLS has been updated to version 3.7.2.
Significantly improved SELinux performance and reduced memory consumption, as support for setting "SELINUX=disabled" to disable SELinux in /etc/selinux/config has been removed (the specified setting now only disables policy loading, and in fact disabling SELinux functionality now requires passing "selinux=0 » to the kernel).
of the otherss changes that stand out:
- Added experimental support for WireGuard VPN.
- By default, SSH login as root is disabled.
- It is now recommended to use nftables to manage the firewall.
- A new mptcpd daemon is included to configure MPTCP (MultiPath TCP), using mptcpd makes it possible to configure MPTCP without using the iproute2 utility.
- Removed network scripts package, NetworkManager should be used to configure network connections.
- New versions of compilers and development tools included: GCC 11.2, LLVM/Clang 12.0.1, Rust 1.54, Go 1.16.6, Node.js 16, OpenJDK 17, Perl 5.32, PHP 8.0, Python 3.9, Ruby 3.0, Git 2.31 , Subversion 1.14, binutils 2.35, CMake 3.20.2, Maven 3.6, Ant 1.10.
- By default, Clang is used to build the QEMU emulator.
- SSSD (System Security Services Daemon) has increased log detail
- IMA support has been extended to verify the integrity of operating system components using digital signatures and hashing.
- By default, a single unified cgroup hierarchy (cgroup v2) is enabled.
- Added support for precise time synchronization based on the NTS protocol. The chrony NTP server has been updated to version 4.1.
- Provided experimental support for KTLS (kernel-level implementation of TLS), Intel SGX (software protection extensions), DAX (direct access) for ext4 and XFS, support for AMD SEV and SEV-ES in the KVM hypervisor.
Finally, if you are interested in knowing more about it, you can consult the details In the following link.
Get the AlmaLinux 9 beta
For those who are interested in being able to download this new version, they should know that the compilations offered they are supported for x86_64, ARM64, s390x, and ppc64le architectures in boot (780 MB), minimum (1,7 GB), and full image (8 GB) forms.
RHEL 9 and AlmaLinux 9 releases are expected in early May.