Red Hat Enterprise Linux and AlmaLinux 8.10 released as end of the RHEL 8 line looms

Two notable North American Linux distributors have emitted the last release in their 8.x series - although other vendors have yet to catch up with that cycle.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.10 appeared last week, followed this week by AlmaLinux 8.10 "Cerulean Leopard". Rocky Linux 8.10 is expected this month, too. Oracle Linux 8.10 surely won't be far behind.

As usual, if you just want a short summary of what's new, consult the AlmaLinux release notes - especially the changelog - as they are a lot shorter. In PDF form, Red Hat's release notes fill 196 pages. Comprehensive documentation forms part of the company's support offerings for which its customers pay, after all.

Among the highlights are Git 2.43 and Git LFS 3.4.1, plus updated modules including Python 3.12, Ruby 3.3, PHP 8.2, nginx 1.24, MariaDB 10.11, and PostgreSQL 16. As with the project's latest release in the 9.x series, AlmaLinux 8.10 offers Extended Hardware Support for a whole list of bits of hardware that Red Hat has dropped.

RHEL 8 appeared five years ago now, as the Reg noted at the time. Minor release 10 marks the end of its planned lifecycle: this is the last point release, and that also means no fresh installation ISOs or the like, although container images will get updates. While version 8.10 will be in "maintenance support" until the end of May 2029 and "extended life cycle support" until the end of May 2032, the end is in sight, and RHEL 8 reaches the end of "full support" at the end of this month.

The end of June 2024 also sees CentOS 7's end of life, although as we noted at the start of May, several companies will help you keep it alive - for a price. It really is time to move off CentOS or RHEL 7 now.

This struck us because several downstream projects still look to be based around it. For instance, the latest Koozali SME Server 10.1 is still based on CentOS 7. We reviewed SME Server in 2010 and rather liked it. In a previous career, the Reg FOSS desk deployed a few boxes running SME Server in production, and it worked very well. Around the same time we also looked at ClearOS 5.2, formerly known as ClarkConnect. ClearOS is still around as well: the latest release is ClearOS 7.7, and we're fairly sure it's based on CentOS Linux 7 as well - for instance, you can convert from CentOS to ClearOS. Both are pretty much the easiest way to spin up a local server for those who haven't bet the business on cloud deployments just yet. The SME Server community is eyeing Rocky as a replacement base, so there's a chance here for AlmaLinux to get in and work with its main rival. ®

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