CentOS replacement distro Rocky Linux’s first general release is out

Enlarge / Rocky Linux 8.4 (Green Obsidian) is bug-for-bug compatible with RHEL 8.4 and should serve admirably as a CentOS Linux replacement. (credit: RESF)

Rocky Linux—one of at least two new distributions created to fill the void left when CentOS Linux was discontinued by parent corporation Red Hat—announced general availability of Rocky Linux 8.4 today. Rocky Linux 8.4 is binary-compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4, making it possible to run apps designed and tested only for RHEL without RHEL itself.

Bug-for-bug, not just feature-for-feature

One of the questions we’ve gotten repeatedly since first covering CentOS Linux’s deprecation is “why not just use [my favorite distro]?” Linux and BSD users tend to be so accustomed to the same software working on multiple distributions, with similar package names and installation procedures, that they forget what using and installing proprietary software is frequently like.

Rocky Linux and competitor AlmaLinux (which released its own binary-compatible RHEL 8.4 clone in March) aren’t simply “Linux distros” or even “Linux distros which closely resemble RHEL.” They’re built from the same source code as RHEL 8.4, which guarantees that a wide array of proprietary software designed with nothing but RHEL 8.4 in mind will “just work,” regardless of how obscure a feature (or bug!) those packages depend upon in RHEL 8.4 might be.

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