Is Rocky Linux still the recommended distro for Virtualmin? (RHEL changes)

Will the RHEL changes have little or no impact as per Rocky’s statement? Anyone concerned or thinking about using something else?

Red Hat’s announcement yesterday states that the sources for RHEL will no longer be accessible from While this decision does change the automation we use for building Rocky Linux, we have already created a short term mitigation and are developing the longer term strategy. There will be no disruption or change for any Rocky Linux users, collaborators, or partners.

(PS could a mod please add a rocky-linux tag to make it easier to find Rocky topics in future?)

More from Alma:

Late last week one of our build SIG members noticed that some updates for Red Hat 8 hadn’t been published on like they were supposed to be. They assumed it was a bug and opened a report appropriately, but as the days went on with no resolution, we knew something was up. This morning we got our answer:

Red Hat has decided to continue to use the Customer Portal to share source code with our partners and customers, while treating CentOS Stream as the venue for collaboration with the community.

This change means that we, as builders of a RHEL clone, will now be responsible for following the licensing and agreements that are in place around Red Hat’s interfaces, in addition to following the licenses included in the software sources. Unfortunately the way we understand it today, Red Hat’s user interface agreements indicate that re-publishing sources acquired through the customer portal would be a violation of those agreements.

That means we need a new solution.

The short- and long-term solutions to this change are something we will be discussing over the coming weeks. We spent much of our time today diving deep to ensure we understood the depth of the problem, and discussing our potential options.

In the short term, we will be working with other members of the RHEL ecosystem to ensure that we continue to deliver security updates with the speed and stability that we have become known for.

In the long-term, we’ll be working with those same partners and with our community to identify the best path forward for AlmaLinux as part of the enterprise linux ecosystem.

No. We don’t use tags for that sort of thing. (Discourse tag support is broke-ish for how we use it in PMs, and I don’t want to invest the time to fix it when so many other things are needing attention. In short, adding more tags makes it harder to use tags the way we use them for support PMs, so we don’t allow arbitrary tag creation and I won’t let Ilia add any more.)

Search works pretty well. For now that’s the best way to find discussions about a given topic.

No problem, though maybe you might be able to create tag groups and make them staff only for your PMs…

1 Like

I didn’t even know tag groups existed! It might do what we need…I’ll have to do some experimentation, but no promises about when/whether it means I open up tag creation and usage.

1 Like

I think class A distros are the recommended distros, not Rocky otherwise it becomes a OS war.

1 Like

I will wait a while to see what alma and rocky decide for their future. Maybe they will become their own thing. Then I will stay on it. As long as it still gets virtualmin support.

If the project ends I will switch to debian 12 and wait for vritualmin to support it as Grade A with the script.

I think if alma and rocky merge or do the same thing basically then it is ok. But if they go separate ways and start being more different it will be harder for virtualmin to support RHEL and alma and rocky.

But CentOS stream is also supported somehwat far as I know.

1 Like

What do you mean?

I thought Rocky was the new favoured distro around here? (Previously it was centos)

Rocky is a grade A supported operating system, as is Alma and RHEL. But, so are Ubuntu and Debian (though Debian gets less testing, due to fewer users).

1 Like

1 Like

Do you have a personal favourite Joe? (Or one you would personally prefer VM users to use?)

Has the RHEL announcement made you more cautious about Rocky or Alma, or do you feel it is unlikely to have any real impact?

I currently use Rocky on all of the servers I personally maintain for Virtualmin and for my personal stuff (I have to use Ubuntu for my other job), as I’ve mentioned several times.

I don’t have opinions yet on the future, as it hasn’t happened yet. I don’t know what will happen with Rocky and Alma. We’ll have to wait to see. I prefer RPM and dnf over deb and apt, and I think Ubuntu makes a lot of dumb/erratic decisions, so I have a preference that I’ve never been secretive about. But, we’ll see how it shakes out.

