AlmaLinux and Red Hat cource code whoes

Ok, lot’s of emotions on stealing AlmaLinux, big money IBM etc. etc. All which is very understandable. One of the nice features of Linux/Open Source is the huge amount of choices we can make. You don´t like Linux distro X, you can go for another one. You like Windows but you don’t like Microsoft, well, there’s not too much to choose…

Don’t get me wrong, I do like AlmaLinux as I like RockyLinux as I like Red Hat Enterprise Linux as I like Debian and so on. But let’s ask a reasonable question: “What did AlmaLinux add to the, so to say, Enterprise Linux eco system?”. OK, it is a more or less perfect clone but what more? Did AlmaLinux add new stuff to the EL ecosystem? A new or different kernel, alternatives for Red Hat products like Satellite, Ansible Tower/AAP, maybe a new or different installer, use LibreSSL instead of OpenSSL or some other cool Open Source product which is not there in RHEL or EPEL? Lot’s of choices I would say.

Whether or not you like Ubuntu, they did created something different. Taking the source code from Debian, Ubuntu added new value and a complete new Linux distro. Ubuntu/Canonical does not only take the Open Source Code, they also add new elements back. That’s nice and that’s how Open Source imho should work: take and give back.

So, did Red Hat/IBM really create this Source code problem only by themselve? Or maybe was the idea of “just” creating a clone also causing this problem…? I would say: go for it AlmaLinux! Create your special taste of Enterprise Linux and add new features, software etc. Take but also bring back something to Open Source Software.


Your first one and very short-sighted post, dear @langeman - all the developers who need stability of old CentOS will switch to some other stable distribution, very likely Debian and will not develop for RH ecosystem.

For those developers this will not only be switching to another Linux distribution, but switching to a different Linux ecosystem. Once they are gone, they won’t come back.

So the answer to your question, @langeman, is YES - Almalinux & RockyLinux brought huge benefit to RH ecosystem, by keeping all the developers in RedHat ecosystem, who would otherwise left after RHEL killed CentOS.
(CentOS Stream is not CentOS)

Well, honestly I consider myself has one that regularly do report bugs to upstream (RH). So, contribution is there, also by suggesting customers to use RHEL in prod environments. I think one difference that I identify is the community attitude compared for instance with the fedora community. I read a lot of answers on request of the community to add X or Y to EPEL, that such effort can be done by the community itself. Instead to step up and help the maintainer of the fedora package and by doing it making a contribution, the community (not all of course) just waits until someone else do the job. So, the question should not be what value did AL or RL do add (btw both developed two different build systems and also do report bugs into Stream), the question should be; why the EL community has more a consumption attitude, then a contribution attitude and if this was the reason why RH do not see any value in it.

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RedHat’s (controlled by IBM) latest move is the proof that they changed the entire business model of RedHat.

It used to be company which made their profits out of supporting their Linux distro RHEL.
Now they want to get full control of the entire ecosystem at the core of which is RHEL, by putting their source code behind the paywall and having rest of the world doing work for them for free on the beta versions of their distros.

This is at the essence of what they are doing now.

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My take is that Red Hat is forcing users to choose between free CentOS Stream, with its inherent instability and five-year lifecycle, and paid RHEL, with much greater stability and a ten-year lifecycle. While I think they’re squarely aiming at rebuilders who profit from Red Hat’s work, they’re probably not unhappy that free rebuilds such as Rocky Linux and AlmaLinux are also affected.

One sentence from this blog post really hit home for me:

Instead, we’ve found a group of users, many of whom belong to large or very large IT organizations, that want the stability, lifecycle and hardware ecosystem of RHEL without having to actually support the maintainers, engineers, writers, and many more roles that create it. These users also have decided not to use one of the many other Linux distributions.

Personally I don’t have any fundamental problem with paying for the RHEL stuff — if it were reasonably priced.

We’re developing some embedded appliances, where we have long used CentOS 6.x and 7.x. But now that that’s gone, we will have to move to something else. At first we looked at RHEL, but the pricing structure is simply ridiculous. We would happily pay a couple of thousands per year for very basic support - but that’s simply not an option. The only alternative is to pay 100k+ for what’s basically just access to the RedHat knowledgebase. (Which is good - but not that good.)

