CentOS Replacement AlmaLinux 8.4 released
AlmaLinux, the Linux distribution designed to replace CentOS, released AlmaLinux 8.4 on Wednesday. This release, based on the latest Red Hat Enterprise release from last week, comes about a month after the release of AlmaLinux 8.3, which was the distribution’s first stable release.
The distro was designed in December after Red Hat announced that CentOS Linux, a popular downstream copy of RHEL, was being replaced by CentOS Stream. Support for CentOS 8 is slated to end at the end of this year, while support for CentOS 7 will continue until June 30, 2024, its originally slated end of life.
Rocky Linux, another Linux distribution intended to replace CentOS, is expected to have a stable release ready by mid-June.
The eight-day delay between the availability of RHEL 8.4 and this release follows how CloudLinux, the company behind AlmaLinux, makes a living: by producing a hardened version of RHEL for its business customers. It should be noted, however, that four months have passed between the release of RHEL 8 and CentOS 8 in 2019.
“The quick start to the latest version 8.4 of AlmaLinux is the result of a collaborative effort of a professional and seasoned team that includes people who have been in this field for a decade,” said Jack Aboutboul, Head of AlmaLinux community, to ITPro Today in an email. “The team is dedicated to this open source initiative and was well prepared. They started planning and working with the beta of RHEL 8.4, and they performed very well.”
Among the new features found in AlmaLinux 8.4, its full support for Secure Boot is particularly notable. Support for Secure Boot requires entry from Microsoft, which acts as the certification authority for Secure Boot (which means they must sign programs for them to run), and the code must be audited for security reasons. Obviously, the AlmaLinux community has made the acquisition of Secure Boot support a priority.
“We knew Secure Boot was important to support the actual business workloads in the data center with proper security and to ensure the boot went as planned,” said Aboutboul.
Support for OpenSCAP security profiles and a developer repository with packages and build dependencies not included in the upstream distribution has also been added in AlmaLinux 8.4.
Since Friday May 28, a beta version of AlmaLinux 8.4 for the ARM architecture is available. A growing number of bare metal clouds are offering servers running ARM processors at a higher price than x86 machines.
“Today we released the beta for servers running ARM processors, which is the result of collaborative work between the AlmaLinux community, ARM, Equinix, AWS and Oregon State Open Source Lab,” said Aboutboul. “Our planned timeline is for GA in June – how long, of course, depends on how the beta goes.”