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Free, Stable, and Secure Linux Operating System

CIQ is Rocky Linux's founding support partner. Trust CIQ for migration, installation, configuration, training, maintenance, custom development, and more.

Full Lifecycle Support from CIQ

Migration

CIQ streamlined the migration path from CentOS Stream, CentOS, AlmaLinux, RHEL, and Oracle Linux to Rocky Linux. Let the CIQ experts help you migrate to Rocky Linux for long-term stability.

Enterprise Support

Get enterprise and escalation support for Rocky Linux from industry-leading experts, allowing users to tap into the fastest-growing enterprise Linux with confidence.

Long-Term Support

CIQ is dedicated to providing long-term support (LTS) for minor versions of Rocky Linux, even after they have ended the 6 months standard support.


Rocky Linux is the Trusted Successor to CentOS

CentOS End-of-Life:

  

Enterprise Linux Platform

Migration

Support

Mountain

Ascender

What is Rocky Linux?

Rocky Linux is a free, open source operating system that is 100% binary compatible with RHEL. Rocky Linux is the fastest-growing Enterprise Linux distribution and is widely adopted in enterprise and High Performance Computing (HPC) environments, as well as by leading cloud providers and hyperscalers. This ensures security, compatibility, stability, and scalability for enterprise and mission-critical applications.

Commitment to Independence

It is easy to see that Rocky Linux is built for and by the community. The proof is in our actions. Rocky Linux isn’t released as just a bunch of binaries, repos, and ISO image installers; we release everything someone would need to replicate all of that work. Why is that important? Confidence. Transparency. Community. Trust. Security. You.

Why is that important? One key reason: Reproducibility. To quote Gregory Kurtzer: 

“Anyone can create, build, enhance, and manage Rocky Linux as we do.” 

History

Rocky was created by Gregory Kurtzer, the CEO and founder of CIQ, as a response to Red Hat’s decision to end-of-life CentOS. Greg developed Rocky with the aim of filling the void and providing a stable, community-driven enterprise Linux solution. 

“Anyone can create, build, enhance, and manage Rocky Linux as we do.” Gregory Kurtzer, Rocky Linux Founder

Rocky Linux thrives as an open-source operating system thanks to its robust and growing community. This flourishing community boasts support from notable sponsor and partner entities along with a dedicated army of users, enthusiasts, and technology professionals who actively collaborate in building and upholding the Rocky Linux project. 

Rocky Linux Adoption

According to the latest metrics gathered by the Fedora infrastructure and presented by the Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) Special Interest Group (SIG), Rocky Linux adoption is outpacing all other Enterprise Linux variants.

A chart showing Rocky Linux as the leading Enterprise Linux 8 & 9 Instances by Distribution per EPEL

Rocky Linux Benefits

Rocky Linux is built on a rock-solid foundation. Let’s start with some key benefits:

Rocky Linux is an open source operating system, which means its source code is available for anyone to view, modify, and improve upon. Bugs are identified and fixed quickly by a large community of Rocky developers. Learn more →

Rocky Linux is sponsored by Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, VMware… just to name a few. Learn more →

The founder of Rocky Linux, Gregory Kurtzer (also a founder of CentOS), has made it clear that the goal of the community-driven project is to fulfill the original mission of CentOS: a free, supported Enterprise Linux distribution. Learn more →

Recently, Rocky Linux achieved the latest milestone in the FIPS 140-3 validation process: being named to the NIST Implementation Under Test List. This extensive validation process is being underwritten by CIQ as a gift to the community. Learn more →

From day one, Rocky Linux has been fully compatible with Enterprise Linux. This is often referred to as “bug-for-bug compatibility.” The bottom line is this: compatibility at the most granular level. Learn more →

CIQ is the founding support partner for Rocky Linux. Rely on CIQ for a comprehensive range of services, including migration, installation, configuration, training, maintenance, custom development, and more. Learn more →

Rocky Linux is, of course, free to use. And there will never be licensing fees. It’s hosted by the Rocky Enterprise Software Foundation (RESF). Learn more →

Rocky Linux is fully customizable. You have full access to Rocky's source code so that you can view, modify, and improve upon it according to your unique needs. Learn more →

Rakuten Logo

"There are no enterprise license fees and support is at parity with other OS alternatives. For telecom, Rakuten Mobile and Rakuten Symphony are ensuring Rocky Linux is proven at scale in commercial operations.”

— CEO of Rakuten Mobile and Rakuten Symphony

Focus Guide: Inside Rocky Linux

Rocky Linux is a free, open source operating system that is 100% binary compatible with RHEL. Rocky Linux is the fastest-growing Enterprise Linux distribution and is widely adopted in enterprise and High Performance Computing (HPC) environments, as well as by leading cloud providers and hyperscalers. This ensures security, compatibility, stability, and scalability for enterprise and mission-critical applications.

“… Every Rocky Linux release is built 100% in the open, by the community, for the community. They ship with all of our infrastructure and secure material like keys and secure boot shims being managed by the RESF.”

