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AlmaLinux vs Rocky Linux: Comparing CentOS Alternatives for Server Deployments


With the discontinuation of CentOS's traditional release model, the open-source community rallied to develop alternative solutions that uphold the same principles of stability, compatibility, and community support. In this blog post, we will delve into the comparison between two prominent CentOS alternatives, AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux. As enterprises seek reliable platforms for their server deployments, understanding the similarities, differences, and unique features of these distributions becomes crucial. Join us as we explore the AlmaLinux vs. Rocky Linux debate, helping you make an informed decision for your enterprise infrastructure.

The Origins and Founders:

AlmaLinux is brought to you by CloudLinux, a company renowned for its expertise in the hosting industry. CloudLinux created AlmaLinux as a direct successor to CentOS, aiming to provide a robust, community-supported operating system that maintains binary compatibility with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).

Rocky Linux:
Rocky Linux was founded by Gregory Kurtzer, the original creator of CentOS. Recognizing the demand for a stable CentOS alternative, Kurtzer established Rocky Linux with the goal of delivering a free, community-driven, and open-source distribution that closely aligns with RHEL.

Compatibility with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL):
Both AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux share a core objective of achieving binary compatibility with RHEL. This compatibility ensures seamless migration and the ability to run applications and packages originally designed for RHEL. Enterprises can confidently deploy their existing CentOS infrastructure or build new systems with assurance.

Development and Support:

CloudLinux's backing of AlmaLinux ensures the availability of commercial support options. They offer long-term support (LTS) and extended lifecycle support (ELS) plans for enterprises seeking additional assistance. This professional support can be invaluable when maintaining mission-critical systems.

Rocky Linux:
Rocky Linux follows a community-driven model, relying on the collective efforts of individuals and organizations worldwide. While community support is readily available through forums and various channels, partnerships with service providers are underway to introduce commercial support options, catering to enterprise requirements.

Release Model and Stability:

AlmaLinux adopts a rolling-release model similar to CentOS Stream, providing frequent updates and security patches. This approach ensures access to the latest features and improvements promptly. However, thorough testing and validation are crucial to maintaining stability in production environments.

Rocky Linux:
Rocky Linux takes a more conservative approach, aiming for stability and predictability. It follows a traditional point release model, delivering well-tested updates at regular intervals. This approach prioritizes stability, making it an attractive choice for enterprises seeking a secure and reliable platform.

Community and Ecosystem:
Both AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux thrive on vibrant and growing communities. The support and contributions from users and developers worldwide play a pivotal role in shaping the development and direction of these distributions. Both distributions offer active forums, documentation, and community initiatives to foster collaboration and provide resources to users.