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Here is the first free open source alternative to CentOS

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(Image credit: Shutterstock.com / Gorodenkoff)

Server OS vendor CloudLinux has released the first Beta release of its CentOS fork, right on cue. 

Like many, CloudLinux too was ticked off by Red Hat’s move to divert its resources to the CentOS Stream distro. In response, the company announced it would pump a million dollars per year into a 100% binary compatible clone, which it later renamed AlmaLinux. 

“As we already maintain CloudLinux OS, we plan to release a free, open-sourced, community-driven, 1:1 binary compatible fork of RHEL 8 (and future releases) in the Q1 of 2021,” CloudLinux wrote in a blog back when in December, 2020. The company has now put up the first beta release for community testing, with “most RHEL packages”.

Final release out soon

"As promised, the main development and maintenance were done by the CloudLinux team. And now we appeal to the community for its contributions," said CloudLinux's founder and CEO, Igor Seletskiy. 

"In the spirit of the community-driven initiative, we now require assistance with testing, documentation, support, and planning the future roadmap."

In addition to sponsoring the development and maintenance of the fork, CloudLinux vouched to create and foster a community around the OS complete with a governing board made up of community members. The company had also announced plans to open source their build and testing toolchain to encourage community participation.

While the developers have put up a bug tracker, the project will only put up the finalized source code on GitHub once the stable release has been completed.

AlmaLinux is available in three installation images. There’s a network installation image, a minimal image with some packages for offline installation, and a full installation DVD image with nearly all the packages. 

The final release of AlmaLinux is planned for the end of Q1 2021.

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.