Eight CentOS 8 Alternatives You Need To Try Right Now!

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Centos 8 alternatives

In December 2020, Red Hat announced the end of support for CentOS 8 by the end of 2021 (December 31, 2021, to be exact). This was around the same time when CentOS announced a significant change in its release cycle.

As a result of these related happenings, many users decided to look for CentOS 8 alternatives that offer a similar feature set and performance benchmarks.

Given that CentOS 8 is still a popular OS for standalone servers and server clusters, it is important that users should replace their current CentOS 8 installations with Linux distros that offer all the options they currently use.

This article introduces eight worthy CentOS 8 alternatives that you can try right now to find an excellent replacement for your current CentOS 8- powered infrastructure.

Table Of Content

  1. Introducing the Best CentOS 8 Alternatives
    1. Rocky Linux
    2. Alma Linux
    3. openSUSE
    4. Oracle Linux
    5. Debian
    6. Ubuntu
    7. Fedora
    8. Arch Linux
  2. Conclusion
  3. FAQ

Introducing the Best CentOS 8 Alternatives

Since the EOL means no more security patches and updates, users who depend upon CentOS 8 for managing their critical infrastructure are looking for a replacement because of escalating security threats.

That’s a tough challenge because CentOS 8 offers so much in terms of server management, security, and optimization. You get an easy-to-use interface that allows sysadmins to customize CentOS 8 to fit the requirements of a wide range of projects, from simple eCommerce hosting to setting up crypto farms and IPTV platforms.

We suggest you try out the following distros in a staging environment to find your ideal CentOS 8 alternative.

Rocky Linux

Rocky Linux is one of the most promising CentOS alternatives, as it has been developed by Gregory Kurtzer, a CentOS co-founder.

It is imagined as a drop-in replacement for CentOS. The distribution has gained much traction since its release in June 2021 and has received positive feedback from users and developers.

One of the main advantages of Rocky Linux is its community-driven development model, which ensures that the distribution remains open, transparent, and accessible to everyone.

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Additionally, Rocky Linux is designed to be a stable and reliable platform for server applications, making it a good choice for organizations that rely on CentOS for their infrastructure management.

Alma Linux

AlmaLinux is another candidate for CentOS replacement that has gained popularity since the announcement of CentOS’s shift in strategy.

It is a community-owned and community-backed RHEL clone designed to be a drop-in replacement for CentOS. The distribution is developed and managed by the non-profit AlmaLinux OS Foundation, which ensures that the distribution remains transparent, open, and accessible to everyone.

One of the main advantages of AlmaLinux is its 1:1 binary compatibility with RHEL, which makes it easy for users to migrate from CentOS to AlmaLinux without disrupting their workflows.

AlmaLinux offers long-term support and stability, making it a good choice for organizations that need a long-term replacement for CentOS for their infrastructure.

Overall, AlmaLinux is a robust CentOS alternative worth considering if you want a stable, community-driven, enterprise-grade Linux distribution compatible with RHEL.


openSUSE is a widespread Linux distribution sponsored by a group of software companies, including SUSE and Arm.

Thanks to its YaST installation and configuration tool, it is known for its user-friendly interface and powerful configuration capabilities.

One of the unique features of openSUSE is that it offers two different release formats: Leap and Tumbleweed. Leap is a regular release with long-term support (LTS) that provides a stable and reliable platform for servers and desktops. On the other hand, Tumbleweed is a rolling release that provides the latest packages and features, making it a good choice for developers and enthusiasts who are interested in cutting-edge technology.

If you want to use openSUSE as a CentOS alternative on your server, we recommend you use the Leap version. Leap provides a stable and reliable server platform with a longer support duration that gives you peace of mind.

Additionally, openSUSE has a strong community that provides support and documentation for users, making it a good choice for users who value community-driven distributions.

Overall, openSUSE is a user-friendly and flexible Linux distribution that provides powerful configuration capabilities and two different release formats that fit a lot of server management use cases.

Oracle Linux

Oracle Linux is a widely used distribution based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).

It provides a seamless migration path for CentOS users with a conversion script allowing them to switch to Oracle Linux without requiring a server restart or reinstallation.

Oracle Linux is 100% binary compatible with RHEL, meaning applications and services that run on RHEL will run on Oracle Linux without modification. It provides access to two cutting-edge technologies: Ksplice (for applying security patches without requiring reboots) and DTrace (for comprehensive troubleshooting).

