AlmaLinux is an open-source, community supported fork of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). It is meant to be a replacement of the popular CentOS platform, but the recent fiasco has forced users to rethink their decision and find alternatives to CentOS.

Now, it looks like AlmaLinux is available for testing!

Fun Fact: The term “Alma” in AlmaLinux comes from the Latin word for “Soul” and earlier the project was code-named “Project Lenix”

CloudLinux is behind the initial development and maintenance of AlmaLinux. They have announced that they will be backing AlmaLinux with a $1 Million annual sponsorship and a support commitment through 2029. They are also aiming to keep it free and open-source forever with no licenses and usage restrictions.

They are already a known provider of custom OSes and support based on RHEL e.g. CloudLinux OS, CloudLinux OS+, and providing Extended Lifecycle Support for CentOS 6. CloudLinux has been in this industry for more than 11 years and when they announced that they will be offering a completely open-source and restriction-free CentOS alternative we were excited, and now it looks like they have started delivering.

As the project is community-driven, CloudLinux’s founder and CEO, Igor Seletskiy appealed to the community for contributing towards the development of AlmaLinux by assisting in documentation, testing, support and planning the future releases.

The community-driven part is all set with their GitHub organization being made live, along with a bug tracker forum and their already established Subreddits r/AlmaLinux, r/ProjectLenix along with a Slack workspace, which is in the works.

The beta version of AlmaLinux has also been released, it is strictly meant for testing purposes and users are advised not to implement it on a live production system. You can get the installation ISO images from their official repository.

Three installation ISO images are on offer:

For information regarding installation, FAQs, and release notes, you can check AlmaLinux Wiki.

Wrapping Up

After CentOS switched to a rolling release model and was rebranded to CentOS Stream, there were calls for a completely open-source, no strings attached alternative that will be able to offer the same set of features and performance if not more.

AlmaLinux seems to be on the path of being a strong contender, and the number of other RHEL-based distributions that offer a similar set of functions and features are also on the rise.

Would AlmaLinux prove to be a worthy CentOS alternative? Will it be able to pick up the Mjölnir left by CentOS?

Sourav Rudra

FOSS Enthusiast, Gaming Rigs/Workstation Enthusiast & Builder.