5 Finest CentOS Alternative Choices for 2023

CentOS Linux 7, the favored free and open-source Linux distribution based mostly on Pink Hat Enterprise Linux, has set its end of life for June 2024. The enterprise working system, cherished by scientists, companies and builders for its reliability, stability and safety, has been a number one expertise for webhosting, cloud computing, storage servers, networks and software program improvement.

As customers think about whether or not emigrate to CentOS Stream 9, a brand new upstream distribution that’s designed to be a rolling launch of Pink Hat Enterprise Linux and isn’t thought of a alternative for CentOS, different rivals stand out pretty much as good options.

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High CentOS options: Comparability desk

Within the following chart, we be aware how 5 CentOS options examine by way of efficiency, migration instruments and assets, safety and compliance, supported architectures, assist and lifecycle, and pricing.

Efficiency Migration instruments and assets Safety and compliance Supported architectures Assist and lifecycle Pricing
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Extremely dependable and strong. Sure. Sure, built-in and automatic instruments. x86, ARM, IBM Energy, IBM Z, IBM LinuxONE and extra.

24-7 assist is free with the paid plan. 

10-year lifecycle.

Improve extensions out there.

Pricing begins at $179.
Oracle Linux Superior efficiency and reliability. Sure. Sure, built-in instruments. x86 (32-bit), x86-64 (64-bit) and aarch64 (64-bit).

24-7 assist have to be bought.

10-year lifecycle.

Improve extension out there.

Free to obtain, use and distribute. 

Paid variations embrace Oracle Linux assist, Oracle Cloud and Oracle.

Rocky Linux Dependable however below intense improvement. Sure, however requires superior data. Sure, however requires superior data. x86-64-v2, ARM64, ppc64le and s390x.

Group assist and business assist out there.

10-year assist and improve cycle.

Free to obtain, use and distribute.
AlmaLinux Enterprise-grade however below improvement. Sure, however requires superior data. Sure, however requires superior data. x86_64, aarch64, ppc64le and s390x.

Free group assist.

Upgrades and year-support lifecycle differ relying on variations.

Free to obtain, use and distribute.
Fedora Enterprise- grade, dependable and safe. Sure, built-in superior options. Sure, built-in, superior options. x86-64, ARM, PowerPC: PowerPC64 and PowerPC64le, s390x and RISC-V: F.

Boards, paperwork, bug packages, mailing lists and chat assist. 

Helps improve from one model to the subsequent.

Free to obtain, use and distribute.

Featured Companions


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What are the very best CentOS options?

For the reason that IBM-owned firm determined to limit the free use of Pink Hat Enterprise Linux, a divide has been rising amongst customers. The primary query is whether or not emigrate to business Linux suppliers or open-source, non-commercial community-developed enterprise working techniques.

On this complicated panorama of imminent migration, some prime names stand out as CentOS’s prime options: Pink Hat Enterprise Linux, Oracle Linux, Rocky Linux, AlmaLinux and Fedora.

Pink Hat Enterprise Linux: Finest for big enterprises

Red Hat Enterprise Linux logo.
Picture: Pink Hat

The primary title that emerges as an alternative choice to CentOS is of course Pink Hat Enterprise Linux, because it’s the open-source working system on which CentOS is predicated. Due to this fact, many customers suppose that going on to the supply is of course a good suggestion, and so they’re not fallacious.

RHEL has gained its repute amongst huge enterprises for offering a contemporary, security-oriented OS. Corporations with superior digital assets, expertise stacks and workloads use the OS to scale and carry out on-premises, on digital machines or containers and within the cloud. The OS is licensed on a whole lot of clouds and with 1000’s of {hardware} and software program distributors.

Determine A

Red Hat Enterprise Linux migration process for CentOS. Image: Red Hat 
Pink Hat Enterprise Linux migration course of for CentOS. Picture: Pink Hat


  • Stability and group assist: RHEL is a really steady OS designed for use in mission-critical environments. There’s additionally a big and lively group of RHEL customers and builders to supply assist.
  • Safety: Safety is on the core of RHEL. The system consists of a large number of superior safety features.
  • Official assist and advantages: Pink Hat supplies 24/7 assist for RHEL, and all variations have a 10-year life cycle. Plus, Pink Hat connects customers with its in depth {hardware}, software program and cloud accomplice ecosystem.
  • Supported architectures: It runs on servers and workstations, and helps a variety of {hardware} architectures like x86, ARM, IBM Energy, IBM Z and IBM LinuxONE.
  • Automation and administration: The OS consists of Pink Hat Insights, a managed service for analytics and remediation that delivers steady vulnerability alerts and steerage.
  • Safety and compliance: RHEL can simplify dangers and automate safety and compliance with built-in options like dwell kernel patching, safety profiles, safety requirements certification and a trusted software program provide chain.
  • Migration: From putting in to migrating or updating, the seller affords instruments to streamline the processes, whether or not customers are coming from CentOS Linux or one other OS.