However, it’s worth noting that Oracle Linux does not have free support. While the source code, binaries, and updates are free, users must pay for help if required. Additionally, some applications, such as cPanel, do not support Oracle Linux, which may be a dealbreaker for users who need cPanel for web hosting management.

Overall, Oracle Linux is a viable option for CentOS users who want to migrate to a compatible distribution without requiring significant changes to their existing infrastructure. It provides access to cutting-edge technologies and is backed by a reputable company, although paid support adds to operation costs.


Debian is one of the oldest and most popular Linux distributions, known for its stability, security, and reliability. It was first released in 1993 and has been continuously developed and maintained by a community of volunteers.

One of the main advantages of Debian is its wide support for all popular software packages. In addition, Debian’s package management system, Advanced Package Tool (APT), is known for its reliability and ease of use.

On the hardware side, Debian supports multiple architectures, including ARM, x86, and MIPS, making it a good choice for various hardware platforms.

Debian is also a community-driven distribution developed and maintained by a large and active community of volunteers. This ensures that the distribution remains open, transparent, and accessible. Additionally, Debian provides solid documentation, which is very useful for users new to the distribution or migrating from another platform.


Ubuntu is one of the most popular and widely used Linux distributions, with a large and active user community. It was first released in October 2004 and has been continuously developed and maintained by Canonical Ltd.

One of the main advantages of Ubuntu is its long-term support and stability.

The Long Term Support (LTS) release version is supported for five years, while the standard releases are supported for nine months. All Ubuntu versions support a wide range of software packages, making it a good choice for developers and users who want a stable foundation for their workflows.

Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, has committed to keeping the distribution under a public license until 2025, with the option to extend to 2030 with a commercial support agreement.

This ensures that Ubuntu remains accessible and open to the community while providing opportunities for organizations that need additional professional support.


Fedora is a community-driven Linux distribution sponsored primarily by RedHat, with additional support from other companies, including AWS.

It is an upstream source of the commercial Red Hat Enterprise Linux distribution. As a result, Fedora gets new features and options before they’re integrated into the upcoming version of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

The Fedora community is centered around four principles: freedom, friends, features, and first. These principles prioritize openness, collaboration, innovation, and user empowerment, making Fedora a popular choice for developers and enthusiasts who value these ideals.

Fedora offers a range of editions, including Workstation, Server, and IoT. Each edition caters to specific use cases. For instance, Fedora Server focuses on implementing the best data center features and provides tools for managing services and infrastructure.

Fedora has a relatively short release cycle. However, since it is community-supported, you get active assistance from a large body of volunteers. That makes Fedora a good choice for users comfortable with a community-supported distribution.

Arch Linux

Arch Linux follows the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle.

As such, you get a bare-bones system that you can customize to your specific server management requirements.

Arch Linux is known for its flexibility, which makes it popular among advanced users who want more control over their systems. However, Arch Linux can prove to be a challenge for beginners, especially those who prefer a more user-friendly operating system.


If you are looking for alternatives to CentOS 8, we presented eight options that you can try out to find the best fit for your needs and preferences.

When looking for CentOS 8 alternatives, you need to consider your project’s requirements and match them to the features offered by these excellent alternatives.

MD: Looking for CentOS 8 alternatives? Here are eight candidates that you can evaluate to find the perfect fit for your server management requirements


1: Why are people looking for alternatives to CentOS 8?

Ans: CentOS 8 was discontinued in December 2020 and replaced with CentOS Stream, a rolling-release distribution. This change has caused some concerns among users who prefer the traditional CentOS release model, and as a result, they are looking for alternatives.

2: What are some popular alternatives to CentOS 8?

Ans: Some popular alternatives to CentOS 8 include Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Arch Linux, Gentoo, and OpenSUSE.

3: What factors should I consider when choosing an alternative to CentOS 8?

Ans: Some factors to consider when choosing an alternative to CentOS 8 include the distribution’s stability, security, ease of use, community support, and package availability. Consider your technical expertise and the specific needs of your use case.

4.: Which alternative to CentOS 8 is the best?

Ans: There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best alternative to CentOS 8 will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Each distribution has strengths and weaknesses, so it is essential to evaluate them carefully before deciding.

5: Can I migrate from CentOS 8 to an alternative distribution?

Ans: It is possible to migrate from CentOS 8 to an alternative distribution, although the process may be complex and time-consuming. You should carefully research the migration process and plan accordingly.

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