Frequently Asked Questions

What is Rocky Linux?

Rocky Linux is an open source enterprise Linux distribution that provides a reliable and stable operating system for a variety of sectors, including enterprise, cloud, AI/ML, simulation, and HPC. It was created by one of the original CentOS founders, Gregory Kurtzer, to achieve the original goals of CentOS as a production-ready downstream version of RHEL. It is hosted by the Rocky Enterprise Software Foundation (RESF)

What role does CIQ play within Rocky Linux and the RESF?

As the official founding support and services partner for the Rocky Linux project and the RESF, CIQ plays a significant role in helping to maintain and promote the CentOS successor. CIQ is here to guarantee the success and longevity of Rocky Linux with services and support as well as additional enhancements and value adds available to customers.

Does CIQ own or control Rocky Linux and the RESF?

No, CIQ does not own or control Rocky Linux or the RESF. CIQ is the founding sponsor of Rocky Linux and serves as its primary service partner but others who step up to the same level as CIQ can do the same. The RESF, Rocky's host organization, was established with CIQ's support to ensure the project's longevity and community-driven governance.

How is the governance of Rocky Linux and the RESF structured to prevent control by CIQ?

The RESF operates with a community-based board of directors where no single company, including CIQ, can occupy more than 1/3rd of the board to achieve quorum. Decisions, resources, and infrastructure are entirely community-driven. While CIQ's CEO, Gregory Kurtzer, played a role in founding Rocky Linux and sits on the RESF board, he adheres to the same rules as others and regularly abstains from voting to avoid any dominance by CIQ. Additionally, everyone on the RESF and RESF Project Boards all strive to act in the best interest of the community and project that they represent, no matter what company employs them, but this mitigates any unconscious bias which might occur. 

How does CIQ's involvement ensure the long-term community control of Rocky Linux?

CIQ's involvement in creating Rocky Linux and the RESF is aimed at fostering a collective and community-driven project. CIQ's commitment is to empower the community, not control it. The goal is to have diverse individuals and companies collectively back and manage the project. CIQ's contributions help ensure the open source nature of Rocky Linux, with the community and volunteers having control and influence over its direction and development.

What are some of the key features and principles behind Rocky Linux's development, particularly in terms of stability and security?

Rocky Linux was created with stability as one of its primary objectives. The development team behind the operating system has been careful to verify that every aspect of the system is thoroughly tested and vetted before release. This includes the selection of packages, the development of tools and utilities, and the overall architecture of the system. The result is a highly reliable and stable Linux distribution that is ideal for use in production environments and completely reproducible by others. Security is also a critical aspect of any operating system, and Rocky Linux has taken several measures to ensure that users have a secure and reliable platform. Rocky Linux is designed to receive regular updates and security patches, which means that the operating system is secure and stable at all times. 

What does CIQ offer?

CIQ leverages capabilities from enterprise, cloud, hyperscale, and HPC to create the next generation scalable, secure infrastructure. From the base operating system, through containers, orchestration, provisioning, computing, and up to cloud applications, CIQ works with every part of the technology stack to drive solutions for customers and communities with stable, scalable, and secure production environments. By working on various levels of the technology stack, we are actively contributing to advancements in enterprise, cloud, and High Performance Computing (HPC). Our expertise in these fields allows us to offer powerful solutions that benefit a wide range of industries and applications.

Does CIQ provide containerization and orchestration solutions?

We understand the importance of containerization and orchestration in modern software development. We support open source solutions such as Apptainer that help organizations manage and deploy containers efficiently, streamlining the development process and ensuring optimal resource utilization. Our solutions leverage, enhance, and support Kubernetes, providing the best-in-class aspects of cloud, hyperscale, enterprise, and High Performance Computing (HPC).

Does CIQ support hybrid and multi-cloud environments?

CIQ's software infrastructure solutions are designed to accommodate on-prem, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments. This flexibility ensures that organizations can leverage the best features of all the cloud platforms while maintaining control and security across a multi-faceted hybrid infrastructure. CIQ has joined forces with multiple cloud partners, including AWS, Google Cloud, Oracle Cloud, and Microsoft Azure, to offer Rocky Linux users a range of options.

Where can I find all CIQ open source projects?

CIQ doesn’t own or control large open source projects that we’ve created or contribute to. Examples of these are Rocky Linux, OpenELA, Warewulf, and Apptainer. There are open source tools and components that we’ve released, and if those become larger open source projects with other contributors, we would prefer to host those outside of any commercial entity. You can find the tools that we’ve open sourced in our GitHub repository.

Does CIQ contribute upstream and if so, which contributions have they made? 

Yes, CIQ and CIQ employees have made many contributions to upstream open source projects and communities as well as created projects which we have chosen not to own or control. Some of the projects that we have contributed too directly or provided value back to the community include:

  • Samba
  • Warewulf
  • Apptainer/Singularity
  • Rocky Linux
  • Peridot
  • Fedora
  • CentOS Stream
  • Ansible
  • AWX
  • OpenStack-Ansible
  • and others!

As CIQ continues to grow, we look forward to further contributing to more open source projects and becoming one of the best commercial supporters of open source!

Will CIQ ever close source any of its projects?

No. We do not believe that open source should be used as a switch to turn on or off based on business pressures. This is one of the biggest reasons why we choose not to own, control, or hold any open source projects hostage.

We believe that if someone (including us) is going to open source it, it means that it needs to be completely open and unencumbered. If any organization is not ready to make that absolute commitment, then they should not open source the project, product, or capability. Not everything CIQ does will be open source as we consider that a very meaningful decision, but when we do make that decision, we are 100% behind it.

What is OpenELA? 

The Open Enterprise Linux Association (OpenELA) is a collaborative trade association formed by CIQ, Oracle, and SUSE. It seeks to provide a collaborative and open environment where Enterprise Linux source code is accessible, transparent, and available for use by organizations and the broader open source community. Together, we will ensure that the entire open source community has an Enterprise Linux standard that they can rely on as being a true open source and freely distributed capability, just as open source is intended.