|Developer||The AlmaLinux OS Foundation|
|Written in||C (kernel)|
|OS family||Linux (Unix-like)|
|Source model||Open source|
|Initial release||30 March 2021|
|Marketing target||Servers, desktop computers, workstations, supercomputers|
|Platforms||x86-64 AArch64 ppc64le s390x|
|Kernel type||Monolithic (Linux kernel)|
|GNOME Shell, Bash|
|License||GPLv2 and others|
AlmaLinux is a free and open source Linux distribution, developed by the AlmaLinux OS Foundation, a 501(c) organization, to provide a community-supported, production-grade enterprise operating system that is binary-compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). The name of the distribution comes from the word "alma", meaning "soul" in Spanish and other Latin languages. It was chosen to be a homage to the Linux community.
The first stable release of AlmaLinux was published on March 30, 2021, and will be supported until March 1, 2029. AlmaLinux is built using publicly-viewable and reproducible methods using the AlmaLinux Build System (ALBS), which is a customized build system whose source code, like the distribution itself, is publicly distributed and licensed under open-source licenses.
On December 8, 2020, Red Hat announced that development of CentOS, a free-of-cost downstream fork of the commercial Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), would be discontinued and its official support would be cut short to focus on CentOS Stream, a stable LTS release without minor releases officially used by Red Hat to preview what is intended for inclusion in updates to RHEL.
In response, CloudLinux – which maintains its own commercial Linux distribution, CloudLinux OS – created AlmaLinux to provide a community-supported spiritual successor to CentOS Linux, aiming for binary-compatibility with the current version of RHEL. A beta version of AlmaLinux was first released on February 1, 2021, and the first stable release of AlmaLinux was published on March 30, 2021. AlmaLinux 8.x will be supported until 2029. Numerous companies, such as ARM, AWS, Equinix, and Microsoft, also support AlmaLinux. On March 30, 2021, the AlmaLinux OS Foundation was created as a 501(c) organization to take over AlmaLinux development and governance from CloudLinux, which has promised $1 million in annual funding to the project.
Following the release of AlmaLinux 8.6, on June 20, 2022, the AlmaLinux OS Foundation released the AlmaLinux Build System (ALBS).
In September 2022, the AlmaLinux OS Foundation held its first election, announcing a board of 7 community-elected members on September 19.
On December 7, 2022, it was announced that CERN and Fermilab would be providing AlmaLinux as the standard operating system for their experiments.
The AlmaLinux Build System, commonly shortened to "ALBS", is the build system of AlmaLinux. It was first used to release version 8.6 (Sky Tiger), and has the capability of automating builds for the x86-64, AArch64, ppc64, and S390x architectures. The ALBS consists of five components: the Git Service, Release System, Sign Server, Test System, Build Node. Each component is governed by an overarching component known as the "Master Service", which is intended to be controlled via its own API.
AlmaLinux's source code is directly sourced from Git code repositories of software packages that comprise Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Using a "listener" that monitors changes to existing repositories or additions of new repositories, the AlmaLinux Git Service pulls source code to its own publicly-available Gitea server instance. This public server's web interface also provides a view of build pipelines for each package. In addition, the service exposes an API that allows repositories to be directly consumed by the rest of ALBS.
Corresponding with the Master Service, the Build Node's purpose is to perform the compilation of source code stored in the Git repositories to create RPM packages that can later be used as part of the distribution installation process. As artifacts of the build process, these pieces have a dedicated storage from which they can be further processed.
The AlmaLinux Test System (ALTS) tests RPM packages that exist as build artifacts. Using containerization technology, packages are given dedicated environments for which test suites can be exercised.
In order to ensure integrity, each software package that is released for the AlmaLinux distribution is digitally-signed using the Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) cryptographic algorithm. The Sign Server simply takes artifacts created from the Build Node, signs them, and returns them back to artifact storage. From there, the Release System can upload them to release repositories.
|AlmaLinux version||Codename||Architectures||RHEL base||Kernel||AlmaLinux release date||RHEL release date||Delay (days)|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 8.3||Purple Manul||x86-64||8.3||4.18.0-240||2021-03-30||2020-11-03||147 / 110 *|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 8.4||Electric Cheetah||x86-64, ARM64||8.4||4.18.0-305||2021-05-26||2021-05-18||8|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 8.5||Arctic Sphynx||x86-64, ARM64, ppc64le||8.5||4.18.0-348||2021-11-12, 2022-02-25||2021-11-09||3|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 8.6||Sky Tiger||x86-64, ARM64, ppc64le, s390x||8.6||4.18.0-372||2022-05-12||2022-05-10||2|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 8.7||Stone Smilodon||8.7||4.18.0-425||2022-11-10||2022-11-09||1|
|Older version, yet still maintained: 8.8||Sapphire Caracal||8.8||4.18.0-477||2023-05-18||2023-05-16||1|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 9.0||Emerald Puma||9.0||5.14.0-70.13.1||2022-05-26||2022-05-17||9|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 9.1||Lime Lynx||9.1||5.14.0-162.6.1||2022-11-17||2022-11-15||2|
|Current stable version: 9.2||Turquoise Kodkod||9.2||5.14.0-284.11.1||2023-05-10||2023-05-10||0|
* AlmaLinux was announced 10 December 2020, first beta release was 53 days later.
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