January 20 2022

AlmaLinux is the new LTS alternative distribution to RedHat RHEL 8 and CentOS 8

Let's see which CentOS 8 replacement to use after the End Of life in December 2021.

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SoulLinux is officially available. For the uninitiated, AlmaLinux is a new fork of RHEL, produced by the team of CloudLinux. Developed in close collaboration with the community, this new GNU / Linux distribution aims to fill the void left by Red Hat with the disposal of the CentOS project.

CloudLinux was born in 2009 to provide a customized RHEL / CentOS clone, ready to be installed on a server. The company's main product is the CloudLinux operating system, a fork that has been active for over ten years. More than 4.000 companies, including Dell, Liquid Web and 1 & 1, rely on the CloudLinux operating system who has a proven track record of building and maintaining a RHEL fork.

The AlmaLinux project, originally called lenix, was launched soon after Red Hat announced its farewell to CentOS in favor of CentOS Stream. Like CentOS, AlmaLinux is a community-based build of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

The AlmaLinux operating system is an opportunity for us to channel our RHEL experience towards a Linux distribution that serves a wider community […] The AlmaLinux operating system will always be free and open source.

these are the words of CloudLinux.

The underlying problem, Redhat's proprietary IBM policy.

As we had anticipated in this article some time ago IBM completes historic $ 34 billion acquisition of Linux Red Hat after IBM bought RedHat, the whole community started worrying about the future of RedHat derived distributions like Fedora and CentOS and are concerned that IBM will take advantage of their position and commercial policies.

Many of these concerns are related to IBM's aggressive commercial policies. For example, IBM has a history of taking legal action against companies that use IBM patents without paying "royalties". They also have a history of exorbitant fees for their patents or refusing to sell products for which they own patents. Additionally, IBM is known to sue other companies for patent infringements, regardless of any actual wrongdoing on their part. This can be seen in the event that the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) has dismissed an antitrust lawsuit filed against Google by Oracle. These concerns are well founded, as it is completely in the realm of the possibility that future versions of Redhat and derivatives could be modified in a way that further injures the proprietary software community and / or creates roadblocks for users seeking to exercise their right. to modify and share the software as set forth in the GPLv2 license. Some have even speculated that this is precisely why IBM bought Red Hat in the first place: to undermine its main competitor, CentOS.

The change of RedHat and the consequent death of CentOS.

Red Hat's decision was a death sentence for CentOS. As one of the most used Linux distributions, many people, myself included, have warned that if this change happened it would be the end of CentOS. The main problem with CentOS Stream is that it does not have durable distributions with ten-year End Of Life and compatible with those of RHEL, and the problem of having too much new and not completely stable software as was the case with RedHat RHEL. That's why I've always argued that CentOS should remain what it is now, a distribution based on RHEL releases every 6 months but more stable and compatible. This way users can update their systems more frequently than every two years but still be able to update when they need to using the same RHEL repositories.

CentOS co-founder Greg Kurtzer is one of the many community members who are not happy with Red Hat's decision to shut down CentOS Linux. Prior to CentOS, Kurtzer ran a Red Hat rebuild project called Chaos Linux. Kurtzer's work merged with that of Rocky McGough and Lance Davis to form the CentOS Project.

Comparison between Centos Linux and CentOS Stream

There seems to be a lot of confusion between CentOS Linux and CentOS Stream. They are both rebuilds of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), but they are different entities: The CentOS Linux versions are based on the currently released RHEL version. They contain large batches of updates from the previous release, containing all security and bug fixes, and also include some new package versions. Product changes made by Red Hat after a CentOS Linux release has been branched will not be included in that release. CentOS Stream releases are based on the content that is planned for future releases of RHEL. They may include several small batches of updates between minor releases. Product changes made by Red Hat after a CentOS Stream release has been branched may be included in subsequent streams.

AlmaLinux as a replacement for CentOS.


AlmaLinux was announced in early 2019, but only recently has the company behind it started promoting it more actively. This is partly because the old CentOS was practically abandoned by its developers. The 1: 1 fork of RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) is designed to fill in the gaps left behind. One of the biggest complaints about CentOS was that it wasn't a fully certified and supported solution. This is certainly not something that can be said about AlmaLinux, which will receive regular updates from CloudLinux and will have its ISO images hosted on the official website. It is also worth noting that this distribution comes with long-term support and will be updated according to the strictest security guidelines.

There was a need for a stable downstream version of RHEL. Red Hat has other plans for CentOS and so I'm happy that a worthy successor has joined in to fill the gap left by the latter.

these are the words of Simon Phippspresident of the Open Source Initiative (OH YEAH).

To date AlmaLinux is probably the best replacement for CentOS.

Migration from CentOS 8 to AlmaLinux

In addition to the stable version, on the AlmaLinux GitHub account, there is also a script written in Bash called "almalinux-deploy.sh“, Which allows you to switch from your CentOS distribution to AlmaLinux without having to reinstall the distribution from scratch.

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