The CentOS alternative distribution AlmaLinux receives business assist choices

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  • We installed a copy of AlmaLinux this morning – it installed quickly and easily in a process very similar to Fedora.

    Jim Salter

  • If you are familiar with the Fedora installation summary, you will be at home with AlmaLinux.

    Jim Salter

  • AlmaLinux 8.3 “Purple Manul” offers a bright, cheerful and Gnome3 based desktop by default.

    Jim Salter

  • Similar to Fedora, AlmaLinux’s Gnome3 desktop hides the launcher until the user presses the meta key (or clicks on Activities).

    Jim Salter

Today CloudLinux Inc announced that it will provide commercial support for the AlmaLinux community distribution. The new support plans will be available next week and will include regular patches and updates for the AlmaLinux kernel and core packages, SLAs for patch deployment, and 24/7 incident support.

What is AlmaLinux?

AlmaLinux is one of several Linux distributions that are trying to become the “new CentOS” after Red Hat’s own Red Hat Enterprise Linux clone distribution was rejected in December 2020.

AlmaLinux was originally sponsored by CloudLinux Inc. and is based on its own commercial CloudLinux distribution. However, the company set up and managed the new distribution specifically for the community. Its qualifications as “the new CentOS” are based on the source code of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).

RHEL is “free as in freedom” – which means that its source code is available and can be split from other projects such as CloudLinux itself and now AlmaLinux – but not necessarily “free as in beer” which means that many individuals and projects you need to pay for this in order to purchase and use RHEL yourself. In a growing number of cases, certain developers and projects can use RHEL freely or semi-free – however, some effort, bureaucracy, and paperwork are still required even if free use of RHEL is allowed.

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The popularity of CentOS Linux was that it could be freely, arbitrarily downloaded, and used for any purpose by anyone – and it was binary compatible with RHEL, which means that applications and projects developed specifically for RHEL and only RHEL CentOS can still work. This is the vacated niche that AlmaLinux now wants to occupy.

The AlmaLinux distribution offers a 10-year support cycle – like the upstream distribution RHEL – which is also important for organizations and individuals in the market for RHEL-compatible distributions. AlmaLinux’s first stable version, codenamed “Purple Manul”, was released on March 30th.

What support does CloudLinux Inc. offer?

Enlarge /. When starting an AlmaLinux for the first time, the user must accept a very short and sweet EULA – one that highlights the potential value of CloudLinux’s paid commercial support offering.

Jim Salter

Some of the AlmaLinux support services offered by CloudLinux Inc. are technically already offered by the community distribution itself – for example “regular patches and updates for the Linux kernel and the core packages”.

However, the AlmaLinux project is a collaborative venture, not a company. Although the community de facto offers these services, it does not offer commercial contracts that guarantee the timely delivery or quality of these services with financial penalties for violations.

In contrast, CloudLinux offers to accept money in exchange for these services on a commercially guaranteed basis – and in an excellent position because its own CloudLinux RHEL “clone” is the immediate upstream distribution of AlmaLinux and because the company already offers similar ones Services for CloudLinux itself.

In addition to the timely delivery of patches and updates, CloudLinux Inc. offers service level agreements for patch delivery and incident support around the clock. There are also plans to introduce a “premium enterprise support tier” that will require extended service and support including, but not limited to, NodeOS support for AlmaLinux.

Listing image by Jim Salter

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