AlmaLinux vs Rocky Linux – Choose Better Distribution

In this guide, we intend to discuss the differences between AlmaLinux vs Rocky Linux and Help you to Choose the Better Distribution. AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux are the RHEL Derivatives. If you don’t know which distribution to use, you can follow this guide to know about their features and advantages of them and choose the better one for your needs.

AlmaLinux vs Rocky Linux – Choose Better Distribution

For the start, we want to introduce AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux distribution and see when they have been released. Follow the steps below to complete this guide.

Step 1 – What is AlmaLinux Distribution?

AlmaLinux is a free and open-source branch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux or RHEL. The first stable version was released on March 2021 by CloudLinux and it is the best replacement for Centos 8 stream.

AlmaLinux Desktop View

For a complete introduction, we provided an article that you can use to know more about AlmaLinux. To do this, you can visit this guide on Introducing AlmaLinux As a Replacement for CentOS.

Step 2 – What is Rocky Linux Distribution?

Rocky Linux is another open-source distribution based on RHEL. It is developed by Rocky Enterprise Software Foundation and the first release was on June 2021. Also, you can consider Rocky Linux as a replacement for Cento’s stream.

Rocky Linux Desktop View

As you know, both distributions are the same. But they have some key features and differences. Let’s see what are.

Step 3 – AlmaLinux vs Rocky Linux – Features and Differences

At this point, you can proceed to the following steps to see the differences and features of these RHEL distros in detail.

Architecture of AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux

Both AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux distributions are based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux or RHEL. The latest versions of AlmaLinux have support for x86-64, ARM64, ppc64le, and s390x architectures. And latest versions of Rocky Linux have support for x86-64-v2ARM64ppc64le, and s390x architectures.

AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux Release Cycles

Both distributions have a life cycle and update for each version. These distros attempt to release regular updates within 1 business day from RHEL. Each release, like RHEL, comes with a 10-year lifecycle. Major releases are typically available within a few weeks to a few months following a major RHEL release.

The latest Rocky Linux 8 was released on 21 Jun 2021 and it ends on 31 May 2024. Also, the latest Rocky Linux 9 was released on 14 Jul 2022 and it ends on 31 May 2032.

The latest AlmaLinux 8 was released on 30 Mar 2021 and it ends on 01 May 2024. Also, for AlmaLinux 9 that is released on 26 May 2022, it ends on 31 May 2027.

Kernel-Version on AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux

At this point, we want to talk about the performance and kernel version. Both distributions are the same in performance and kernel version. The latest release of Rocky Linux and AlmaLinux comes with kernel version 5.14. This kernel version improved the security, SELinux performance, and user authentication logs on both AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux.

Stability and Support

After the AlamLinux and Rocky Linux were introduced as a replacement for Cento’s stream, many users don’t trust these distros at first. When the release updates come and fix the bugs, AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux get the user’s trust in stable operating systems.

Also, many organizations such as Nvidia, Google Cloud, Dell, Liquid Web, and others certify their apps on these distributions, AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux have got many supports.

Package Manager on AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux

The default package manager that is used on AlmaLinux is DNF. It is used for the management process such as updating, installing, and removing packages. DNF is an updated version of YUM that is used on Centos’s stream.

Also, you can visit this guide on Differences between YUM and DNF package managers, to get more information.

And in the Rocky Linux OS, the default package is DNF or RPM. As you know, the RPM packages are used in RHEL-Based distributions.

To know how to work with RPM on RHEL-Based distros, you can check this guide on Use RPM Packages on RHEL.

Security Features on AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux

At this point, we can say that the main difference between these distributions is in security features. AlmaLinux has a CIS (Center for Internet Security) Benchmark for system security. Also, AlmaLinux comes with a feature tool OpenSCAP that automatically checks the system for vulnerabilities.

On the other hand, Rocky Linux has a security system SELinux (Security Enhanced Linux) with kernel version 2.6

AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux Repositories

These two RHEL distros have three main repositories by default.

  1. BaseOS: Base Software Packages for OS.
  2. AppStream: It is used to provide additional user space for apps, runtime languages, databases, etc.
  3. Extras: It contains packages that are not available in Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

The other repositories must be enabled manually on AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux.

Now let’s see an overview of the key features of the two distributions in the following table:

TitleAlmaLinuxRocky Linux
First ReleaseMarch 2021June 2021
Created ByCloudLinuxFormer CentOS founder Gregory Kurtzer
Release Cycle10 Years10 Years
SecurityCIS (Center for Internet Security) Benchmark.SELinux (Security Enhanced Linux)
Architecturex86-64, ARM64, ppc64le, and s390x.x86-64-v2, ARM64, ppc64le, and s390x.
Package ManagerDNFDNF o RPM
RepositoriesBaseOS, AppStream, and Extras.BaseOS, AppStream, and Extras.
Latest Kernel-Versionkernel version 5.14kernel version 5.14
Stability and SupportAround 8 yearsAround 8 years
Funding$1M from CloudLinx and support from other sponsors.$26M by CIQ
AlmaLinux vs Rocky Linux

Step 4 – Which one to Choose? AlmaLinux or Rocky Linux?

As we saw these amazing 1:1 RHEL-based distributions are the best replacement for Centos’s stream. Because the system performance and key features are the same way, you can choose the one that is best for your needs and more comfortable with it.

We recommend testing both of them and selecting the one you are interested in. You can find amazing guides and articles in AlmaLinux Tutorials and Rocky Linux Tutorials that you can use to know more about these distributions and different installations and configurations of apps and software.


At this point, you have learned what is AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux and understand the key differences and features of them. Based on the comparison made, you can choose the one you are interested in. Hope you enjoy this guide on AlmaLinux vs Rocky Linux – Choose Better Distribution. Need any Help? Comment For Us.

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