One week after RHEL 9, based on Kernel 5.14, AlmaLinux 9 (Emerald Puma) is the first release of AlmaLinux that stems from CentOS Stream through RHEL.
AlmaLinux has emerged as a popular replacement for Red Hat Enterprise Linux’s free version since CentOS’s entry into the “stream.” AlmaLinux 9 (Emerald Puma) is the OS’s fifth stable release, proving the AlmaLinux Foundation’s commitment to delivering on its promises.
The distro has millions of downloads from a network of over 200 mirrors worldwide and powers projects by US government agencies, the defense sector, CERN particle accelerators, business applications across a wide range of enterprises, and software development at GitLab and the web hosting industry.
AlmaLinux has over 1.5 million Docker pulls and availability on all major public cloud platforms, including AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, Oracle OCI, etc. The AlmaLinux OS Foundation members supporting the rapid development of AlmaLinux include AMD, CloudFest, CloudLinux, and Codenotary.
The new stable AlmaLinux 9 release for x86_64, aarch64, ppc64le, and s390x architectures are ready for production installations and power the computing needs and workloads. So let’s see what’s new.
AlmaLinux 9 Highlights
AlmaLinux 9 comes with Linux kernel 5.14. If you use it with a desktop environment, you get GNOME 40, which runs on Wayland by default and the availability of the Pipewire audio server.
Security remains one of the trademarks of this distribution, and AlmaLinux 9 is no exception. For example, you can use Smart Card authentication in this release to access remote servers. Something that every system administrator will appreciate.
Another key security highlight of this release is the availability of OpenSSL 3. In addition, you now have a new versioning method, an enhanced HTTP(S) client, support for additional protocols, formats, algorithms, and many other enhancements.
On top of that, in AlmaLinux 9, OpenSSH is distributed in version 8.7p1, which has numerous advancements, bug fixes, and security improvements over version 8.0p1, which is included with AlmaLinux 8.6. Furthermore, AlmaLinux 9 prohibits users from logging in as root via SSH with a password to avoid brute force attacks.
Cockpit, the web-based GUI admin console, has an added Diagnostic Reports area that allows you to collect system configuration and diagnostic information to diagnose system problems.
Moreover, Cockpit enables you to patch a running kernel, known as kernel live patching, without rebooting or restarting any processes.
The image builder has also been improved in AlmaLinux 9. It is a tool that allows users to create custom system images in various formats for major and minor releases. Now it includes the ability to build images using a single build node. Additionally, improved support for customized file systems and bare-metal installations is now included.
Last but not least, we will not overlook one of the most important matters for developers and system administrators – the versions of the various development libraries and servers.
They will not be disappointed because they will find plenty of application updates, including Node.js 16, Perl 5.32, PHP 8.0, Python 3.9, Ruby 3.0, Git 2.31, Subversion 1.14, Apache 2.4.51, Nginx 1.20, Varnish Cache 6.6, Squid 5.2, MariaDB 10.5, MySQL 8.0, PostgreSQL 13, Redis 6.2, LLVM Toolset 13.0.1, Rust Toolset 1.58.1, Go Toolset 1.17.7, GCC 11.2.1, Grafana 7.5.11, Maven 3.6, and Ant 1.10.
AlmaLinux 9 is currently available for four architectures, including x86_64, aarch64, ppc64le, and s390x. There are three installation ISO images available:
- AlmaLinux-9.0-x86_64-boot.iso (763 MB) – a single network installation CD image downloading packages over the Internet.
- AlmaLinux-9.0-x86_64-minimal.iso (1.4 GB) – a minimal self-containing DVD image that allows offline installation.
- AlmaLinux-9.0-x86_64-dvd.iso (7.5 GB) is a complete installation DVD image that contains mostly all AlmaLinux packages.
You can also download AlmaLinux 9 (Emerald Puma) ISO installation image from one of the public mirrors. However, since the full installation DVD file is large, 7.5 GB, the recommended way to download it is to use a tool like wget. So, go right ahead and use it.