CentOS or Almalinux

I’ve noticed there are tendencies to be using Almalinux more than CentOS in the recent year and I can’t understand why? Is it that better?

I’m asking as I’ve picked a new project and need to decide which distribution to use.

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Bobby Iliev
Site Moderator
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November 13, 2023


Yes indeed, CentOS was the go-to for a free version of RHEL, known for its stability and reliability. Then Red Hat shook things up by evolving CentOS into an upstream branch called CentOS Stream – more of a test bed for new features, which means it’s not as stable as the old CentOS:

AlmaLinux stepped in to fill the void left by the traditional CentOS, offering a stable, reliable, and cost-free OS. When deciding between AlmaLinux and CentOS Stream, consider whether you value a stable and predictable environment (AlmaLinux) or prefer to be at the cutting edge, with early access to the latest developments (CentOS Stream). If your projects require a robust and unchanging system for their servers typically prefer the reliability offered by AlmaLinux.

Hope that this helps!



Site Moderator
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November 13, 2023


The shift from CentOS to AlmaLinux observed in recent times is primarily due to a significant change in the CentOS project. Here are the key factors influencing this trend:

  1. CentOS Stream: Red Hat announced in December 2020 that CentOS Linux would be discontinued and replaced by CentOS Stream. CentOS Stream is a rolling-release distribution, sitting between Fedora (the upstream) and RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the downstream). This change meant that CentOS would no longer be a stable, downstream release of RHEL, which was its primary appeal.

  2. Stability and Predictability: Many users and organizations preferred CentOS because it provided a stable, free alternative to RHEL, with long-term support. The move to a rolling-release model in CentOS Stream introduced a level of unpredictability and potential instability that did not align with the needs of users who relied on CentOS for production environments.

  3. AlmaLinux as an Alternative: In response to the discontinuation of CentOS Linux, AlmaLinux was introduced by CloudLinux as a 1:1 binary compatible fork of RHEL, much like the original CentOS. AlmaLinux aims to fill the gap left by CentOS, offering a stable, enterprise-grade Linux distribution with long-term support, making it an attractive alternative for those who relied on CentOS for its stability and RHEL compatibility.

  4. Community Support and Development: AlmaLinux has garnered significant community support and contributions, with a commitment to remain a free and open-source project. It is governed by the AlmaLinux OS Foundation, ensuring community-driven development and direction, which is appealing to users and organizations looking for a stable and community-supported RHEL alternative.

  5. Migration and Future-Proofing: Organizations and users are considering the future of their server environments. With the shift in the CentOS project, many are looking towards alternatives like AlmaLinux for long-term stability and support, especially for critical production environments.

When deciding between AlmaLinux and CentOS Stream for your project, consider the following:

  • Nature of Your Project: If stability and long-term support are crucial, AlmaLinux might be more suitable. For cutting-edge features and closer alignment with the future state of RHEL, CentOS Stream could be a better fit.
  • Community and Commercial Support: Evaluate the level of community and commercial support available for both distributions.
  • Compatibility Requirements: Consider software and hardware compatibility, especially if your project involves legacy systems or specific software that may have compatibility issues with newer distributions.

My recommendation would be to use Almalinux based on what have been described above.

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