Rocky Linux 8.4 is out promising to further the positive parts of CentOS’s legacy. For the community, this is a big deal since there is still a void in the market where CentOS used to be. We downloaded the new OS that just had its first release and fired it up.
By way of background, a few months ago, Red Hat abruptly changed its stance on CentOS. Effectively, Red Hat went full IBM and said farewell to the popular CentOS distribution.
The challenge with this is that many smaller projects utilized CentOS as a stepping stone toward supporting a RHEL ecosystem. While Red Hat is attempting to migrate CentOS users to RHEL subscriptions, the open community distribution that was CentOS no longer fit into IBM/ Red Hat’s plans.
In the aftermath of IBM and Red Hat discontinuing an ultra-popular OS, there were a few options. Oracle was happy to tout Oracle Linux. We also saw AlmaLinux by the CloudLinux team and a few others try to fill the void. At STH, we saw a lot of interest in Rocky Linux but there was one major challenge. Rocky Linux did not have a release yet like Oracle Linux and AlmaLinux. With Rocky Linux 8.4 that changed.
Firing Rocky Linux Up Quickly
We did not have a ton of time to get into the release since this is an unplanned article on STH. Still, we wanted to at least validate that it had basic functionality.
One can see that the installer is very familiar to what CentOS users have been accustomed to. It is still clear that we are on Rocky Linux, not CentOS.
After the installer is complete, we see the login for the Rocky Linux 8.4 (Green Obsidian) here.
Since cockpit is great, we enabled it and logged into the web management interface. For Ubuntu users, you can “sudo apt install cockpit” and get this running on your machines as well.
Within 2-3 minutes we had a VM with the new Rocky Linux 8.4 release installed in a VM with cockpit running and updating via dnf / yum working. Not too bad at all.
We know that many of our users will not want to be first on a newly released OS. At the same time, Rocky Linux is one of the more promising alternatives for CentOS migration. As a result, we at least wanted to give it a try. Luckily, it worked out of the box which was great to see. While some may be hesitant to jump at a newly released distribution, it takes a first release and testing on the distribution to get folks comfortable making the switch.