HostZealot expands the list of supported operating systems

HostZealot expands the list of supported operating systems

Author: HostZealot Team
2 min.

In light of the termination of CentOS support, the issue of expanding the offer of supported server operating systems has become relevant. With this in mind, HostZealot has made the decision of expanding the list of supported operating systems with AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux. What is special about them, what are the advantages of the following operating systems for hosting your website, and who is suitable for them? Let’s see.

CentOS VS. Rocky Linux and Alma Linux

CentOS used to be one of the major operating used on servers, on par with other Linux distributions such as Ubuntu and Debian, and Windows Server by Microsoft.

CentOS is considered in fact the third most popular Linux distribution. It was praised by the users for it’s stability and security, a lot of technical documentation, low system requirements, as well as compatibility with most existing control panels. CentOS was considered an excellent alternative to the corporate RHEL Linux, having most of its advantages but distributed free of charge.

The announced discontinuation of CentOS support was received critically by the community considering that there was no apparent reason for this decision. 

Both Rocky Linux and Alma Linux are Linux distributions created after the announcement of CentOS support termination. Although CentOS has not gone completely, CentOS stream it was replaced by doesn’t satisfy all the needs of former CentOS users since it is no more either open source or a binary-compatible fork of RHEL. In fact, it’s more intended as a testing environment for the updates that further can become a part of the commercial solution, which takes away some of the primary advantages of CentOS presented by the stability and security. 

The vacuum that are created the need for a replacement, and soon it was filled with the two new Linux distributions AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux, which are based on the CentOS architecture and include most of its benefits. Let’s have a closer look at what we get in them.

Alma Linux

AlmaLinux is a free alternative to CentOS that was first released in March 2021 by CloudLinux, a company with over ten years of experience in developing server distros based on RHEL.

Benefits of Almalinux include: 

  • Easy migration: AlmaLinux is a 1:1 binary compatible fork of RHEL, meaning that migration from CentOS won't require any extra work as all packages are identical. Converting from CentOS to AlmaLinux OS is a smooth process that does not require a fresh installation. AlmaLinux provides an automated migration script on GitHub. The only thing you have to keep in mind is to make a backup copy of your server.
  • Stability. Given that stability was one of the main focuses of CentOS, in AlmaLinux it’s one of the most articulated features as well.
  • Security. In the best traditions of CentOS,AlmaLinux is distinguished by security coming with CIS (Center for Internet Security) Benchmark, that allows users to configure their system security.
  • Free and open-source: AlmaLinux is a free and open-source enterprise Linux distribution that is forever-free and built by the community. It is a 1:1 binary compatible fork of RHEL, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a reliable and compatible operating system.
  • Support of control panels: AlmaLinux is fully supported by cPanel and other free alternatives like Control Web Panel (CWP): They have already proven that they are fully compatible with AlmaLinux and their developers are planning further cooperation.
  • Technical support: CloudLinux has a reputation for providing consistent support, including timely security updates and patches. This means that users of AlmaLinux can have peace of mind knowing that their servers are secure, and any bugs will be promptly fixed with timely releases and updates.
  • Long-term support: AlmaLinux OS 8 will be supported at least until 2029, which means that users won't have to worry about full upgrades or fixing bugs for the next seven years.
  • Virtualization: AlmaLinux is also compatible with powerful virtualization solutions like OpenVZ and KVM.
  • Learning curve. Since AlmaLinux shares a lot with CentOS, it won’t be a problem for you to switch from one system to another and master the specificity of its management.

These advantages make AlmaLinux the best CentOS replacement for users who want to quickly re-OS a server, install necessary YUM and EPEL packages, and get back to work.

If you want to get a good replacement for CentOS on your VPS, you can get AlmaLinux VPS from HostZealot.


RockyLinux is another OS that was originally developed as a replacement for CentOS. It was released a few months after AlmaLinux. One of the main creators of Rocky Linux is Gregory Kurtzer, a co-founder of CentOS.

Although Rocky Linux hasn’t been in too long on the market, its creators must know how to meet the needs of Linux users and it is therefore very promising.

Some of the advantages of Rocky Linux we already know about are:

  • Stability. Like CentOS, Rocky Linux is distinguished by its stability. The OS runs without noticeable issues while new updates don’t tend to create new problems.
  • Security. Another prominent feature of CentOS finds its realization in Rocky Linux. Rocky Linux uses a new security system SELinux (Security Enhanced Linux).
  • Compatibility. Rocky Linux is a suitable alternative to Red Hat Enterprise Linux as it is binary-compatible. It offers a seamless migration process from CentOS, AlmaLinux, and other distributions using the migrate2rocky tool. Users can also deploy container images and cloud-based offerings without any issue
  • Open-source. Open-sourceness is another benefit of CentOS that RockyLinux maintains. This gives the developers and users community the freedom of contributing to the operating system resulting in its being in constant improvement, with necessary patches released and bugs fixed as frequently as possible. Community support and the redundancy of documentation are also included in the list of perks.
  • Easy to master. Mimicking the core features of CentOS, you’ll learn to benefit from all the essential features of Rocky Linux very soon.
  • Virtualization. Rocky Linux comes with the support of virtualization solutions that were broadly used with CentOS, not excluding KVM and OpenVZ virtualizations. 

Who needs AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux

Considering the fact that both operating systems were developed with an intention of replacing the good old CentOS, they share most of CentOS's advantages, being in many ways equal to each other. If you put value in such aspects as stability and user-friendliness, and especially if you were using CentOS and are satisfied with it in all terms, then these operating systems will be a great choice for you. The more specific usage cases and which operating system is better at which tasks are to be revealed in the years to come.

Related Articles