An Open Source and forever-free enterprise Linux distribution.

Governed and driven by the community, focused on long-term stability and providing a robust production-grade platform that is 1:1 binary compatible with pre-Stream CentOS and RHEL®.

Founded by the team behind the well-established CloudLinux OS.

Welcome to AlmaLinux OS, a 1:1 binary compatible RHEL fork, a free Linux OS for the community, by the community.

Why “Alma”? Open Source has always benefited from the dedicated, nourishing efforts of the Linux community – just like everyone else that relies on a Linux-powered OS.

This community is the soul of Linux – and in the spirit of a dedicated community, we decided to call our new distribution Alma: a Latin-language word for soul.

The first stable release of AlmaLinux OS was introduced on March 30, 2021. It was initially built by CloudLinux experts, but after the first release, it is being owned and governed by the community.

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About AlmaLinux OS

AlmaLinux OS is an open-source, community-driven project that intends to fill the gap left by the demise of the CentOS stable release. AlmaLinux OS is a 1:1 binary compatible fork of RHEL® 8 guided and built by the community.

As a standalone, completely free OS, AlmaLinux OS enjoys $1M in annual sponsorship from CloudLinux Inc and support from other sponsors. Ongoing development efforts are governed by the members of the community.

The AlmaLinux OS Foundation is a 501(c)(6) non-profit created for the benefit of the AlmaLinux OS community.

A community collaborative.
Matches the current RHEL release 1:1.
Always free, always open source.
Stable, production-ready, RHEL-based

AlmaLinux OS is an enterprise-grade server OS and a stable Linux distribution with regular releases that come with a long support windows. You can rely on AlmaLinux OS to run any and every critical workloads.

CentOS-like distribution based as a precise RHEL clone

Production-ready and stable, matching RHEL features 1:1

Enjoy the predictability of a stable release issued in tandem with RHEL

Effortlessly switch from CentOS

Switching distributions is usually costly and time-consuming, but that’s not the case when switching from CentOS to AlmaLinux OS. Switching is easy and almost instantaneous.

Effortless transition from CentOS, with minimal investment and no software changes

Rapidly switch from CentOS to AlmaLinux OS.

Zero migration downtime. Migrate even large server fleets in an instant

Fully supported, always free

AlmaLinux OS Foundation members, sponsors and partners back the AlmaLinux OS with investments and long support commitments to ensure the distribution is free of limitations, fees and charges.

Forever free and open-source: no licenses, no usage restrictions

Rely on a project that is owned and governed by the community.

8.3 Release support commitment through 2029

Answers to Key Questions

Who is AlmaLinux OS for?

Anyone who currently relies on the CentOS stable release to achieve computing objectives. Individuals and organizations that require an enterprise-grade, Fedora-like distribution but who do not want to or cannot pay for a RHEL license.

Why did we call it AlmaLinux OS?

Alma means soul in Spanish and other Latin languages. Looking back, it is easy to see that Linux is as popular and pervasive as it is thanks to the efforts of a passionate, diverse developer community. This community is the soul of Linux, and everyone that relies on a Linux distribution is indebted to the efforts of the Linux community. That is why we called our new distribution AlmaLinux OS.

What motivated us?

We’re already doing it – experience with RHEL forks towards CloudLinux. We have the staff, the capabilities, the resources. Frankly: we want to put ourselves on the map re CloudLinux and KernelCare. It is worth the effort.

How is the community protected from future course changes?

We will involve the community right through the process, including in the governing board. At all times, AlmaLinux OS will be free and open. The community can pick the project at any time.

Why should I rely on CloudLinux for a CentOS alternative?


CloudLinux's core product, the CloudLinux OS, is a RHEL fork that has been in place for over ten years. More than 4,000 companies including Dell, Liquid Web, and 1&1 rely on the CloudLinux OS across more than 200,000 product installations. CloudLinux has proven experience in creating and maintaining a RHEL fork and have done so starting with RHEL release 5, right through to release 8. AlmaLinux OS is an opportunity for us to channel our expertise in RHEL into a Linux distribution that serves the broader community. Furthermore, we are including the Linux community right from the inception of AlmaLinux OS. Moving forward, community members will be on the governing board for the AlmaLinux OS project and involved in key decisions too. Finally, AlmaLinux OS will always be free and open source. The community can pick up and continue to develop AlmaLinux OS at any time.

When do we plan on releasing AlmaLinux OS?

In delivering AlmaLinux OS we are essentially continuing a process that is already in place due to our experience in forking RHEL. We are confident that we can rapidly deliver AlmaLinux OS, and plan on doing so in Q1, 2021.

I want to convert from CentOS to AlmaLinux OS. How do I do it?

Switching Linux distros can be a headache, but that is not the case when switching from CentOS to AlmaLinux OS. Just like CentOS, AlmaLinux OS is a 1:1 binary compatible fork of RHEL, so switching is simple. We will provide instructions to swap repositories and keys once the Beta is out.

Can I really port an entire fleet of servers from CentOS to AlmaLinux OS with a single command?

As stated, AlmaLinux OS will be a 1:1 binary compatible fork of RHEL, which means that your applications and services will remain compatible. For that reason, you can rapidly migrate any number of servers with just one command.

Until when will we support AlmaLinux OS?

AlmaLinux partners has committed to supporting AlmaLinux OS until 2029, including stable and thoroughly tested updates and security patches.

AlmaLinux OS in the Press