  • Steady and dependable software program.
  • Excessive-performing safety and compliance.
  • Properly-supported OS.
  • Wide selection of options.
  • Massive and lively group.


  • Not free; business pricing could be costly for small firms.
  • May be complicated to handle.
  • Not as versatile as another Linux distributions.


RHEL variants embrace the Server version and RHEL Workstations, that are optimized to run on high-performance workstations. Moreover, different variations are Linux for Virtual Datacenters, Linux for IBM Power Little Endian and Linux for SAP Solutions.

Pricing begins at $179 for the Workstation, and the costliest resolution, Linux Virtual Datacenters, begins at $2,499.

SEE: For extra data, learn Pink Hat Enterprise Linux 9

Oracle Linux: Finest for IT and software program improvement firms

Oracle Linux logo.
Picture: Oracle

Oracle Linux is one other strong various for these seeking to migrate from CentOS for a number of causes. To start with, Oracle Linux is 100% Pink Hat Enterprise Linux appropriate. It may well deal with all kinds of workloads, heavy-duty databases, utility servers and DevOps. Moreover, customers can migrate from CentOS to Oracle Linux seamlessly utilizing built-in migration options. And, they may profit from a number of options that aren’t out there in CentOS.

Absolutely appropriate with RHEL, Oracle affords a selection of two kernels: the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel for Oracle Linux or the Pink Hat Appropriate Kernel.

  • The Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel supplies the newest open supply improvements, key optimizations and safety with a give attention to efficiency, stability and minimal backports by monitoring the mainline supply code as carefully as is sensible. It’s a Linux kernel constructed by Oracle and supported via Oracle Linux assist. UEK is designed for optimum efficiency and stability and drives Oracle Cloud and Oracle Engineered Techniques, comparable to Oracle Exadata Database Machine. UEK is well-tested and used to run Oracle’s Engineered Techniques, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and enormous enterprise deployments for Oracle clients.
  • The Pink Hat Appropriate Kernel is for Oracle Linux, and it’s appropriate with the Pink Hat Enterprise Linux kernel; because of this software program that’s compiled for RHEL may even run on Oracle Linux with RHCK.

Oracle Linux is an effective selection for companies and organizations that want a steady, dependable and safe working system. Additionally it is fashionable amongst IT and software program firms due to the options listed beneath.

Determine B

Oracle Linux User interface that shows storage management and disk partition operation.
Oracle Linux Consumer interface that exhibits storage administration and disk partition operation. Picture: Oracle


  • Migration: Oracle supplies a fast and straightforward migration path to modify from CentOS Linux or different OS. The corporate additionally affords hands-on labs and tutorials to assist customers all through the method.
  • DevOps automation: IT firms and software program builders leverage the automated DevOps options to speed up manufacturing and deployment. By way of these options, Constellation Analysis customers can discover 5 drivers for DevOps automation, suggestions and extra.
  • Multi-environment efficiency and reliability: Oracle Linux is designed to assist x86 and Arm architectures throughout on-premises, multicloud and edge environments. Additionally it is engineered for heavy workloads.
  • Safety and compliance: Customers can apply safety vulnerability fixes with out downtime. Oracle Linux can assist customers detect exploits and use a distribution that has FIPS and Frequent Standards certifications to fulfill compliance.
  • Official assist: Oracle Linux assist have to be bought. The value for the 24/7 assist begins at $499 per yr.

Extra options that aren’t out there in CentOS embrace:

  • Zero-downtime patching with Ksplice.
  • Cloud-native instruments comparable to Kubernetes and Kata Containers.
  • Kernel-based digital machine virtualization and oVirt-based virtualization supervisor.
  • Gluster Storage for Oracle Linux.
  • The Btrfs file system (solely out there with UEK).
  • DTrace dynamic tracing framework (solely out there with UEK).
  • Oracle Linux Automation Supervisor and Automation Engine.
  • Oracle Linux Supervisor utility to help in patching and errata administration.


  • Provides free obtain, use and distribution.
  • Boasts high-performance, stability, safety and reliability.
  • Gives automation for DevOps.
  • Delivers very good assist.
  • Provides a variety of options that CentOS doesn’t.
  • Features a 100% RHEL appropriate migration path for CentOS and different OS customers.


  • Assist have to be bought.
  • May be complicated to handle.
  • Compliance options require superior data.


Oracle Linux fundamental model is free to obtain, use and distribute; this consists of free supply code and updates. The Oracle Cloud Infrastructure pricing could be estimated online and the Linux Support plan pricing is out there upon request.

