Rocky Linux Confirmed to Remain 1:1 Fully Compatible with RHEL

In a statement about OpenELA, Rocky Linux confirmed its commitment to remaining a 1:1 fully compatible drop-in replacement to RHEL.

Red Hat’s move to restrict access to its source code at the end of June left the enterprise Linux market’s leading players, Rocky Linux, AlmaLinux, and Oracle Linux, in an unexpected predicament.

Each of them was looking for a solution to get out of the situation, and now, two months later, we have a relatively good idea of the path each of these distributions will take.

In this light, and alongside the recently established by CIQ, SUSE, and Oracle, the ОpenELA project, in an announcement on the topic, Rocky Linux confirmed its decision to strictly adhere to this to be a 1:1 fully compatible, drop-in replacement to RHEL.

It is important to note that Rocky Linux is completely stable due to the amazing community that supports the project and the unwavering support of CIQ and the rest of our sponsors. Rocky Linux remains absolutely committed to our mission: we will remain a 1:1, fully compatible, drop-in alternative to RHEL.

However, all these terms, like one-to-one, bug-for-bug, and ABI (in the case of AlmaLinux) compatibilities, may sound confusing to the unfamiliar Linux user, so let’s shed some more light on them.

What Does 1:1 Compatibility Mean?

1:1 compatibility (also known as drop-in replacement) implies that a Linux distribution is designed to be fully compatible with another regarding software and package compatibility.

This means that applications, libraries, and system components that work on one distribution can seamlessly work on the other without requiring modifications.

In essence, 1:1 compatibility aims to provide a smooth transition for software from one distribution to another by maintaining compatibility at the software and API level.

On the other hand, bug-for-bug compatibility focuses on maintaining compatibility at a deeper level. However, given the current situation and the restrictions over source code imposed by Red Hat, this, at the moment, is difficult to achieve.

In conclusion, the goal of Rocky Linux remains unchanged, which is that every application or service available for RHEL can be used in the same way on Rocky without requiring any additional modifications.

Does This Change Anything for Rocky Linux Users?

Rocky Linux 9.2
Rocky Linux 9.2

The short answer is – absolutely nothing. Rocky users will be able to continue to enjoy a fully Red Hat Enterprise Linux-compatible distribution that they can rely on and use precisely how they have been.

However, if bug-for-bug compatibility cannot be ensured despite this being the developers’ intentions, it should not be viewed negatively. On the contrary!

The joint efforts of such big names as Oracle, SUSE, and CIQ will probably result in faster release of bug fixes than the previous model, where one had to wait for the upstream (RHEL) to take actions to fix them. Something that Rocky’s end users can only benefit from.

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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