5 Finest CentOS Substitute Choices for 2023

CentOS Linux 7, the favored free and open-source Linux distribution primarily based on Purple 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 website hosting, 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 Purple Hat Enterprise Linux and isn’t thought-about a substitute for CentOS, different rivals stand out nearly as good options.

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Prime CentOS options: Comparability desk

Within the following chart, we notice how 5 CentOS options evaluate when it comes to 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 accessible.

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 should be bought.

10-year lifecycle.

Improve extension accessible.

Free to obtain, use and distribute. 

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

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

Group assist and business assist accessible.

10-year assist and improve cycle.

Free to obtain, use and distribute.
AlmaLinux Enterprise-grade however underneath 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 applications, mailing lists and chat assist. 

Helps improve from one model to the subsequent.

Free to obtain, use and distribute.

Featured Companions

What are the perfect CentOS options?

For the reason that IBM-owned firm determined to limit the free use of Purple 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 programs.

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

Purple Hat Enterprise Linux: Finest for giant enterprises

Red Hat Enterprise Linux logo.
Picture: Purple Hat

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

RHEL has gained its status amongst huge enterprises for offering a contemporary, security-oriented OS. Firms 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 tons of of clouds and with hundreds of {hardware} and software program distributors.

Determine A

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


  • Stability and group assist: RHEL is a really secure OS designed for use in mission-critical environments. There’s additionally a big and energetic group of RHEL customers and builders to supply assist.
  • Safety: Safety is on the core of RHEL. The system contains a large number of superior safety features.
  • Official assist and advantages: Purple Hat gives 24/7 assist for RHEL, and all variations have a 10-year life cycle. Plus, Purple Hat connects customers with its intensive {hardware}, software program and cloud associate 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 contains Purple Hat Insights, a managed service for analytics and remediation that delivers steady vulnerability alerts and steering.
  • Safety and compliance: RHEL can simplify dangers and automate safety and compliance with built-in options like stay 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.


  • Secure and dependable software program.
  • Excessive-performing safety and compliance.
  • Nicely-supported OS.
  • Big selection of options.
  • Giant and energetic group.


  • Not free; business pricing might be costly for small corporations.
  • Could 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 Purple Hat Enterprise Linux 9

Oracle Linux: Finest for IT and software program improvement corporations

Oracle Linux logo.
Picture: Oracle

Oracle Linux is one other stable various for these trying to migrate from CentOS for a number of causes. To begin with, Oracle Linux is 100% Purple Hat Enterprise Linux suitable. It might probably 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 accessible in CentOS.

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

  • The Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel gives the most recent 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 by means of Oracle Linux assist. UEK is designed for max efficiency and stability and drives Oracle Cloud and Oracle Engineered Programs, akin to Oracle Exadata Database Machine. UEK is well-tested and used to run Oracle’s Engineered Programs, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and huge enterprise deployments for Oracle clients.
  • The Purple Hat Appropriate Kernel is for Oracle Linux, and it’s suitable with the Purple Hat Enterprise Linux kernel; because of this software program that’s compiled for RHEL may also run on Oracle Linux with RHCK.

Oracle Linux is an efficient selection for companies and organizations that want a secure, dependable and safe working system. It’s also fashionable amongst IT and software program corporations due to the options listed under.

Determine B

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


  • Migration: Oracle gives 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 corporations 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. It’s also engineered for heavy workloads.
  • Safety and compliance: Customers can apply safety vulnerability fixes with out downtime. Oracle Linux might help customers detect exploits and use a distribution that has FIPS and Widespread Standards certifications to fulfill compliance.
  • Official assist: Oracle Linux assist should be bought. The value for the 24/7 assist begins at $499 per yr.

Extra options that aren’t accessible in CentOS embrace:

  • Zero-downtime patching with Ksplice.
  • Cloud-native instruments akin 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 accessible with UEK).
  • DTrace dynamic tracing framework (solely accessible with UEK).
  • Oracle Linux Automation Supervisor and Automation Engine.
  • Oracle Linux Supervisor utility to help in patching and errata administration.


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


  • Assist should be bought.
  • Could be complicated to handle.
  • Compliance options require superior data.


Oracle Linux primary model is free to obtain, use and distribute; this contains free supply code and updates. The Oracle Cloud Infrastructure pricing might be estimated online and the Linux Support plan pricing is on the market upon request.

SEE: Is Oracle Linux a legitimate substitute 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 mission is led by the unique founding father of CentOS, Gregory Kurtzer.

