AlmaLinux Will No Longer Aim for 1:1 RHEL Compatibility

Jul 17, 2023

In lieu of what IBM/Red Hat has done with the Red Hat Enterprise Linux source, distributions like AlmaLinux have been forced to make changes to how they build their operating systems.

Now that third parties no longer have unfettered access to the RHEL source code, distributions like Rocky Linux, AlmaLinux, and Oracle Linux have had to rethink how they build their operating systems.

For the longest time, the main appeal of these operating systems was that they were 1:1 compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux. With that no longer a simple and cost-effective option, those distributions have had to make drastic changes.

The company behind AlmaLinux says they will no longer focus on being 1:1 compatible with RHEL but, instead, will maintain ABI compatibility. What this means is that AlmaLinux will be Application Binary Interface compatible with RHEL. In other words, AlmaLinux will be able to link pre-built libraries with compiled binaries.

On this matter, benny Vasquez, Chair of the Board, AlmaLinux OS Foundation, said this in the official AlmaLinux blog: "One of the first things you will see is that we will include comments in our patches that include a link to where we got the patch that’s been applied (like Grafana’s release yesterday). This change is helpful for several reasons, but it helps us specifically further our goal of transparency."

Vasquez added, "Now that we will no longer be holding ourselves to being a 1:1 Red Hat downstream rebuild, we are taking some time to consider the possibilities around what that means. We will continue to provide updates around that process and will include the members of the AlmaLinux OS Foundation in that conversation and decision-making process as well."

AlmaLinux is committed to being a good open-source citizen and will continue to contribute upstream in Fedora, CentOS Stream, and the "greater enterprise Linux ecosystem."



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