Rocky, Oracle, and SUSE Join Forces against Red Hat in OpenELA

CIQ, Oracle, and SUSE announced the Open Enterprise Linux Association (OpenELA) formation to support RHEL-based distributions.

Red Hat’s decision to limit access to its source code is one of the leading events that marked the open-source world this year with a negative sign. It truly shocked the community, causing a storm of disapproving reactions.

Mainly affected by this Red Hat move are the three leading RHEL forks – Rocky Linux, AlmaLinux, and Oracle Linux. Surprisingly, they were joined by SUSE, which, in defense of the open source values, announced that it would invest $10 million in the next years to develop a free RHEL clone.

But now things go further, with the news coming hours ago, with the formation of OpenELA by CIQ (the company behind Rocky Linux), Oracle, and SUSE.

Today’s announcement marks the beginning of a new era for EL. With OpenELA, CIQ, Oracle and SUSE join forces with the open source community to ensure a stable and resilient future for both upstream and downstream communities to leverage Enterprise Linux.

Gregory Kurtzer, CEO of CIQ

The goal of the Open Enterprise Linux Association (OpenELA) is to provide and make freely available the source code for all downstream RHEL-based distributions, with an initial focus on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 and 9, with RHEL 7 also expected to be included.

And while Rocky, Oracle, and SUSE are doing their best to resolve the case that has called into question the free existence of enterprise Linux distributions, it is striking that AlmaLinux is standing slightly on the sidelines, taking a much more peace-loving approach.

So far, the team behind Alma has decided to shift its focus from being 1:1 compatible with RHEL towards achieving Application Binary Interface (ABI) compatibility. Of course, this position may change over time. At this time, however, there is no announcement on whether they will join OpenELA.

In conclusion, the establishment of OpenELA is a landmark event in itself, as leading companies in the Linux world (and direct competitors to each other) join forces in the name of open source values and in defense of the countless end users and small businesses who can’t afford or don’t need a paid RHEL subscription but rely on using enterprise Linux.

All organizations and community members are invited to join the newly formed association to preserve and provide everyone free access to the EL ecosystem.

For more information, here is the link to the announcement.

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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  1. It’s good that Alma is taking a slightly different approach and distinguishing itself. No point in 3 identical distros, and good to have a choice.

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