When it was announced in late 2020 that CentOS 8 would reach its end-of-life in December of 2021, both the open source and web hosting worlds were understandably taken a bit by surprise.
With this in mind, we are very pleased to announce that cPanel & WHM® version 94 will fully support AlmaLinux immediately upon its launch date (expected to be within March of 2021). Being day 1 partners with AlmaLinux is not only a testament to our close working relationship with CloudLinux, but also the beginning of a significant partnership moving forward. You can expect the same high level of quality support from cPanel & WHM as we’ve provided (and continue to provide) for CentOS.
What Is AlmaLinux?
AlmaLinux is a free and open-source Linux distribution that was introduced as a direct alternative to CentOS Linux. Here’s a brief overview and the background of its creation:
In December 2020, Red Hat announced a change in the direction of CentOS. Instead of offering CentOS Linux as an upstream build (a free version that mirrors Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or RHEL), they shifted focus to CentOS Stream, which would serve as a midstream between Fedora (upstream) and RHEL (downstream). This change effectively meant that CentOS would no longer serve as a stable RHEL clone, which upset many in the community, especially businesses and organizations that relied on CentOS for a free, stable, RHEL-like environment.
Introduction of AlmaLinux:
To address the void left by this shift in CentOS’s direction, CloudLinux announced AlmaLinux in December 2020. CloudLinux, a company known for its RHEL fork tailored for shared hosting providers, positioned AlmaLinux as a 1:1 binary-compatible fork of RHEL 8 (and future versions).
Features and Characteristics:
- RHEL Compatibility: AlmaLinux is binary-compatible with RHEL, meaning software and applications that run on RHEL will run on AlmaLinux without modification.
- Community-Driven: AlmaLinux is governed and driven by the community, ensuring decisions about the OS’s future and direction are made collectively.
- Free and Open Source: AlmaLinux is freely available and open source, licensed under the GNU General Public License, Version 2.
- Secure and Stable: AlmaLinux aims to be a stable and secure alternative for those who previously relied on CentOS for server deployments.
- Sponsored and Supported: Initially funded by CloudLinux with a pledge of $1 million in annual sponsorship, AlmaLinux is also open for other sponsors and contributors.
- Migration: For those wanting to migrate from CentOS 8 to AlmaLinux, the AlmaLinux team provides a migration script, simplifying the transition.
With AlmaLinux and other RHEL forks like Rocky Linux entering the scene, organizations and users who felt stranded by the CentOS decision now have alternatives to turn to, ensuring the longevity and choice in the enterprise Linux space.
What This Means For You
We’re here to help our Partners and Customers with their upgrade plans so all users of cPanel & WHM have a smooth experience. We investigated other Linux distributions and found AlmaLinux to be a wise choice for most users who currently enjoy CentOS.
Moving forward, we will do our best to ensure to mitigate vendor risk related to cPanel support. One way we are doing that is adding support for Ubuntu LTS. With multiple Linux distros to choose from, and different OS vendors, any unexpected end-of-life announcements will no longer carry the same impact.
If you have any feedback or comments, please let us know. We are here to help in the best ways we can. You’ll find us on Discord, the cPanel forums, and Reddit. Be sure to also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.