About a year ago, Red Hat announced that CentOS would cease to exist as it had until then; over the past ten years or so, many in the industry had come to depend on CentOS as a free alternative to expensive RHEL subscriptions. Many (not me so much) were shocked by the announcement that Red Hat would be changing the model so that CentOS was no longer downstream of RHEL, but upstream; CentOS would become a less-reliable version of RHEL, sitting somewhere between Fedora (bleeding edge) and RHEL (enterprise-ready).
Certainly, this was disappointing. What would it mean? Quickly, ideas were proposed and shot down. Debian would be a big change. Oracle Linux posed some of the same long-term risks as CentOS had. RHEL licensing was cost-prohibitive. The future was uncertain.
The grumbling and gnashing of teeth began immediately, but I mostly ignored that. I was now watching for who was going to step up and do what CentOS had done in the first place. There were a couple contenders, but the most professional of the bunch seemed to be some folks out of Ukraine who’d been running a commercial distro called CloudLinux for about ten years. They made some impressive commitments to getting a free distro going, and were the first to get an installable release out the door.
More impressively, they set up a non-profit org (The AlmaLinux OS Foundation), and handed over control to it. When they opened up membership in the foundation, I applied and was accepted.
Today I run an AlmaLinux mirror here in the Seattle metro area called crazyfast.us, and if you are interested in trying out AlmaLinux, stop by and grab an ISO image. This server is running on it!