Ever since RedHat pulled the plug on the CentOS project, the opensource community has been working tirelessly round the clock to provide formidable alternatives to CentOS 8 which was renowned for its stability, reliability, and all the goodies derived from RHEL. And their efforts have paid off.
One of the CentOS alternatives is AlmaLinux, a
1:1 binary compatible replacement for RHEL distributions. At the time of writing this, the latest release is AlmaLinux 8.5, released in the wake of the RHEL 8.5 release. We have a detailed guide on how to install AlmaLinux 8.5.
The other cool alternative to CentOS is Rocky Linux which is developed and maintained by the Rocky Software Foundation. The project is led by Gregory Kurtzer, one of the founders of the CentOS project.
The name ‘Rocky’ is a tribute to Rocky McGaugh, one of the co-founders of CentOS, who is no longer with us. Rocky Linux is a fork of CentOS and by all means, resembles CentOS in almost all aspects.
Rocky Linux is described as a Community Enterprise Operating System crafted to be 100% bug-for-bug compatible with Enterprise Linux, given the shift in direction that CentOS has taken.
After a long wait, the first stable and production-ready release of Rocky Linux is finally available! Rocky Enterprise Software Foundation ( RESF ) announced the release of Rocky Linux 8.5 on November 15, 2021, after months of intense development.
Up until the release of Rocky 8.4, only the Beta version – Rocky Linux 8.3 RC ( Release Candidate ) 1– was available. It was intended for testing purposes and not for use in production workloads.
Rocky Linux 8.5 is 100% binary compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.5 and provides all the goodies associated with RHEL 8.5 at absolutely no cost. Its release is welcome news to organizations that depended on CentOS 8 for their production workloads as they can now seamlessly migrate to Rocky Linux 8.5.
New Features in Rocky Linux 8.5
So what’s new with Rocky Linux 8.5?
Rocky Linux provides the following new modules:
- MariaDB 10.5
- Redis 6
- PostgreSQL 13
- Python 3.9
- SWIG 4.0
- Subversion 1.14
Compilers and Development Tools
- Go Toolset 1.16.7
- GCC Toolset 11
- Rust Toolset 1.54.0
- LLVM Toolset 12.0.1
- IPsec VPN provides support for TCP encapsulation and security labels for IKEv2.
- Integrity checking made possible by the fapolicyd framework. Additionally, the RPM plugin registers system updates performed by either the RPM or YUM package manager.
- The scap-security-guide packages have been rebased to version 0.1.54, and OpenSCAP has been rebased to version 1.3.4. The updates serve to provide significant improvements.
- Support for Nmstate which is a network API for hosts. The nmstate packages provide a command-line utility called nmstatectl for managing host network configurations.
- Introduction of Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) – An in-kernel data-forwarding mechanism for routing traffic flow across enterprise networks.
- The iproute2 utility now provides three new traffic control (tc) actions; mac_push, push_eth, and pop_eth to add MPLS labels, build an Ethernet header at the beginning of the packet, and drop the outer Ethernet header respectively.
- The kernel provides support for Error Detection and Correction (EDAC) kernel modules that are found in 8th and 9th generation Intel Core Processors.
- The availability of the time namespace feature makes it possible to set date and time inside a Linux container.
- A modern implementation of a slam memory controller that optimizes slab implementation leading to a decrease in total kernel memory footprint and subsequent desirable outcome on memory fragmentation.
How to Download Rocky Linux 8.5 DVD ISO Images
Rocky Linux 8.5 provides the following ISO images. You can find all of them on the Rocky Linux download page.
For Cloud enthusiasts, you can now deploy a Cloud instance of Rocky Linux in the following Cloud platforms:
- Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- Google Cloud Platform
Additionally, you can find Rocky Linux in container images from the following platforms:
That was an overview of what to expect with the latest stable release of Rocky Linux 8.5. Secure Boot is not yet supported, but will soon be incorporated in the subsequent releases. Ready to take a spin? Let us know how it goes.
In the weeks and months to follow, developers and small businesses will be forever grateful following the demise of CentOS 8 whose support will unceremoniously be cut short by end of 2021.
For additional assistance, check out the Rocky Linux forum.