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

Rocky Linux is an open-source enterprise working system designed to be 100% bug-for-bug suitable with Purple Hat Enterprise Linux; nevertheless, as it’s underneath intensive improvement by the group, it’s not 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 abilities are required for the migration and what Rocky Linux calls “a mildly risk-taking angle.” A migration script is on the market freed from cost.
  • Manufacturing-ready: Regardless of it nonetheless being underneath improvement, the OS is enterprise-ready and gives stable 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 gives all the primary CentOS options that builders and the group are accustomed to, making the educational curve a straight line.

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


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


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


Rocky Linux is free and gives 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 will not provide assist or launch new variations.

The group behind AlmaLinux assures that the OS will all the time be free for enterprises, and that they’re centered on long-term stability and a strong 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 by means of migration. AlmaLinux does provide guides, however solely these with superior abilities will be capable to observe them (Determine D).
  • Manufacturing-ready: AlmaLinux OS is an enterprise-grade server OS. It’s a secure Linux distribution and affords common releases and assist. It’s designed for vital workloads. The group gives 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 accommodates 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 secure working system that depends on the experience of consultants in the neighborhood. It’s designed for use in mission-critical environments, and it has a protracted historical past of reliability. It additionally gives numerous 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.
  • Giant group assist.


  • New to the market.
  • Not risk-free.
  • Requires superior data.
  • Superior instruments akin to automation and compliance might 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 gives cutting-edge expertise, is dependable and secure, and is a free and open-source OS filled with options.

Fedora can be a community-supported Linux distribution developed by Purple 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 most recent 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 Purple Hat Enterprise Linux. Fedora additionally invests closely in graphic person expertise and gives easy-to-use, high-quality graphics by means of trendy desktops (Determine E).

Determine E

Fedora Desktop Linux user interface.
Picture: Fedora


  • Variations: Fedora is on the market 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 purposes, deploy a server and workloads, and create secure 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 most recent software program accessible.
  • Supported architectures: x86-64, ARM, PowerPC: PowerPC64 and PowerPC64le, s390x and RISC-V: F.


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


  • Superior abilities are required.
  • Setup might be complicated.


Fedora is free and gives 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 would consider CentOS as an excellent automobile that the producer is not producing. Whilst you can nonetheless use the automobile 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. Purple Hat introduced it will not assist CentOS as a downstream distribution of RHEL. This implies there shall be no new variations of CentOS launched after CentOS 8.

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

Is CentOS good in 2023?

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

Having stated that, CentOS remains to be secure, dependable and suitable with a variety of software program in 2023. It’s also nonetheless free and open-source, and has the assist of an energetic group of customers and builders. Nevertheless, as a result of finish of CentOS as we all know it, it is probably not the only option for everybody in 2023 and past.

What’s the way forward for CentOS?

Whereas the way forward for CentOS is unsure, the probably situation 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 aspect, from Purple Hat’s perspective, the way forward for CentOS is CentOS Stream, which is a brand new Linux distribution developed by Purple Hat, an IBM-owned firm. However CentOS Stream isn’t a substitute for CentOS — it’s a totally different distribution with a totally totally 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 method, it’s much like Fedora; additionally, each are developed by Purple Hat, and each provide rolling releases.

How do I select the perfect CentOS various for my enterprise?

There is no such thing as a simple 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.

Then again, funds could also be a deciding issue, particularly for small corporations. Moreover, amongst CentOS customers and builders, there’s a sturdy sense of group, assist and respect at no cost open-source tasks. Subsequently, even when an organization has the funds to purchase the costliest licenses, builders might really feel extra assured and cozy working with open-source, free expertise.

Some customers might even see the tip of lifetime of CentOS as a possibility emigrate to a different OS akin to Oracle Linux or Purple Hat Enterprise Linux. These extra conservative decisions provide options that CentOS doesn’t provide.

In the long run, the OS you select should align with your enterprise wants and objectives, be versatile, dependable and safe, and supply glorious migration and assist. Scaling, automation, upgrades and compliance are additionally key elements to investigate.


CentOS has supplied very important providers for organizations, corporations and builders for a few years. Whereas the OS faces the inevitable finish of its glory days, there are nonetheless stable 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 Purple 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 write down our evaluate and consider CentOS rivals and options, we examined websites that compile mixture information primarily based on verified person critiques. We additionally reviewed demos on vendor websites, test-drove the software program when potential and scoured by means of the official websites of all OS suppliers’ options on this report to guage their software program, customer support, user-friendliness, worth, scalability and extra.