Alma Linux vs RHEL

This is my first post here. I hope I am welcome.

I am a Linux enthusiast. On Linux since 2000.
I am a bit old man (62), and I have to admit I am not that techie, but I know a little about computers, programming… etc. (I wrote programs in BASIC, GWBASIC, Dbase III and Dbase IV in the good old days of DOS)

The reason I am here is I am seeking to have a Linux system for normal home use that has:
1- Most stable and most tested and debugged
2- Most secure
3- Longest life time and support.

Searching and researching I concluded that RHEL is on top of all Linux distros that has the above requirements. It came to my knowledge that Alma Linux is based on RHEL and has the same above requirements.

Forgive me if I miss-express anything in my post.

I read as well that Alma Linux community/developers decided to have “their say” about the development of Alma Linux and its path and way forward.

Just to be sure, allow me to ask a few questions:

  • does this mean it will not be an “alternative” to RHEL
  • would Alma Linux still keep all the pros (mentioned in what I am after above)
  • would Alma Linux introduce newer kernel or app newer than what is in RHEL?
  • would Alma Linux stay as a fork of RHEL? Any serious modifications or changes?

I am sure you understand what I am talking about, what are my questions and concerns.

I am currently downloading and will test it first live from a USB Flash disk and I think I will just make a fresh install with KDE Plasma.

I always believe in asking the community and brainstorming.
So, I will appreciate you inputs in general especially regarding my questions above and any other info you would like me to know.

I am currently on Debian Stable, KDE Plasma. But Alma Linux seems more attractive to me as it has a much longer lifetime and support.

Thank you and hope to hear from you soon.

Hi, everybody is welcome.

AlmaLinux aims to stay aligned and binary compatible with RHEL. See AlmaLinux OS - Forever-Free Enterprise-Grade Operating System
Earlier the aim was 1:1 bug-for-bug compatible. That is, if RHEL did crash, Alma would crash the same way.
(Can it now have a bit more of its “own bugs”? Perhaps, but I’m not worried.)

The RHEL does not offer everything. For example, only one desktop environment (GNOME).
EPEL is the first place for packages that are not in RHEL. (In Alma you get access to EPEL with dnf install epel-release ) Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) :: Fedora Docs

ELRepo is the place for drivers that are not in RHEL. (In Alma you get access to ELRepo with dnf install elrepo-release )
ELRepo builds also mainline kernel for RHEL from upstream sources. HTML Redirect

Will each AlmaLinux N have support for 10 years, like corresponding RHEL release? That is the intention. Note that for a RHEL N the first five years do get new features, but the second five years is only critical security/bug fixes.

IMHO, the “stable” in EL (RHEL, Alma, and other similar distros) is primarily that content does not change radically during the life-cycle of the “major” release. That one could set up server on day one, and have it run “fine” a decade despite frequent dnf up.

Each major release is a distinct distro. Moving one to next is a “must configure in a different way” step.

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Thank you @jlehtone
I understand now, for what I am after Alma Linux is perfect for me.
Just one last (hopefully) question. You said RHEL uses Gnome desktop, but would I have the option during installation of Alma Linux have KDE Plasma?

Another question, sorry for asking too much, I hope you give me a link or advise me, what to do after installing Alma Linux. I saw almost with every distro on many websites articles like top 10 things to do after installing xyz. Adding repos, updating, configuring… I am sure you know what I am talking about.

Just to update you. Now doing sudo dd if=AlmaLinux-9.2-x86_64-dvd.iso of=/dev/sda bs=4M status=progress

Soon I will be on Alma Linux.

AFAIK, the EPEL repo has at least KDE and MATE packages. I’m content with gnome, so not an expert.

One does some of that already with the installer.
One must also distinguish “OS config and defaults” and “personal (DE) preferences”; the latter are per user.
As I already did wrote:

sudo dnf install epel-release
sudo dnf config-manager --enable crb

If you do create regular user in the installer, then it will be member of wheel and those can sudo.
EPEL you will need for KDE, etc.
The crb is an Alma repo, but disabled by default. Supposedly only for “developers”, but some packages in EPEL require packages from crb.

There is package ansible-core and Red Hat documents (RHEL) use of Ansible, particularly “System Roles”. The Ansible is one of configuration management tools. One can have (system) config described (in YAML) as “playbook” and ansible-playbook can then ensure that the actual config in system does match the description. The playbook is easy to backup and (re)deploy. If one can put the “top 10” and some into the description, then even a fresh reinstall becomes trivial. (One can have a playbook for Debian system too, as well one for user settings.)

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Thank you @jlehtone
To my surprise, trying to install, I feel I am absolutely new to Linux! It is different from all other installations I did.

I I tried and got an error that installation failed.
I checked and followed AlmaLinux Installation Guide | AlmaLinux Wiki to be sure I am doing it right. Got the same error message that installation encountered a problem.

I have double checked the ISO after downloading and it was OK.

What I might be doing wrong?
Just to save me and you a lot of headache, regarding

I really do not know what is this or how to do it.
Your support highly appreciated.

Now Downloading the KDE Live ISO from Index of /almalinux/9/live/x86_64/
Will dd it to the USB Flash disk and try again.

Still I will appreciate if you have any guidance or recommendations. I see Alma Linux is different. I feel a noob, not as someone on Linux since 2000!
But I am enjoying the challenge.

At what stage of installation?

Live ISO is about booting and running from the USB. I don’t know whether it actually has any “Install to HDD” option.

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Greetings from my Alma Linux system! :heart_eyes: :+1:

The latest ISO I downloaded just went as smooth as any other installation I had done before.
Yes, once you boot from the flash disk, it booted to KDE Plasma, had a window and an icon on the desktop to install, or you can simply ignore and test it live.

My first impressions, it seems amazing.
I am glad I am finally here, and I will be having 10 years of supported installation.
The most important for me it is the most stable, most secure and most tested Linux as far as I have concluded from searching and researching.

I will start playing with it for a while.

Any links or suggestions of things to do after a fresh install (like I saw for many other distros)?


I see Alma Linux as a more open and promising project.

I’d like to see a separate build environment. For example, an analogue of COPR, only for Alma Linux.

Because some names in dependent packages are different.