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Red Hat's Source Code Lockout Spells Disaster for CentOS Alternatives: Rocky Linux and AlmaLinux in Trouble?

Red Hat's new move means that RHEL-source code is only accessible to users with subscriptions. What do you think about this?

red hat cent os

Red Hat is known for its offerings, such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), CentOS, OpenShift, and more.

While they are still a good part of the open-source and Linux, they do not have a clean reputation with decisions affecting the rest of the community. For instance, the decision to introduce CentOS Stream as an upstream to RHEL and kill off Cent OS.

Also, the Red Hat layoffs were pretty recent.

What's Happening: In a recent announcement, Red Hat announced that CentOS Streamwill now be the only repository for RHEL-related source code releases 😲

They are doing away with publishing sources for RHEL on, and their reason for this move is the following:

The engagement around CentOS Stream, the engineering levels of investment, and the new priorities we’re addressing for customers and partners now make maintaining separate, redundant, repositories inefficient.

They also clarified that this move wouldn't affect the CentOS Project, CentOS Stream or CentOS SIGs.

Furthermore, Red Hat's existing customers and partners will be able to access RHEL sources via the customer/partner portals, according to their subscriptions.

Will this move affect RHEL-based distros?

Yes, the likes of Rocky Linux, AlmaLinux, and Oracle Linux are some RHEL-based distros that come to mind.

Considering the selling point of these CentOS replacements is being 1:1 compatible with RHEL. And Red Hat's move makes CentOS Stream source code accessible to the public, which is not the same as RHEL (probably with a different kernel version and less stable?).

However, the open-source developer GloriousEggroll mentions that the developer subscription to RHEL is free. So, access to RHEL source code is still possible but inconvenient?

The folks over at AlmaLinux have already announced that there is no need to panic, and users can look forward to their plans after they have a clearer understanding of how they can sort this out with Red Hat.

It's good to see that they are communicating well with their users; we should keep an eye out for their updates regarding this situation to clarify what happens next.

You can go through the Red Hat announcement blog to check what they mentioned.

💬 What do you think of this move by Red Hat? Are you confused about it? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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