Rocky has competition as more CentOS alternatives step into the ring: Project Lenix, Oracle Linux vie for attention

Big Red: This is not some gimmick so that you buy support from us

In the wake of Red Hat's decision to end support for CentOS Linux comes a raft of alternatives to fill the void, including Project Lenix - an offshoot of Cloud Linux - and Oracle's free Linux, which Big Red is heavily promoting.

CloudLinux is a distribution based on RHEL/CentOS aimed at hosting providers and enterprises. It is not free but is offered on subscription from $14.00 per month, with support from $3.95 per month. Now the company behind it has introduced Project Lenix as an "open-sourced and community-driven RHEL Fork by the CloudLinux OS Creators".

The first release is set for "Q1 2021". The name is not final, but will be determined by the project.

Project Lenix will be a "1-1 compatible form of RHEL 8 and future releases," according to CloudLinux CEO and co-founder Igor Seletskiy. A key feature will be the ability to migrate easily from CentOS. "Entire server fleets will be able to be converted with a single command with no reinstallation and no reboots required," the company declared today.

The CloudLinux company has also undertaken to sponsor the development and maintenance. Its stated motivation is to promote its KernelCare live patching service.

Penguins on a rocky beach in Antarctica with a ship passing ice floes in the background

Rocky Linux is go: CentOS founder's new project aims to be 100% compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux


According to a poll on its website, which attracted 1,500 responses, 61.5 per cent of CentOS users are waiting for another RHEL fork, with the remaining 38.5 per cent split between Debian, Ubuntu, and OpenSUSE.

It seems the poll did not ask who might opt for a paid RHEL subscription and it is unlikely to be a representative sample, but there is no doubting the fact that many users will look for an alternative with a long-term future.

Is this community-driven, though? Seletskiy said he will "work on establishing a community around the OS, with the governing board from members of the community," but this sounds like a top-down approach that may not be as successful in this respect as the Rocky Linux project kicked off by CentOS founder Gregory Kurtzer, which is not sponsored by any one company.

If the community thing is not an issue, another option is Oracle Linux. This distribution is also "100 per cent binary-compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux" and in a recent post the company said: "We've made the Oracle Linux software available free of charge... we've created a simple script to switch your CentOS systems to Oracle Linux."

The promise is that "you're getting the exact same bits our paying enterprise customers are getting" as well as rapid release of security patches. "This is not some gimmick to get you running Oracle Linux so that you buy support from us," the company promised. While Oracle is best known for its expensive proprietary database manager, it also offers open-source software including the popular MySQL, available as a free community edition.

Who will win the post-CentOS wars? When we asked Hayden Young from the Rocky Linux team about alternatives, he said that simply getting a RHEL binary-compatible build is not enough; it must also be easy to customise. With CentOS (and the forthcoming Rocky Linux), "you could build your own image of it with your customisations, whereas you can't with something like CloudLinux," he told us.

A company like Oracle, he added, "just does not have the trust and the stability that people have come to expect from CentOS."

This is Linux and there can be more than one winner. There is Oracle Linux for those looking for a free alternative to CentOS from a big name, there is Project Lenix from a small company but with a track record of building an RHEL-compatible distro, and there is Rocky Linux, where we think members of the CentOS community unhappy with the switch to CentOS Stream are most likely to migrate. ®

Similar topics

Other stories you might like

  • Warehouse belonging to Chinese payment terminal manufacturer raided by FBI

    PAX Technology devices allegedly infected with malware

    US feds were spotted raiding a warehouse belonging to Chinese payment terminal manufacturer PAX Technology in Jacksonville, Florida, on Tuesday, with speculation abounding that the machines contained preinstalled malware.

    PAX Technology is headquartered in Shenzhen, China, and is one of the largest electronic payment providers in the world. It operates around 60 million point-of-sale (PoS) payment terminals in more than 120 countries.

    Local Jacksonville news anchor Courtney Cole tweeted photos of the scene.

    Continue reading
  • Everything you wanted to know about modern network congestion control but were perhaps too afraid to ask

    In which a little unfairness can be quite beneficial

    Systems Approach It’s hard not to be amazed by the amount of active research on congestion control over the past 30-plus years. From theory to practice, and with more than its fair share of flame wars, the question of how to manage congestion in the network is a technical challenge that resists an optimal solution while offering countless options for incremental improvement.

    This seems like a good time to take stock of where we are, and ask ourselves what might happen next.

    Congestion control is fundamentally an issue of resource allocation — trying to meet the competing demands that applications have for resources (in a network, these are primarily link bandwidth and router buffers), which ultimately reduces to deciding when to say no and to whom. The best framing of the problem I know traces back to a paper [PDF] by Frank Kelly in 1997, when he characterized congestion control as “a distributed algorithm to share network resources among competing sources, where the goal is to choose source rate so as to maximize aggregate source utility subject to capacity constraints.”