SEE: Is Oracle Linux a sound alternative for CentOS? (TechRepublic)

Rocky Linux: Finest for die-hard CentOS followers

Rocky Linux.
Picture: Rocky Linux

Rocky Linux is a community-supported Linux distribution that was created when CentOS introduced its end-of-life cycle. The undertaking is led by the unique founding father of CentOS, Gregory Kurtzer.

The OS is designed to be a drop-in alternative for CentOS. It responds to the wants of the CentOS group and has acquired assist from Amazon Net Providers, Google Cloud, VMware, Open Supply Lab and others.

Rocky Linux is an open-source enterprise working system designed to be 100% bug-for-bug appropriate with Pink Hat Enterprise Linux; nevertheless, as it’s below intensive improvement by the group, it isn’t but risk-free.

Determine C 

RockyLinux desktop.
Supply: RockyLinux.


  • Migration: Rocky Linux affords assist and guides for customers to make use of when migrating from CentOS, CentOS Stream, Alma Linux, RHEL or Oracle Linux. Superior expertise are required for the migration and what Rocky Linux calls “a mildly risk-taking angle.” A migration script is out there freed from cost.
  • Manufacturing-ready: Regardless of it nonetheless being below improvement, the OS is enterprise-ready and supplies strong stability with common updates.
  • Group assist: The OS has the assist of well-known CentOS leaders, in addition to the broader group.
  • CentOS options: The OS supplies all the principle CentOS options that builders and the group are accustomed to, making the training curve a straight line.

SEE: Study to make use of Linux for IT and Sysadmin with this coaching bundle (TechRepublic Academy)


  • Free and open-source.
  • Dependable and safe.
  • Properly-supported.
  • Glorious for customers familiarized with CentOS.
  • Supported by the CentOS lively group.


  • Below intense improvement.
  • Not risk-free.
  • Requires superior data.


Rocky Linux is free and supplies free upgrades together with a 10-year assist lifecycle, all without charge.

AlmaLinux: Finest for these accustomed to CentOS

AlmaLinux logo.
Picture: Alma Linux

AlmaLinux is one other forked model of CentOS, owned and ruled by a group of builders. Like RockyLinux, the OS started improvement when CentOS introduced it might not supply assist or launch new variations.

The group behind AlmaLinux assures that the OS will at all times be free for enterprises, and that they’re centered on long-term stability and a sturdy production-grade platform. The corporate adopted a Fedora-like distribution for anybody who doesn’t wish to pay for RHEL licenses. AlmaLinux is supported by CloudLinux Inc. and different sponsors.


  • Migration: AlmaLinux doesn’t have built-in automated step-by-step expertise that guides customers via migration. AlmaLinux does supply guides, however solely these with superior expertise will be capable of comply with them (Determine D).
  • Manufacturing-ready: AlmaLinux OS is an enterprise-grade server OS. It’s a steady Linux distribution and affords common releases and assist. It’s designed for crucial workloads. The group supplies official pictures for cloud suppliers together with AWS, generic clouds, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, OpenNebula and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.
  • Group assist: The AlmaLinux GitHub group comprises supply code and instruments used to construct AlmaLinux OS and associated infrastructure. The Reddit group is in place for customers to obtain updates and discover and supply assist. Moreover, different group boards can be found.
  • Supported architectures: AlmaLinux helps 4 architectures: x86_64, aarch64, ppc64le and s390x.
  • Efficiency and safety: AlmaLinux is a really steady working system that depends on the experience of consultants locally. It’s designed for use in mission-critical environments, and it has a protracted historical past of reliability. It additionally supplies quite a few safety features, which embrace SELinux and AppArmor.

Determine D

AlmaLinux CentOS migration process.
Picture: AlmaLinux


  • Open-source and free.
  • Migration assist.
  • Excessive-grade enterprise distribution OS.
  • CentOS-style options.
  • Massive group assist.


  • New to the market.
  • Not risk-free.
  • Requires superior data.
  • Superior instruments comparable to automation and compliance could differ and depend upon the extent of person experience.


AlmaLinux is free. Upgrades and assist supplied differ relying on the model.

Fedora: Finest for programming and rolling launch distribution

Fedora logo.
Picture: Fedora

Fedora is an modern platform cherished by programmers as a result of it supplies cutting-edge expertise, is dependable and steady, and is a free and open-source OS filled with options.

Fedora can also be a community-supported Linux distribution developed by Pink Hat. In idea, it compares extra to CentOS Stream than to CentOS as a result of it affords rolling launch distribution, giving customers entry to the newest expertise. New options and updates are launched on a steady foundation. The brand new options in Fedora can be found earlier than they’re launched in Pink Hat Enterprise Linux. Fedora additionally invests closely in graphic person expertise and supplies easy-to-use, high-quality graphics via trendy desktops (Determine E).

