After CentOS developers announced that they are shifting their focus from CentOS Linux to CentOS Stream, a lot of users, developers and companies that relies on CentOS are disappointed. Fortunately, the team at CloudLinux quickly came forward to develop a new CentOS replacement named AlmaLinux. As promised, Cloud Linux team has announced the release of AlmaLinux beta version and is available for community testing. A stable release is planned for the end of the Q1 2021.
What is AlmaLinux?
AlmaLinux is a binary fork of RedHat Linux Enterprise Linux (RHEL) which is created as an alternative to CentOS. The current AlmaLinux version is based on RHEL 8.3. Almalinux is aimed to fill the gap left by the demise of CentOS stable Linux. Even though, it is initially built by CloudLinux team, the ongoing development efforts will be governed by the community.
AlmaLinux is completely free and the open source enterprise-level Linux distribution. The GitHub repository for AlmaLinux is also ready. The source code will be released in this repository once the stable release has been completed. There is also a bug tracker created to allow the registered users to file bugs.
CloudLinux's CEO and founder Mr.Igor Seletskiy has also announced $1 million annual sponsorship for the development of AlmaLinux, with support provided until at least 2029. For those wondering, Alma means soul in Spanish and other Latin languages.
Download AlmaLinux beta
There are three AlmaLinux installation ISO images available:
- Boot iso - a single network installation CD image that downloads packages over the Internet.
- Minimal iso - a minimal self-containing DVD image that makes possible offline installation.
- DVD iso - a full installation DVD image that contains mostly all AlmaLinux packages.
You can download your preferred ISO images from official download page:
Go to the location where you download the ISO file:
$ cd Downloads/Almalinux
Download AlmaLinux public key:
$ wget https://repo.almalinux.org/almalinux/RPM-GPG-KEY-AlmaLinux
Import the downloaded key:
$ gpg --import RPM-GPG-KEY-AlmaLinux
You will see an output like below:
gpg: key 488FCF7C3ABB34F8: public key "AlmaLinux <[email protected]>" imported gpg: Total number processed: 1 gpg: imported: 1
Next, download the checksums list:
$ wget https://repo.almalinux.org/almalinux/8.3-beta/isos/x86_64/CHECKSUM
Verify the checksums list:
$ gpg --verify CHECKSUM
gpg: Signature made Friday 29 January 2021 02:09:12 AM IST gpg: using RSA key 51D6647EC21AD6EA gpg: Good signature from "AlmaLinux [email protected]" [unknown] gpg: WARNING: This key is not certified with a trusted signature! gpg: There is no indication that the signature belongs to the owner. Primary key fingerprint: 5E9B 8F56 17B5 066C E920 57C3 488F CF7C 3ABB 34F8 Subkey fingerprint: E53C F5EF 91CE B0AD 1812 ECB8 51D6 647E C21A D6EA
If you see Good signature in the output, it is valid.
Next, calculate the downloaded ISO SHA256 checksum using the following command:
$ sha256sum AlmaLinux-8.3-beta-1-x86_64-minimal.iso
Finally, compare it with expected checksum list using command:
$ cat CHECKSUM | grep -E 'SHA256.*AlmaLinux-8.3-beta-1-x86_64-minimal.iso'
You will see that both checksum values are same:
SHA256 (AlmaLinux-8.3-beta-1-x86_64-minimal.iso) = d72c5be79b8d1dabdabbdf3fcb58813cc3a77659d8519646ba5fe78097f0ceaf
If the checksum values are same, it means that the downloaded ISO file is safe and has come from trusted source.
Now, it is time to install AlmaLinux on your VirtualBox or KVM or directly on your hard drive. If you decided to install it on your local hard drive, create bootable USB with Ventoy or Etcher and start testing AlmaLinux.
This is the first beta release, so there will be bugs. If you are encountered with any bugs, please report them here. The AlmaLinux dev team and the community members will look into the bugs and fix them as soon as possible.
The CloudLinux team is hosting a live Q&A webinar to facilitate communication and address any questions after the first round of testing. If you are interested to participate in this session, please sign-up here.
Have you already tried AlmaLinux? Great! Share your thoughts on this in the comment section below. I am all ears!