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AlmaLinux Foundation Builds AlmaLinux OS 8 for s390x

AlmaLinux Foundation Builds AlmaLinux OS 8 for s390x

Platform previously unsupported by CentOS, used Fedora binaries to bootstrap the build

The AlmaLinux OS Foundation, the nonprofit that stewards the community-owned and governed open source CentOS successor AlmaLinux, is announcing that AlmaLinux 8 now supports s390x. AlmaLinux OS is 1:1 binary compatible with RHEL and pre-Stream CentOS.

“There’s real demand and real enthusiasm from the community. We’ve even provided containers for AlmaLinux 8 for s390x.”

AlmaLinux 8 for s390x is unique as CentOS 8 did not support s390x. This major engineering effort by AlmaLinux required building the whole distribution, all the way from the base toolchain, using Fedora binaries to bootstrap the build.

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“The most important part of making AlmaLinux 8 available for s390x is that mainframe operators now have a platform to build packages for s390x, which was a real gap and something not available before. This enables community initiatives like EPEL to continue growing their user base and community. Mainframe enthusiasts now have a CentOS alternative, too. We see real enthusiasm in the community for an s390x distribution, and since CentOS never built 8 for s390x, we’re excited to provide this totally new distribution. We’ve already proven we can rebuild RHEL’s sources really well, this was taking it up a notch and creating an actual distribution from scratch,” said Andrew Lukoshko, AlmaLinux OS Architect. “There’s real demand and real enthusiasm from the community. We’ve even provided containers for AlmaLinux 8 for s390x.”

The efforts undertaken by the AlmaLinux OS Foundation were made possible when Sine Nomine Associates (SNA) joined as a foundation member. Previously, SNA created the premier Linux distribution for mainframes based on CentOS called ClefOS and chose to join AlmaLinux after CentOS reached End Of Life (EOL) in December 2021. AlmaLinux was the “most aligned with the open source philosophy,” says Neale Ferguson, Chief Scientist at SNA.

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“Linux is a foundational technology for mainframes, making the reliability, scalability and security of mainframe architecture more broadly accessible. Helping to create strong alternatives for CentOS and other Linux users on mainframes moving forward,” said Kurt Acker, Principal IT Architect, Sine Nomine Associates (SNA) and Direct Systems Support (DSS). “We have been working with AlmaLinux since Red Hat announced the end of support for CentOS 8. SNA has helped bring open source software like Openshift, Mono .NET, High-Availability Option (HAO) for Red Hat Enterprise Linux on IBM z Systems, Postgresql and OpenAFS to the platform. We also get involved with projects like automating MongoDB deployments using Ansible to Linux on IBM z Systems. That effort, along with all the code is outlined in chapter 5 of this IBM Redbook; Leveraging LinuxONE to Maximize Your Data Serving Capabilities. With the depreciation of CentOS, we wanted to continue supporting a community edition. AlmaLinux is the perfect fit as their goals fit into our community driven mindset.”

AlmaLinux has a robust community and has seen millions of downloads from a network of over 200 mirrors worldwide and powers projects by US government agencies, the defense sector, CERN particle accelerator, business applications across a wide range of major enterprises, such as open source powerhouse GitLab as well as the web hosting industry. AlmaLinux has millions of docker pulls, and availability on all major public cloud platforms including AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, Oracle OCI, and others. The AlmaLinux OS Foundation members supporting the rapid development of AlmaLinux include AMD, Arm, CloudLinux, and Codenotary. AlmaLinux is adopted and supported by some of today’s foremost open source ecosystem projects, including VMWare, GitLab, Tenable and more.

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