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The Battle for Linux

Updated: Jul 20, 2023



In the grand tapestry of enterprise Linux, Red Hat had long been the ruling kingdom, its crown jewel RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) held in high esteem. But there was another realm, the province of CentOS, a mirror kingdom that emulated Red Hat's governance, providing a cost-free alternative to the premium RHEL. The citizens of CentOS were the silent majority, their numbers dwarfing their Red Hat counterparts twenty to one.


Then, in the year 2020, a decree was issued that shook the foundations of the Linux world. Red Hat announced the cessation of CentOS's support by 2024, leaving the province of CentOS in a state of disarray. The once reliable CentOS Stream, a lifeline for many, was now the sole source of public RHEL-related source code releases. The political landscape was thrown into turmoil, and the citizens of CentOS were left seeking new allegiances.


In the midst of this upheaval, two new nation-states emerged: Rocky Linux and AlmaLinux. Like new realms born from the ashes of a fallen empire, they promised to carry on the legacy, offering themselves as the new cost-free alternatives to RHEL. But Red Hat, the seasoned monarch, was quick to cast doubt on these new nation-states. They warned of the complexities in migrating to these would-be clones, painting them as less reliable and less trustworthy.


Red Hat's vice president, Gunnar Hellekson, and others echoed these sentiments, suggesting that Rocky and Alma were merely emulating Red Hat's governance without contributing their own. They hinted at a certain opportunism, of Rocky and Alma benefiting from others' hard work. The political landscape was filled with uncertainty, the air thick with anticipation.


Yet, amidst the chaos and confusion, the citizens of CentOS had to chart a new course. They had to decide whether to stay loyal to the Red Hat kingdom, despite the cost, or to pledge their allegiance to the new nation-states, Rocky and Alma. They had to weigh the risks and rewards, consider the long-term implications, and make a decision that would shape their journey through the Linux world.


The cessation of CentOS's support was a shock to many, but it also opened up new possibilities. Rocky and AlmaLinux emerged as potential alternatives, but their viability was questioned by Red Hat. The future of the landscape was uncertain, but one thing was clear: the journey through the enterprise Linux world was far from over.

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