RHEL isn’t really an option for most people doing web hosting on a small scale, it’s just too expensive, so if there is no free enterprise style Linux going forward, it will no longer be the dominant OS in hosting at the scale Virtualmin mostly operates in (if it even still is…we have more users using Ubuntu than Alma+Rocky+RHEL these days).

CentOS Stream is probably not an option for small software makers like us, since we don’t have the resources to track a constantly moving target. And, I don’t get the impression it’s been very popular in shared hosting, anyway.

But, I don’t know. I don’t have any solid answers for you, until we know what’s going to happen with Rocky and Alma.

From a business perspective, I should be enthusiastic about being able to reduce the number of distros we support. If Red Hat kills off EL in the hosting space, I at least get to spend less time on supporting so many damned operating systems. :man_shrugging:


I’ll also mention that if you like Rocky (or Alma) now would be a good time to setup a recurring donation to support them. The work required for them to deliver updates and new versions of the OS just increased remarkably.

If they’re to survive, they will need more people doing more work, and most people can’t put huge amounts of time into something without pay (thus the reason I have a full-time job other than Virtualmin, and only work on Virtualmin in my spare time, nights and weekends mostly).

Since I do currently have a full-time job other than Virtualmin, I have the resources to make a recurring donation to Rocky, so I’ve done that (I donated when they started, but now I think they probably really need some consistent revenue).

I should also be clear I don’t really begrudge Red Hat doing this. It’s hard as hell to make money on free software (which, again, is why I have to have a job other than working on free software). But, also, the reality is they don’t make a product that works for small hosting providers or software vendors providing products for small hosting providers. So…without CentOS and without any other EL rebuild, RHEL pretty much just disappears in this space. It seems like a poor business decision on their part, since small hosts can become big hosts that can pay for RHEL volume licensing.


Thanks for the insightful reply Joe!

And that reminds me, I need to purchase a sub here for everything you do! :heart:


Red Hat earnings

Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) has a recorded annual revenue of $3.36 billion.

Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) has a recorded net income of $433.99 million.

So like many, they are really struggling.

Source: Red Hat Earnings Date and Forecast 2023 (NYSE:RHT)

1 Like

Red Hat also employs more open source developers working on the Linux kernel, and the Linux+Gnome ecosystem, and contribute more code than any other company in the world, and more than all other Linux distributions combined (and it’s not even close). Developers aren’t free, even if the software is. :person_shrugging:

Gotta admit I’m surprised to see SUSE doing so well. It makes me rethink dropping SUSE support years ago (but at the time when we dropped it, we only had two paying customers using SUSE, and SUSE was a PITA to support because of awful package management and weird YaST-isms that made it hard to be another control panel on the system). And, of course, we’re already understaffed to support the distros we currently offer.


You made me feel guilty, just signed pro :slight_smile:


Response from Red Hat:

I feel that much of the anger from our recent decision around the downstream sources comes from either those who do not want to pay for the time, effort and resources going into RHEL or those who want to repackage it for their own profit. This demand for RHEL code is disingenuous.

We have to pay the people to do that work — those passionate contributors grinding through those long hours and nights who believe in open source values. Simply repackaging the code that these individuals produce and reselling it as is, with no value added, makes the production of this open source software unsustainable. That includes critical backporting work and future features and technologies under development upstream. If that work becomes unsustainable, it will stop, and that’s not good for anyone.

Are they forgetting their revenue is in the billions?

If anyone is being disingenuous surely it is Red Hat - there’s making money and then there’s greed. Most billion dollar companies are in it for the money first and foremost and I think that goes against the spirit of open source software.

Maybe it’s time to start ditching RHEL and its derivatives and start supporting Debian…


We have moved to Debian and now we are buying only AMD processor based servers


Red Hat is a commercial enterprise and since RHEL they not really open source and not free. I have no problem with that, its been like that for a long time. We are not there market.

why some users may paid good money for it, they should not be penalized.
Though Virtualmin support for it maybe a difficult with the new restrictions, not sure there.

1 Like