Right now we’re half-seriously contemplating switching to something Debian-based - but that would be complicated. AlmaLinux seemed like a very plausible candidate, but now that’s no longer looking so obvious.

My fear is that the latest moves from RedHat will slowly throttle the entire ecosystem.

Funny though. Lot’s of talking about Red Hat and CentOs and lot’s of anger. That’s not my point. My point is: what can Alma do do add value or even more important: become a more indendant distro in the “EL eco system”.
Just blaming Red Hat will not help with a more independant future.

“I choose Alma over Red hat not because it’s free of charge (not too important in the Enterprise) but they offer some different from RHEL which attracts me…” We need this extra value instead of just cloning.

Could you elaborate this?

The EL9 kernel for example is 5.14 based and is not likeley going to be changed for the lifecycle of EL9. A more recent kernel might bring new features but a 6.x will for sure not be provided by Red Hat. So, why not by Alma?
Btrfs might be another nice example. It was removed from RHEL8 and it seems not to return soon in EL. Well: that sounds cool “Alma9: the enterprise class OS suporting btrf”.

I like TPM2; one thing to do you can create TPM2-based SSH keys making the use of SSH private keys more safe (you can steal the key, not the TPM device…) It works (I think already in EL8) but will produce tons of non fatal errors using it. Hence: it’s not good and it’s not good since RHEL9.0 beta… Well, Alma can wait for Red Hat to fix (which I do for two years…) or Alma can fix it and add some cool management tools for managing the keys…

We might even think bigger. Red Hat Satellite can be nice for your organization but it’s pricy for smaller organizations and well, hardware demands… The light weight AlmaLinux repository server sounds like a cool project and a good reason to choose Alma…

Same for Openshift. It’s nice but massive in terms of hardware demands and $$$. The Red Hat choice is podman or Openshift and nothing between.(no hard feelings, RH made their choice) Alma might fill this gap: the Alma enterprise class light weigth Kubernetes install. Now, that would make me seriously fall in love with Alma…

That’s the point I try to make: become more independent from Red Hat by creating Alma’s unique own added value…

When is the Alma TPM2 stuff ready, I will start it using today… :slight_smile:

Whom are you trying to fool here?
Why did you create your account here on 22nd of June, the same day of RH’s announcement, and trying to somehow change the overall strategy of the company?

We, the devs (lot of us) who used CentOS 7, need the same replacement, to keep developing natively in RH’s ecosystem.

That is added value for RedHat’s ecosystem.

You got plenty of answers for your initial questions, but you chose to ignore them, instead mislabeled them as anger. Read my posts again, otherwise it looks that you are just only doing your job and ignored those facts on purpose…

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Official update: AlmaLinux OS - Forever-Free Enterprise-Grade Operating System

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Whom are you trying to fool here? → I’m sorry, I’m not trying to fool anyone, so let’s keep it nice and polite :slight_smile:
As many others I try to keep informed on this issue, I, my customers, are affected affected also. So, that’s the reason for opening this account: to keep informed. :nerd_face:
I’m just putting an alternative opinion. And well, if you don´t agree, let’s agree to not agree.


ELRepo does already build 6.x RPMs for Enterprise Linux.
OpenZFS, upstream, seems to build ZFS RPMs for Enterprise Linux.

In both cases a “third-party repo” does already provide a feature for EL.

Btrfs is indeed omitted in RHEL, so that sounds like opportunity for “third-party repo”, or for a distro that wants to support install with the feature.

again you did not address the most important issue, that Alma & Rocky are adhering to the original goals of CentOS, so here it is nice and polite for you:

Dear @langeman, it does not matter how many times you will try to twist my answers, you will always get the same response, and I will ALWAYS reply.

Alma & Rocky are bringing the value just by filling up the gap RH did by killing CentOS.
I am eagerly waiting for your creative responses @langeman,

Have a great day!

Yet another great write-up: