CERN and Fermilab Opt For AlmaLinux as Standard for Big Science

CERN and Fermilab will make AlmaLinux the standard distribution for experiments at their facilities based on feedback from stakeholders.

Following CentOS’s withdrawal from the enterprise server distribution market, AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux have emerged as the two best RHEL-based derivatives in this segment. As a result, it is not surprising that when looking for a free alternative to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the choice frequently comes down to one of the two.

Probably two of the world’s leading scientific laboratories, the Swiss-based CERN and the US-based Fermilab, faced a similar dilemma. But first, let’s say a few words about each of them.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research, CERN, is the largest particle physics laboratory in the world. Located near Geneva, Switzerland, CERN has gained worldwide attention with its Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator.

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) is a particle-physics laboratory located near Chicago – in Batavia, Illinois, US. Collaborating with scientists from around the world, Fermilab performs research, operates particle accelerators and experiments, and develops technologies for science in support of the US industry.

Recently, CERN and Fermilab have announced their selection of AlmaLinux as the standard operating system for their big science projects.

CERN and Fermilab jointly plan to provide AlmaLinux as the standard distribution for experiments at our facilities, reflecting recent experience and discussions with experiments and other stakeholders. In testing, it has demonstrated to be perfectly compatible with the other rebuilds and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Fermilab official announcement

AlmaLinux is an open-source, forever-free enterprise Linux distribution based on the popular Red Hat Enterprise Linux. It is widely recognized for its reliability and stability. Designed to be a drop-in replacement for RHEL, AlmaLinux provides users with a stable, secure, and feature-rich platform for running a wide range of applications and services.

Unfortunately, CERN and Fermilab do not disclose any additional details about the nature of the tests or the alternatives that led to the final choice to adopt AlmaLinux exclusively.

Furthermore, it is reported that CERN and, to a lesser extent, Fermilab will continue to use its current IT infrastructure in the part that is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, as well as existing installations of CentOS 7 and Scientific Linux 7, whose life cycle will end in June 2024.

Bobby Borisov
Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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