Ever since RedHat pulled the plug on the CentOS project, the opensource community has been working tirelessly round the clock to provide formidable alternatives to CentOS 8 which was renowned for its stability, reliability, and all the goodies derived from RHEL. And their efforts have paid off.
One of the CentOS alternatives is AlmaLinux, a
1:1 binary compatible replacement for RHEL distributions. At the time of writing this, the latest release is AlmaLinux 8.4, released in the wake of the RHEL 8.4 release. We have a detailed guide on how to install AlmaLinux 8.4.
The other cool alternative to CentOS is Rocky Linux which is developed and maintained by the Rocky Software Foundation. The project is led by Gregory Kurtzer, one of the founders of the CentOS project.
The name ‘Rocky’ is a tribute to Rocky McGaugh, one of the co-founders of CentOS, who is no longer with us. Rocky Linux is a fork of CentOS and by all means, resembles CentOS in almost all aspects.
Rocky Linux is described as a Community Enterprise Operating System crafted to be 100% bug-for-bug compatible with Enterprise Linux, given the shift in direction that CentOS has taken.
Currently, the latest release is Rocky Linux 8.3 RC1 (Release Candidate 1) which is available for both x86_64 and aarch64 system architectures.
A release candidate is a near-stable release and is mostly provided for testing & evaluation purposes. The goal of a release candidate is to test and evaluate the functionality and features of an OS and submit any existing software bugs. Simply put, a release candidate is a beta version of a future stable release. Rocky Linux 8.3 RC1 is a beta release of the next stable version of Rocky Linux.
Being a release candidate, Rocky Linux 8.3 RC1 should only be used on your PC or even in a virtual machine for testing & evaluation purposes.
Note: Under no circumstances should this release be used in production environments, and the reason is pretty much obvious. Being a beta version, it’s likely to be riddled with bugs, and instability issues that may impact your production workloads.
Notable software packages include Linux kernel 4.18, GNOME 3.32, dnf 4.2, rpm 4.14, sqlite 3.26, samba 4.12.3, Glibc 2.28, and libgcc 8.3.
Download Rocky Linux 8.3 RC1 DVD ISO Images
Rocky Linux 8.3 RC1 provides the following ISO images. You can find all of them on the Rocky Linux download page.
Being a release candidate, most users cannot wait for the stable version for production workloads and which, hopefully, will be made available in popular cloud platforms for cloud deployments. We are pretty sure that the Rocky Linux team is working round the clock to provide an enterprise-grade stable server version in the not-so-far future.
In the weeks and months to follows, developers and small businesses will be forever grateful following the demise of CentOS 8 whose support will unceremoniously be cut short by end of 2021.
For additional assistance, check out the Rocky Linux forum.
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