The Rocky Linux development team has released version 8.4 (“Green Obsidian”), the first stable release of the new Linux distribution. Rocky Linux, which is binary-compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.4, was created from the basic idea of creating a follow-up project to the previous CentOS as a free RHEL clone. Rocky was launched by the original CentOS founder Gregory Kurtzer.
After AlmaLinux, Rocky Linux is already the second CentOS successor project that was launched this year. The background to this development is Red Hat’s announcement in December 2020 that the 8.x version series of the free RHEL clone CentOS will only be continued as a rolling release from the end of 2021 without fixed version cycles. CentOS will then no longer be completely compatible with the RHEL model: From this point onwards, it will develop into a kind of harbinger of the upcoming RHEL version. The CentOS version series 7.x will receive updates until the regular end of support in June 2024.
Moving made easy
Thanks to binary compatibility, moving from RHEL 8.4 or one of the existing RHEL clones to Rocky Linux 8.4 is particularly easy, according to the developers. You provide that for it migrate2rocky tool ready, with which several community members should have managed the change from the 8.4 editions of RHEL, CentOS, AlmaLinux and Oracle Linux to Rocky without any problems. Nevertheless, the migration process is of course at your own risk.
If you want to try Rocky Linux 8.4, you will also find an alternative x64 and ARM64 ISO images on the official download site. More details are the Release-Notes as well as the Rocky Linux 8.4 release announcement refer to. The latter also refers, among other things, to container images (Docker, Quay) as a further variant for operating Rocky and announces a release party that will be streamed live via YouTube next Saturday.