CentOS Linux reborn as Rocky Linux enterprise operating system

As you know, Red Hat and IBM shocked the Linux community by killing CentOS 8 stable. There will be no CentOS Linux. Red Hat announced that there would be only CentOS Stream, which will act as a rolling version, and it will be used as next RHEL. Now we have a possible alternative called Rocky Linux.

CentOS Linux reborn as Rocky Linux

I think Red Hat/IBM underestimated the Linux community. Did they believe they will get away with a significant change? How did they not see this coming? I think IBM and Red Hat no longer care about opensource. They went ahead and removed much stuff from the CentOS wiki too:

As per Ars, CentOS co-founder Greg Kurtzer is one of the many community members who isn’t happy about Red Hat’s decision to shutter CentOS Linux. Kurtzer issued the following press statement Wednesday:

I was just as shocked as the rest of the community with the news from Red Hat. When I started CentOS 16 years ago, I never imagined the incredible reach and impact it would have around the world on individuals and companies who rely on CentOS for Linux distribution. In response to this unexpected shift, I am proud to announce the launch of a new project, Rocky Linux

I am going to treat CentOS Stream as beta or development software. I would rather use Arch Linux or Debian testing than deal with these IBM shenanigans. I strongly belive that both Ubuntu/Debian and SUSE/OpenSUSE will gain market share. Here are percentages of websites using various subcategories (distros) of Linux:

What is the Rocky Linux Project?

From the project site:

Rocky Linux is a community enterprise operating system designed to be 100% bug-for-bug compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux now that CentOS has shifted direction. It is under intensive development by the community. Rocky Linux is led by Gregory Kurtzer, founder of the CentOS project. There is no ETA for a release. Contributors are asked to reach out using the communication options offered on this site.

CloudLinux, yet another alternative and RHEL 8 fork for CentOS 8 users

According to Wikipedia, CloudLinux OS is a Linux distribution marketed to shared hosting providers. It is developed by software company CloudLinux, Inc. CloudLinux OS is based on the CentOS operating system. In a blog post, they announced RHEL 8 fork too:

We already maintain CloudLinux OS, we plan to release a free, open-sourced, community-driven, 1:1 binary compatible fork of RHEL® 8 (and future releases) in the Q1 of 2021. We will create a separate, totally free OS that is fully binary compatible with RHEL® 8 (and future versions). We will sponsor the development & maintenance of such OS. We will work on establishing a community around the OS, with the governing board from members of the community.

Summing up

IBM now owns Red Hat software. Hence, they are trying to milk every penny out of their purchase. I fully expect IBM to make a massive pricing change in Red Hat owned software like RHEL, Ansible, Red Hat Virtualization, OpenStack, JBoss Enterprise, and other apps. They will use corporate lawyers to put even more severe licensing for RHEL and make it unlikely for anyone to fork Red Hat Enterprise Linux soon. I am looking forward to seeing Rocky Linux as a successor to CentOS, and I wish them good luck as it takes time to rebuild goodwill and the brand in the open-source world. Would you use Rocky Linux when released?


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🐧 12 comments so far... add one

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12 comments… add one
  • Lucas Rolff Dec 10, 2020 @ 17:00

    > CloudLinux OS is based on the CentOS operating system

    It’s not. It’s based on RHEL, not CentOS.

    • Ejaygigo Dec 12, 2020 @ 12:18

      Wikipedia states its based on CentOS.

  • kahhhtt Dec 10, 2020 @ 18:12

    Why not give chance to Devuan ?

  • cheshirecat Dec 10, 2020 @ 18:46

    This is a huge kick in the teeth for SME and education, organisations who want the RHEL stability and known compatibility, but don’t need the overpriced support as they already have in-house knowledge and tools. IBM are deluding themselves if they think that every CentOS installation will now switch to RHEL and make them money; more likely for a switch to Ubuntu or to Rocky (if it comes along fast enough). The damage to the reputation of IBM and RHEL will last a lot longer, though.

    • Freecode007 Dec 11, 2020 @ 14:25

      They did same thing with coreos and now with centos, redhat become very greedy and its time to teach lesson by not using single redhat solution.

  • Adrian Dec 11, 2020 @ 7:05

    I think we will also see a spike in Amazon Linux 2 utilization after this :)

  • Aakio007 Dec 11, 2020 @ 9:47

    prime OS should have the access for .exe files without root

  • Moromete Dec 11, 2020 @ 17:56

    Oracle did the same ( or similar ) with MySQL.
    OpenStack is not owned by IBM( Thankfully ) Then I do not see how could IBM impose a licence on it.

  • Dave Burton Dec 12, 2020 @ 5:36

    I’ll bet the guys at Fermilab are unhappy about this. Maybe they’ll resurrect Scientific Linux (SL).

    That would be great! They did a great job. I ran SL in the RHEL 6 days, and I liked it a lot. It was rock-solid. I only switched from SL 6 to CentOS 7 because the handwriting was on the wall for SL, since Fermlab & CERN were switching to CentOS for version 8.

  • Donald Frump Dec 13, 2020 @ 4:39

    Farewell RHEL, I will be going to the green team (Suse Leap) from now on.

  • Carl Thompson Dec 14, 2020 @ 15:00

    I hope Rocky does well. I have seen a lot of RHEL clones and all have died with the exception of CentOS. As for switching to Ubuntu it is a pretty large swing in management of the OS. Also once you get too dealing with Ubuntu on scale Canonical is more corp than Red Hat. I don’t worry about the RHEL source disappearing, due to licensing on the software Red Hat is using to put out RHEL. However, they will continue to make it more difficult to get the source. The licensing just says they have to distribute the source to anyone they distribute the binary too. It doesn’t say they have to make it easy.

  • Rob Dec 19, 2020 @ 3:27

    There was no hesitation at all in my decision. I converted all but two of my servers to Ubuntu 20. Barely tell the difference. My last two servers are still on Cent 7 so no reason to rush and those are the only two with websites hosted so once I test moving them over and have no issues those will go too. I don’t want an alternative to RH that still depends on RH. mySQL went down this route and never came back. No reason to support anything connected to IBM.

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