Rocky Linux 9 arrives with Peridot

New to Rocky Linux 9 is Peridot, a tool that makes it easy for anyone to replicate and extend Rocky Linux.

Release 9 of Rocky Linux just made its public appearance on July 14, and the big news is something called Peridot, which anyone (yes, anyone) can use to reproduce Rocky Linux 9 from scratch on their own. This is a truly exciting turn for the Linux community.

If you’re not familiar with Rocky Linux, don’t be too surprised that it made it to Release 9 and you’re just now tuning in. “Release 9” doesn’t mean that Rocky has gone through eight prior major releases. Instead, the name indicates its connection to RHEL 9. Rocky Linux began life as Release 8.3 in April 2021 as a replacement for CentOS, which was EOL’ed in December 2020.

In spite of its relative newness, Rocky Linux has already gained an astounding degree of success, taking its place as the unofficial replacement for CentOS. It is especially popular in enterprise settings.

What is Rocky Linux?

The name Rocky was chosen as a tribute to early CentOS co-founder Rocky McGaugh. Like CentOS, it’s free, open source and provides easy access to source code. It’s also binary-compatible with RHEL 9. This means that they can run the same executable code.

Rocky Linux 9 is not just a collection of binaries with an installer. Anyone can replicate and extend the project independently.

What is Peridot?

Peridot provides the build chain infrastructure tools that make it easy for developers to grab and extend the source code when they want to do something independently of the Linux community or any upstream organization. It serves as a cloud-native stack for building and managing Rocky Linux.

Where is Rocky Linux going?

Rocky Linux is expected to be one of the top and the best enterprise Linux platforms for the next 10+ years, and because it can provide the enterprise-grade stability required for intensive production workloads, it's likely to live up to this expectation.

Rocky Enterprise Software Foundation (RESF) is the entity behind Rocky Linux. CIQ is the founding sponsor and a RESF partner.

While Peridot is truly a huge step forward, Rocky 9 also arrives with new security, application and networking features.

Rocky Linux uses only open source tools to deliver reproducible OS – making it extremely reliable and promising a lengthy life span.

Moving forward

While the release of Rocky 9 and its inclusion of Peridot is truly exciting, there is more going on behind the scenes that bodes very well for the future of Rocky Linux. Lots of checks and balances have been put into place to ensure its resilience. This includes ensuring that no individual or organization can ever hold the project hostage (e.g., by owning some portion of the code). In addition, a number of teams have been established to provide control over the development and release process – allowing the community to take part in the project while ensuring that Rocky Linux remains 100% open source. Rocky Linux is 100% open source and fully committed to remaining so.

Rocky Linux also has an impressive list of sponsors.

In addition, every Rocky Linux release is built 100% in the open by the community. It's designed to always be freely available and community controlled.

Where to go next

Learn more about Rocky Linux at ciq.co.

Download Rocky Linux from rockylinux.org.

Get Rocky source code at github.

Get Peridot source at github.

Wrap-up

I’ve come to appreciate the claim that Rocky Linux is “100% bug-for-bug compatible” with Red Hat Enterprise Linux. While I’ve never before tripped over this phrase, it means that the code is “so compatible that even the known bugs would be replicated.” In the case of Rocky Linux, this is a win for compatibility, not for bugs!

Rocky Linux and Peridot, the new big add in Release 9, are going to be playing an increasing role in both the future and the reliability of Linux.

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