The Rise of AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux: Why They're Outshining CentOS Print

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The world of Linux has been buzzing lately with the rise of two new distributions: AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux. These CentOS alternatives have gained popularity and generated significant interest within the open-source community. But why are they trending more than CentOS itself? To understand this, we need to delve into the background of CentOS and explore the reasons for the emergence of these new contenders.

The CentOS Shift

CentOS, a free and open-source alternative to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), has long been the go-to choice for enterprises and users seeking a stable, community-driven distribution with strong commercial support. However, in December 2020, Red Hat announced a major shift in its strategy for CentOS. The CentOS project would transition from CentOS Linux to CentOS Stream, which would now serve as the upstream (development) branch for RHEL.

This change sparked concerns among CentOS users, as CentOS Stream would no longer provide the same level of stability as the previous CentOS releases. Instead, it would become a continuously delivered platform that could introduce potential issues for mission-critical applications. This decision left many users searching for a suitable alternative to CentOS.

Enter AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux

In response to the demand for a stable, RHEL-compatible distribution, two new projects emerged: AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux.

  1. AlmaLinux AlmaLinux, developed by CloudLinux, is a free, open-source, community-driven distribution designed as a 1:1 binary compatible fork of RHEL. It aims to fill the void left by CentOS, providing users with a stable, enterprise-grade operating system. CloudLinux, with its long history of offering extended support and commercial services for RHEL-based distributions, brings a level of trust and reliability to the project.

  2. Rocky Linux Rocky Linux, created by Gregory Kurtzer, the original founder of CentOS, is another free, open-source, community-supported distribution designed to be a RHEL-compatible alternative. With its strong roots in the CentOS project, Rocky Linux aims to continue the original mission of CentOS, offering a stable and reliable platform for users seeking an enterprise-ready distribution.

Why AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux are Trending More Than CentOS

  1. Stability and Predictability With CentOS shifting towards a rolling-release model as CentOS Stream, the demand for a stable and predictable RHEL alternative has increased. Both AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux are designed to address this need by offering a stable, enterprise-grade operating system that closely mirrors RHEL releases.

  2. Strong Community Support The open-source community has embraced both AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux, with many developers and users actively contributing to their growth and success. This strong community support has accelerated the development and adoption of these new distributions.

  3. Trust and Familiarity AlmaLinux, backed by the well-established CloudLinux, and Rocky Linux, with its close ties to the original CentOS project, both offer a sense of trust and familiarity to users who were previously reliant on CentOS. These factors have played a significant role in their rapid rise in popularity.


The sudden shift in CentOS's direction created an opportunity for new RHEL-compatible alternatives to emerge. AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux have quickly filled this gap, capturing the attention of the open-source community and offering users a stable, reliable, and familiar option for their enterprise needs. With strong community support and a clear focus on stability, it's no surprise that AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux are trending more than CentOS.

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