Determine E

Fedora Desktop Linux user interface.
Picture: Fedora


  • Variations: Fedora is out there in Workstation and Server variations in addition to for IoT, Cloud and as a Container optimized OS. Every model is up to date for about 13 months; upgrades between variations are fast and straightforward.
  • Efficiency: With Fedora Server, customers can run digital machines and containers, construct functions, deploy a server and workloads, and create steady ecosystems.
  • Assist: Gives problem monitoring, chat assist, assets, documentation, group assist and extra.
  • Rolling releases: Fedora is a rolling launch distribution, which suggests new options and updates are launched on a steady foundation. Customers have entry to the newest software program out there.
  • Supported architectures: x86-64, ARM, PowerPC: PowerPC64 and PowerPC64le, s390x and RISC-V: F.


  • Free and open supply.
  • Constructed-in migration instruments and assets.
  • Chopping-edge working system, affords rolling releases.
  • Group supported.


  • Superior expertise are required.
  • Setup could be complicated.


Fedora is free and supplies free upgrades from model to model.

Is CentOS nonetheless related?

CentOS remains to be a related Linux distribution regardless of it being on the countdown for its finish of life. You may consider CentOS as an excellent automotive that the producer is not producing. When you can nonetheless use the automotive and it really works completely, you’ll not obtain upgrades, new variations or assist. Within the close to future, it’s anticipated to develop into outdated.

Will there be a CentOS 9?

No, there won’t be a CentOS 9. Pink Hat introduced it might not assist CentOS as a downstream distribution of RHEL. This implies there can be no new variations of CentOS launched after CentOS 8.

Nonetheless, led by a big group and supported by business companions, forks of CentOS comparable to Rocky Linus and AlmaLinux are being developed. These forks are designed to be 100% appropriate with CentOS, to allow them to be used as a drop-in alternative for CentOS.

Is CentOS good in 2023?

Whereas CentOS in 2023 remains to be a very good choice, builders and companies are already wanting into migrating to different options.

Having stated that, CentOS remains to be steady, dependable and appropriate with a variety of software program in 2023. Additionally it is nonetheless free and open-source, and has the assist of an lively group of customers and builders. Nonetheless, as a result of finish of CentOS as we all know it, it will not be your best option for everybody in 2023 and past.

What’s the way forward for CentOS?

Whereas the way forward for CentOS is unsure, the most certainly state of affairs is that one of many organizations creating forks of it turns into the go-to OS for this group by mid-2024 when it reaches its finish of life.

On the opposite facet, from Pink Hat’s perspective, the way forward for CentOS is CentOS Stream, which is a brand new Linux distribution developed by Pink Hat, an IBM-owned firm. However CentOS Stream shouldn’t be a alternative for CentOS — it’s a completely different distribution with a very completely different focus. It goals to be on the forefront of improvement by providing customers rolling launch distribution to check new options and updates earlier than they’re launched in RHEL. On this manner, it’s much like Fedora; additionally, each are developed by Pink Hat, and each supply rolling releases.

How do I select the very best CentOS various for my enterprise?

There isn’t any straightforward reply to this query. When selecting another for CentOS, enterprise leaders ought to seek the advice of with their builders to study which OS they really feel extra snug with as a result of they would be the ones working the system.

Alternatively, funds could also be a deciding issue, particularly for small firms. Moreover, amongst CentOS customers and builders, there’s a robust sense of group, assist and respect without spending a dime open-source initiatives. Due to this fact, even when an organization has the funds to purchase the costliest licenses, builders could really feel extra assured and cozy working with open-source, free expertise.

Some customers may even see the top of lifetime of CentOS as a possibility emigrate to a different OS comparable to Oracle Linux or Pink Hat Enterprise Linux. These extra conservative selections supply options that CentOS doesn’t supply.

In the long run, the OS you select should align with what you are promoting wants and objectives, be versatile, dependable and safe, and supply wonderful migration and assist. Scaling, automation, upgrades and compliance are additionally key elements to research.


CentOS has supplied important providers for organizations, firms and builders for a few years. Whereas the OS faces the inevitable finish of its glory days, there are nonetheless strong new and established Linux OS distributions out there.

From CentOS-inspired group OSs like Rocky Linux or AlmaLinux, to a cutting-edge OS like Fedora, or the massive names of Oracle and Pink Hat Linux, the choices are as various as they’re wealthy. It will likely be as much as each enterprise to resolve which Linux distribution suits their operational wants.


To put in writing our evaluation and consider CentOS rivals and options, we examined websites that compile mixture knowledge based mostly on verified person critiques. We additionally reviewed demos on vendor websites, test-drove the software program when attainable and scoured via the official websites of all OS suppliers’ options on this report to judge their software program, customer support, user-friendliness, value, scalability and extra.