Help me choose an OS for the future stability

As CentOS 8 is retired, and CentOS 7 is coming to an end, I see that the other two best options from the RHEL family are AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux. Can you help me choose?

Joe mentioned in a reply that these 2 OSs will be supported soon.

I also saw many posts from the community testing with these two systems.

I know asking for opinions can open debates, but I’m asking for being practical and for sharing our experiences, not to say I just like this rather than that.

So, from your experience, which one do you believe is more stable, less troublesome, and has a promising LTS?

p.s.: Feel free to recommend other operating systems if you believe they fit the bill.

No, can’t really do that. Preference is very subjective and also depends on your experience. If on CentOS 8, both will work after a conversion with existing Virtualmin. If new server, it will be supported in version 7.

From my own experience, was on CentOS 8.5 - I tried both migration scripts using 2 different physical servers (live with 30 domains and 200GB of data). Rocky Linux migration script wasn’t as polished as AlmaLinux. The latter converted the server with no issues, no downtime and in general it was a great experience. Rocky Linux didn’t work for me. That was over a month ago and things may have changed since then. I also know that others have converted to Rocky Linux with no/little issues.

I know it’s difficult to try both conversions using live servers. Unless it’s a test server which won’t provide accurate feedback versus a live server. I would visit both communities to see which one suits in terms of support and how it ‘feels’ like. There is no such as ‘best’ distribution. Do and choose what you feel comfortable with. On a practical note, day to day - they both do or are the same - a clone of RHEL features therefor also CentOS. All my apps work. All services work as before and I am happy.

Whichever you choose. Your CentOS experience will live on. At some point in the future you can then move over to RHEL :smile:. That is what I am doing. For now both Alma and Rocky will offer great stability and good software support.


but… but it’s not officially supported by Virtualmin :worried:
(joking of course :wink::wink:)

Don’t choose for me. Just help me :slight_smile: by sharing your experience, like you did.
Thank you

Actually I was surprised that Facebook was using CentOS on their production rather than RHEL.
This is a different topic, but there’s no “comment” field here in this forum like that one in Stack Exchange.

Licensing of RHEL probably contributed to this in the past. Many providers don’t provide RHEL image, you can obviously upload/ do this manually - but as with everything, when it starts to become a hassle, easier to look for alternatives.

If you go for RHEL, I would backup domains from CentOS. Build new server on RHEL then restore the backups. Converting CentOS 8 to RHEL 8 caused big issues for me so I dropped the idea and converted to AlmaLinux. I don’t know what the future will hold but happy at the moment which is the main thing :grinning:

this is only my experience.
for now i changed some old servers from centos 7 to new servers with almalinux 8.

i konw is not official supported but for me is best choice…

i have also few servers with debian 10 without problem.

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I used CentOS years ago and got burned a couple of times. This was probably pilot error but I now use Debian. CentOS worked, yes, but was slower (YMMV) and required more updates than Debian (YMMV). Years ago I set up some virtual machines for testing. I have been observing their stability and amount of updates and reboots required throughout each year. For fun I included a variety of linux distros, some Arch-based, Debian-based, Redhat-based, etc.
I still have these test machines running and check them every day of the year. The most surprising result was watching so many distros die horrible deaths during the update process. I’ve had to deleted many of them. Of course, my main focus was on comparing Debian Server vs Ubuntu Server vs CentOS Server. They are still working fine but it became apparent that Debian required fewer updates over the years. Ubuntu was the worst, still working, but has required MANY more updates and REBOOTS than the other two. Since I believe low-impact leads to low-maintenance, I use Debian. I have NO PROBLEM with anyone using anything else so there’s no need to flame me… just expect more updates and reboots.

Not gonna do that :grin: But I can’t help but wonder why you would go through all that trouble (unless it is your job to monitor servers like that).

And yes, in deed, I noticed that Ubuntu requires many more reboots compared to CentOS. I guess you already know that the main feature of RHEL bros is stability, and any updates offered are for fixing bugs and security holes, so they’re always welcome as they’re well-tested for stability and compatibility. So, while I’m not sure why Ubuntu updates the kernel so frequently, I could guess that they’re continually adding complexity and new features.

Hi, I am debian guy… you know I would suggest debian however since your background is centos I would greatly suggest almalinux which some of my mates (devops and sysadmins) recommended as replacement for centos.

I would also suggest debian as os for server - main thing is stability and security - no 6 months reinstalls etc… you might not get edge bleeding latest features but you will be stable for more then 4 years if not more than that and everything will just work with vanilla installs like apache, mariadb etc plus documentation is really great regards server support!

Generally I am going to put it on table for you - stay close to source-source as much as you can. Basically if you want to use derivation of pure debian which is one of the oldest distros - you can use fork with some modifications for that os and use something like ubuntu. Some changes in ubuntu are great (on desktop definitely but on server I would personally question it - just my personal opinion), some are really not. Just choose only supported OSes which are base for other ‘supported OSes’. Usually you will get greater stability and security and most of the times its LTS which is what you looking for. I would love to see virtualmin to support gentoo which basically = you build your own distro, but I understand why they do not support it… each of use is different = reflecting in each build… for me debian or almalinux is no brainier. I use debian on my servers with virtualmin from 2009 and had no issues at all. Recently I played with centos and then almalinux and I can say almalinux would be my choice (if I only liked centos).

In end of the day, try to stay close to source-code as much as you can, in meaning of purity of the os and you cannot get it wrong for a life time (I would add).

~# have fun

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Thank you for the sincere answer. I appreciate it.
I noticed Debian is used in the Proxmox hypervisor, which means that it is very stable and dependable.
It is in deed on my radar, but I have good experience with CentOS, this is why I’m trying to build on that.

Perhaps I should make a Debian server some time and start flexing my muscles there. The only thing that’s keeping me from using it is the relatively short EOL deadline (yes, 5 years is shorter than 10, if my memory serves me right).

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True, but Debian you can at least upgrade with a decent amount of certainty shit won’t hit the fan, and you won’t have to migrate all things to a new server, different IP and so on every few years :slight_smile:


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