CentOS Alternative AlmaLinux 9 Is Now Available for Download

AlmaLinux 9, the community-owned and managed open source CentOS replacement AlmaLinux, is now ready for immediate download, according to the AlmaLinux OS Foundation.

The most recent version of this CentOS alternative has features that would make it simpler to automate and install at scale. It would also come with networking advancements for cloud and edge. In addition, it would be more secure and quicker by design, thanks to better grade encryption and SELinux speed improvements.

Photo Jack Aboutboul, Community Manager for AlmaLinux
“We are pleased to announce AlmaLinux 9, and proud of the progress we have made over the past year, working with upstream and the Stream process,” said Jack Aboutboul, Community Manager for AlmaLinux.

AlmaLinux 9 is the first AlmaLinux version that comes from CentOS Stream through RHEL and is based on Kernel 5.14. AlmaLinux is a contributor to CentOS Stream.

AlmaLinux 9, available quickly after RHEL 9, has reached architecture parity with upstream, becoming the first distribution to do so, and is available for x86_64, aarch64, ppc64le and s390x.

“We are building AlmaLinux with the specific goal of creating an independent CentOS successor that is truly community-centric and designed for everyone, whether you’re deploying hybrid multi-cloud solutions, large HPC or VFX clusters, a small business, a homelab, or even for your Raspberry Pi,” said Jack Aboutboul, Community Manager for AlmaLinux and a member of the AlmaLinux OS Foundation board. “We offer everyone a uniform platform which is safe, secure, easy to use, and dependable, to build your tomorrow on. We are pleased to announce AlmaLinux 9, and proud of the progress we have made over the past year, working with upstream and the Stream process, releasing in lockstep with RHEL, adding new architectures, containers, while also helping users every day and growing the AlmaLinux community. This is how real open source grows and flourishes.”

Key features of AlmaLinux 9 include the following:

Automation & web cockpit improvements

  • More performance metrics in web cockpit
  • Access to information to identify bottlenecks
  • Easier data export to data analytics and reporting tools, such as Grafana
  • Ability to apply kernel live patching inside web cockpit
  • Ability to build images via a single build node

Security improvements

  • Ability to use Smart Card authentication to access remote hosts
  • Additional security profiles to help achieve compliance with standards like PCI-DSS, HIPAA
  • More logging details from SSSD, the open source client for enterprise identity management, such as time to complete tasks and errors, and a new log parsing tool for SSSD debug log analysis, acts as ‘a grep front-end’ for new search capabilities
  • AlmaLinux 9 integrates OpenSSL 3: Allow for use of the latest security standards and security ciphers for encrypting and protecting data; New FIPS module has been submitted for FIPS 140-2 validation, the federal security requirement for cryptographic modules
  • Benefits from digital hashes and signatures that are provided by the kernel integrity subsystem, Integrity Measurement Architecture (IMA) for verifying the OS
  • SSH root password login is disabled by default

Application Development Environment updates

  • GCC 11 is the default system compiler
  • Latest versions of LLVM, Rust and Go compilers
  • Version 2.34 of the GNU C Library project (glibc)
  • Python 3.9, which includes proper timezone support, a new high-performant parser, new string functions, dictionary update and merge operators – Including timezone-aware timestamps and new string prefix and suffix methods, and dictionary union operations
  • AlmaLinux 9 UBI base images – Standard, micro, minimal, and init images; Updated Podman container engine; Cgroup2 by default, supported by Podman, which adds rootless containers and better memory management and is now more frequently required for Kubernetes tooling.

About AlmaLinux

AlmaLinux is utilizd by U.S. government agencies, the defense sector, CERN particle accelerators, business applications across a wide range of enterprises, as well as software development at gitlab and the web hosting industry. It has millions of downloads from a network of over 200 mirrors around the world.

AlmaLinux is available on all major public cloud platforms, including AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, Oracle OCI, and others, with over 1.5 million docker pulls. AMD, CloudFest, CloudLinux, and Codenotary are among the AlmaLinux OS Foundation members who support AlmaLinux’s rapid growth. Some of today’s most important open source ecosystem projects, including as VMWare, GitLab, Tenable, and others, have embraced and backed AlmaLinux.