    Continue reading
  • How business makes streaming faster and cheaper with CDN and HESP support

    Ensure a high video streaming transmission rate

    Paid Post Here is everything about how the HESP integration helps CDN and the streaming platform by G-Core Labs ensure a high video streaming transmission rate for e-sports and gaming, efficient scalability for e-learning and telemedicine and high quality and minimum latencies for online streams, media and TV broadcasters.

    HESP (High Efficiency Stream Protocol) is a brand new adaptive video streaming protocol. It allows delivery of content with latencies of up to 2 seconds without compromising video quality and broadcasting stability. Unlike comparable solutions, this protocol requires less bandwidth for streaming, which allows businesses to save a lot of money on delivery of content to a large audience.

    Since HESP is based on HTTP, it is suitable for video transmission over CDNs. G-Core Labs was among the world’s first companies to have embedded this protocol in its CDN. With 120 points of presence across 5 continents and over 6,000 peer-to-peer partners, this allows a service provider to deliver videos to millions of viewers, to any devices, anywhere in the world without compromising even 8K video quality. And all this comes at a minimum streaming cost.

    Continue reading
  • Cisco deprecates Microsoft management integrations for UCS servers

    Working on Azure integration – but not there yet

    Cisco has deprecated support for some third-party management integrations for its UCS servers, and emerged unable to play nice with Microsoft's most recent offerings.

    Late last week the server contender slipped out an end-of-life notice [PDF] for integrations with Microsoft System Center's Configuration Manager, Operations Manager, and Virtual Machine Manager. Support for plugins to VMware vCenter Orchestrator and vRealize Orchestrator have also been taken out behind an empty rack with a shotgun.

    The Register inquired about the deprecations, and has good news and bad news.

    Continue reading
  • Protonmail celebrates Swiss court victory exempting it from telco data retention laws

    Doesn't stop local courts' surveillance orders, though

    Encrypted email provider Protonmail has hailed a recent Swiss legal ruling as a "victory for privacy," after winning a lawsuit that sees it exempted from data retention laws in the mountainous realm.

    Referring to a previous ruling that exempted instant messaging services from data capture and storage laws, the Protonmail team said this week: "Together, these two rulings are a victory for privacy in Switzerland as many Swiss companies are now exempted from handing over certain user information in response to Swiss legal orders."

    Switzerland's Federal Administrative Court ruled on October 22 that email providers in Switzerland are not considered telecommunications providers under Swiss law, thereby removing them from the scope of data retention requirements imposed on telcos.

    Continue reading
  • Japan picks AWS and Google for first gov cloud push

    Local players passed over for Digital Agency’s first project

    Japan's Digital Agency has picked Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud for its first big reform push.

    The Agency started operations in September 2021, years after efforts like the UK's Government Digital Service (GDS) or Australia's Digital Transformation Agency (DTA). The body was a signature reform initiated by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who spent his year-long stint in the top job trying to curb Japan's reliance on paper documents, manual processes, and faxes. Japan's many government agencies also operated their websites independently of each other, most with their own design and interface.

    The new Agency therefore has a remit to "cut across all ministries" and "provide services that are driven not toward ministries, agency, laws, or systems, but toward users and to improve user-experience".

    Continue reading
  • Singaporean minister touts internet 'kill switch' that finds kids reading net nasties and cuts 'em off ASAP

    Fancies a real-time crowdsourced content rating scheme too

    A Minister in the Singapore government has suggested the creation of an internet kill switch that would prevent minors from reading questionable material online – perhaps using ratings of content created in real time by crowdsourced contributors.

    "The post-COVID world will bring new challenges globally, including to us in the security arena," said Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen at a Tuesday ceremony to award the city-state's 2021 Defense Technology Prize.

    "For operations, the SAF (Singapore Armed Force) has to expand its capabilities in the digital domain. Whether for administrative or operational purposes, I think that we will need to leverage technology to the maximum," he declared.

    Continue reading
  • China Telecom booted out of USA as Feds worry it could disrupt or spy on local networks

    FCC urges more action against Huawei and DJI, too

    The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has terminated China Telecom's authority to provide communications services in the USA.

    In its announcement of the termination, the government agency explained the decision is necessary because the national security environment has changed in the years since 2002. That was when China Telecom was first allowed to operate in the USA.

    The FCC now believes – partly based on classified advice from national security agencies – that China Telecom can "access, store, disrupt, and/or misroute US communications, which in turn allow them to engage in espionage and other harmful activities against the United States." And because China Telecom is state-controlled, China's government can compel the carrier to act as it sees fit, without judicial review or oversight.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021