back to article RHEL, RHEL, RHEL, fancy that: Rocky Linux would-be CentOS replacement hits RC1 milestone

The Rocky Linux project, kicked off by original CentOS founder Gregory Kurtzer, has released RC1 of its distribution, which aims to be 100 per cent compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Rocky Linux was founded almost at the same moment when Red Hat, along with the CentOS board, stated last December that it was shifting its …

  1. Roger Kynaston Silver badge


    Hopefully they will have a full release in time for me to upgrade my home server from Centos 7.

  2. wolfetone Silver badge

    You don't get much of an error message when something goes wrong in Rocky Linux, you just get a window pop up saying "Get up ya' bum. Mickey loves ya"

  3. Jay 2

    Hmm, I think I might take this for a test drive in the near future. Will play at home to get an idea (though to be honest I just want it to do what CentOS 8 does for me now), then maybe see how the appetite at work is. As so far for various reasons the front-runner is Oracle Linux, but if possible I'd like to avoid that where we can as we know you can trust Oracle about as far as you can throw one of Larry's yachts.

    1. Tom Chiverton 1

      You can trust them to come along and "audit" you, which means they make up a number you owe them as a starting point for the shake down negotiations.

      1. TVU

        "You can trust them to come along and "audit" you, which means they make up a number you owe them as a starting point for the shake down negotiations"

        ^ Exactly this, and that's why I have nothing to do with them or their products because they are potentially a significant liability and the very last thing you need is an unwanted surprise communication from Oracle.

        At the time of writing, there are at least three other non-Oracle CentOS alternatives (Rocky, Alma, Springdale) so there's no need to go down the Oracle route.

  4. Rainer

    What's the point?

    I mean, CentOS stream will be freely available (probably) and at least with stream, you don't need to wait for the security-updates.

    I think a lot of people didn't realize just how far CentOS had been lagging behind RHEL recently. Especially in the early 8.0 days, with months without an update.

    There's no such thing as a free lunch - people seem to forget that all too often.

    While you can get almost all Linux Open Source software on Debian and Ubuntu, most of the enterprise-software that makes RHEL actually an Enterprise OS is either simply not available there or unsupported.

    It all boils down to what you want to do with the installation. The typical Wordpress blog does not really need to run on a 1000 $ / license / year server.

    But a service that a couple of hundred or thousand hosts rely on (like IPA or Satellite Server or 389 directory server) is something different.

    1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

      Re: What's the point?

      I can only speak for myself, but in all the years I used CentOS, I didn't do so because it was "Enterprise", I did so because I cut my teeth on the old (pre-Enterprise) RedHat, so all the file locations were where I expected them to be. As well, CentOS was well-represented in most of the how-to's found across the 'Net. But I was a small-time admin with at most 10 servers or VMs running CentOS, so I had little need to learn all the "Enterprise" stuff that made RH so...Enterprise-worthy.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: What's the point?

      RHEL has the paid support that big Enterprise customers probably want.

      CentOS _was_ the alternative for "the little guy" who is willing to do most of that support work himself. But being 'ahead' of RHEL (like a 'testing' branch) makes it "less stable".

      So, 'Rocky Linux' will take the (former) CentOS slot of "stable" vs CentOS now being "testing",

      Think of the *kinds* of issues that Windows is currently having from the way ITS patches roll out.. often inadequately tested, from what I see. You don't want to be first in line unless you're prepared to deal with the consequences of a bad patch.

      So the assumption is that once a patch goes out for RHEL, the Rocky Linux project will fold it into their code base as well, making it stable in that a patch that's rapidly re-patched will only show up after the re-patch. Or that's what I'm thinking. And CentOS patches would be a "heads up it's coming" for them to get it all ready, maybe deploy a bit faster.

      If I had a choice between rapid-patch and stability, I would ALWAYS choose stability. INstability requires constant fiddling and I'd rather not spend tons of time doing things that, to me, appear more like "scampering" and "tail chasing".

      1. Mark 65 Silver badge

        Re: What's the point?

        Quite a few places had the odd RHEL license and a lot of CentOS servers of compatible versions. Reproduce any errors on the RHEL servers to get support for what you cannot fathom yourself and roll out to the estate.

    3. karlkarl Silver badge

      Re: What's the point?

      "There's no such thing as a free lunch - people seem to forget that all too often."

      If you don't plan to offer a free lunch. Then move out of the way to make room for someone who does want to offer it.

      This is the open-source world. I give much of my work away for free and provide many free lunches. Other developers, admins, humans, etc do the same.

      So yes. There is such thing as a free lunch. We all work hard to provide this to one another. Yes, companies try to suck this away but they are in the wrong. In every community you get leeches. IBM/RedHat are leeches under the disguise of a business model.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What's the point?

        The problem with CentOS was that people weren't working hard to provide this free lunch to each other. It was a community of users not contributing back.

        In other words, the cafeteria was providing free lunch and not many were helping to make it.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Rainer - Re: What's the point?

      No free lunch ? Very well then. Prepare yourself to be invoiced for the bottles of milk you sipped while you were a baby. It's only fair for those who took care of you and I'm sure you will have no objection at all.

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: @Rainer - What's the point?

        You've been talking to my dad, then, have ya?

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