AlmaLinux vs CentOS comparison: Is AlmaLinux up to the challenge?

AlmaLinux vs CentOS comparison: Is AlmaLinux up to the challenge?

With Red Hat’s announcement that they are choosing to suspend CentOS and focus on CentOS Stream, many users are wondering what the next step is. The community was able to step in and take over the CentOS legacy in the form of AlmaLinux. Still, this has left many users wondering if AlmaLinux is up to the task. Here we discuss AlmaLinux and CentOS and whether AlmaLinux is up to the challenge of replacing CentOS.

What is AlmaLinux?

AlmaLinux is a 1: 1 binary fork of RHEL, just like CentOS. This means that everything that is available for CentOS is available for AlmaLinux – all the same packages, all the same configurations, everything. There are 4000 companies using CloudLinux, the paid version of AlmaLinux, which means there is already a lot of work.

Almalinux Anaconda configured
Almalinux Openssh versions
Almalinux Centos Openssh versions

How is AlmaLinux different from CentOS?

It does not belong to Red Hat. Otherwise AlmaLinux is the same 1: 1 binary equivalent to RHEL as CentOS, so the only difference is where the money comes from. AlmaLinux is supported by CloudLinux, Inc., which means Red Hat does not own it. CloudLinux has been around for 10 years, so they know what they’re doing to create a completely free RHEL fork. They’ve been doing a paid version for a decade.

How do I get started with AlmaLinux?

All you have to do is download the ISO from the downloads and install it like you would CentOS. The installation experience is absolutely the same, so our guide on installing CentOS and navigating the Anaconda installer still works like a charm.

If you already have servers or workstations running CentOS and want to upgrade to AlmaLinux, this is also extremely simple. Since they are both 1: 1 equivalent, it is relatively straightforward to switch from CentOS to AlmaLinux.

To do this, you just need to use the curl command to extract the code for the almalinux-deploy code of AlmaLinux GitHub repository and run the script. All it changes are the repositories. I would recommend updating everything before and after just to make sure it works.

A few notes on this process:

  1. Take a backup of your system, or at least any important data or configuration that you want to keep.
  2. Disable Secure Boot on your system, as AlmaLinux does not support it.

Otherwise, you should be able to run the following commands to upgrade:

Almalinux Curl
Almalinux script
Almalinux script running

You should check your version and have the system boot the AlmaLinux kernel by default.

Almalinux upgrade confirmed

If all goes well, you should be ready to continue using your system as normal. I recommend using one system at a time to make sure nothing goes wrong, but you should be able to update your entire fleet of servers or workstations without a hitch.

There is nothing to worry about with upgrading your CentOS systems to AlmaLinux. It is exactly the same as CentOS, but the difference is that it will last a long time. (The project is committed to at least 2029.)

If you are planning to upgrade to AlmaLinux, be sure to check out How to Install CentOS on Raspberry Pi and Install KDE Plasma on CentOS.

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John perkins
John perkins

John is a young technical professional with a passion for educating users on the best ways to use their technology. He holds technical certifications covering topics ranging from computer hardware and cybersecurity to Linux system administration.

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