— Gregory Kurtzer, Rocky Linux Founder and CIQ CEO

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Rocky Linux?

Rocky Linux is an open source operating system developed by the Rocky Linux community and based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). It is intended to be the successor to CentOS and a drop-in replacement for RHEL, giving customers access to a dependable, secure, and scalable operating system for private or professional usage.

Why was Rocky Linux created?

Rocky Linux was produced in response to the discontinued support of CentOS, a prominent community-driven and open source version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). The purpose of Rocky Linux is to create a completely compatible, open source version of RHEL that anyone could use, modify, and distribute.

Why is Rocky Linux called Rocky Linux?

Rocky Linux is named in honor of Rocky McGaugh, who was an early CentOS co-founder alongside Gregory Kurtzer.

What is Rocky Linux based on?

Rocky Linux is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). It is a community-driven effort with the objective of producing an open source, completely compatible version of Enterprise Linux that has rapidly become the trusted successor to CentOS.

What is the benefit of Rocky Linux?

Rocky Linux offers a variety of advantages to users, including enterprise-level stability, security, and compatibility with existing Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) packages and applications.

Is Rocky Linux free?

Rocky Linux is open source and free, meaning its operating system is available for download, use, modification, and distribution by anyone without charge or restriction other than the BSD 3-Clause License.

Are Rocky Linux and RESF the same thing?

Rocky Enterprise Software Foundation (RESF) is a legal foundation dedicated to maintaining and hosting open source software. Rocky Linux is currently its main project. RESF works to protect the open source nature of Rocky Linux.

What is the relationship between CIQ and Rocky Linux?

CIQ is the official founding support and services partner and sponsor of Rocky Linux. CIQ provides technical support such as Rocky Linux installation and configuration, training, systems maintenance, custom development, and more. CIQ’s CEO, Gregory Kurtzer, is the also founder of Rocky Linux.

Who owns Rocky Linux?

Rocky Linux is an open source project that is developed by the community; as a result, it is not controlled by any one individual or entity. A worldwide group of volunteers and contributors work together to create and maintain Rocky Linux. The Rocky Enterprise Software Foundation (RESF) oversees Rocky Linux (among other projects) to assure its quality and long-term viability.

Who supports Rocky Linux?

Rocky Linux is an open source operating system supported by its community. This sizable and growing community includes sponsor/partner organizations such as CIQ and Amazon Web services, as well as an army of users, enthusiasts, and interested technology professionals who all contribute to the creation and maintenance of Rocky Linux.

How long will Rocky Linux be supported?

The support lifecycle for Rocky Linux is 10 years. This means that each major version will be supported for 10 years after its release. Rocky Linux 8 will be supported from 2021 (inception) to 2029. Rocky Linux 9 was released in 2022, and will reach end-of-life in 2032. Beyond this, CIQ offers extended support options for Rocky Linux.

Is Rocky Linux the same as Red Hat?

No, Rocky Linux and Red Hat are not the same. Although Rocky Linux is designed to be completely compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Red Hat, Inc. does not manufacture or provide support for Rocky Linux.

Is Rocky Linux the same as RHEL?

Rocky Linux and RHEL are two separate entities. However, Rocky Linux is bug-for-bug compatible with RHEL.

What is CentOS being replaced with?

The trusted replacement for CentOS is Rocky Linux. Rocky Linux is an Enterprise Linux distribution created by Gregory Kurtzer, the co-founder of CentOS, with the intent to create a true open source Linux distribution that is bug-for-bug compatible with CentOS.

What is Rocky Linux equivalent to?

Rocky Linux is the successor of CentOS Linux and is based on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux source code. It is designed to be compatible with both operating systems.

Is Rocky Linux the same as CentOS?

Rocky Linux is not the same as CentOS Linux. It is a separate Linux distribution. However, it is the successor to CentOS, created to maintain a true open source Enterprise Linux distribution.

Why should I choose Rocky Linux?

Rocky Linux provides a stable platform, enterprise-level of security, scalability, and complete compatibility through a free, open source operating system. It is made to be highly customizable and is supported by a growing community. In addition, providers like CIQ offer paid support for the development and deployment of Rocky Linux systems.

What is the future of Rocky Linux?

The future of Rocky Linux is promising. It continues to gain popularity among enterprise users and developers due to its open source nature, compatibility with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and commitment to using best practices in software development, including the open source Peridot build system.

Get Support for Rocky Linux

Get Enterprise Level Support

We measure our success on your success, so we take your needs seriously.

Our offerings come in various shapes and sizes designed to help people and teams meet and surpass their goals and expectations. From basic email and ticket-based help, to a direct line to access engineers and developers immediately, our team is your team.

Software infrastructure is multifaceted and complex. Even the best system administrators may need to call on a developer to help debug and resolve panics and regressions, and we want to help you.

Let us prove this to you. Contact us now to learn more.