Rocky Linux vs CentOS – The Future of Enterprise Solutions

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Rocky Linux vs Centos

According to OpenLogic, CentOs is the third most popular Linux distribution option, with a 19.51% popularity rating—almost double Rocky Linux’s popularity. Although Rocky Linux has a lower popularity rating, it’s a relatively new operating system. The report notes that more and more people are adopting Rocky Linux as an alternative to CentOS. So, between Rocky Linux vs CentOS, which operating system is better?

The open-source software movement has opened up possibilities for many people and organizations. Not only does it offer free usage, but it also allows users to tailor it to their needs through customization. While both Rocky Linux and CentOS are open-source Linux distributions, the decision to choose either of them depends on several factors. These factors include security, reliability, support, community resources, and your long-term vision.

In this article, we will analyze CentOS vs Rocky Linux and determine which is the future of enterprise solutions. This comparison will cover everything you need, from history and performance to security and community support.

Table of Content

  1. What is Rocky Linux
  2. What is CentOS?
  3. Rocky Linux vs CentOS: Performance and Resource Efficiency
  4. Rocky Linux vs CentOS: Security Features and Compliance
  5. Rocky Linux vs CentOS: Community, Documentation, and Support
  6. Rocky Linux vs CentOS: Compatibility and Use Cases
  7. Conclusion
  8. FAQs

What is Rocky Linux?

Rocky Linux was developed in 2021 as a direct response to CentOS’s announcement that it would no longer be a binary-compatible, downstream fork of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). The goal was to develop an up-to-date and alternative operating system to CentOS.

Since CentOS was a popular distribution, the announcement was criticized widely. One of the creators of centOS, Gregory Kurtzer, was responsible for creating Rocky Linux.

Development and Growth

Since its inception, Rocky Linux has quickly grown to become a widespread Linux distribution. This is mainly because many people in the Linux community consider it an alternative to CentOS.

According to Kurtzer, Rocky Linux continues to witness “massive” adoption, with monthly downloads reaching up to 250,000. What’s more, the distribution is supported by several major companies. This gives users the peace of mind that the distribution will continue to be developed and maintained.

What is CentOS?

The Community Enterprise Operating System (CentOS) was created in 2004 as a free and community-supported rebuild of RHEL. It was designed to be 100% binary compatible with RHEL. This means the software compiled for RHEL would also run on CentOS without any modification.

CentOS quickly became popular and was adopted by many businesses and government agencies. Most of its users were people looking for a robust and secure platform with a reputation for long-term support and stability.

CentOS Stream Shift

In 2020, CentOS announced it would shift its focus to CentOS Stream. CentOS Stream is a rolling release distribution based on the latest development code for RHEL. This shift meant CentOS would no longer follow the traditional model of being a downstream rebuild of RHEL.

The shift led to concerns among users who relied on CentOS for its stable and predictable nature. They thought that the battle of CentOS Stream vs Rocky Linux was unnecessary. Although CentOs Stream may have the latest features because it’s always up-to-date, it’s less stable than RHEL.

Extra Tip: CentOS project oversees two distribution channels: CentOS Stream and CentOS Linux. As users weigh the options between Rocky Linux vs CentOS Stream, consider the implications of the CentOS Stream Shift.

Rocky Linux vs CentOS: Performance and Resource Efficiency

In enterprise solutions, comparing performance and resource efficiency between these operating systems is quite important. The analysis below sheds light on Rocky Linux vs CentOS strengths and differences. This should help you choose the best-fit solution for your infrastructure and applications.

System Requirements Rocky Linux CentOS
Disk Space 40 GB 10 GB
Processor 64-bit 64-bit



Rocky Linux can also be run on systems with more resources, such as 4 GB of RAM or 40 GB of disk space. Two partitions must be dedicated to CentOS for Intel64, ARM64, and AMD64.

Rocky Linux Performance

Efficiency and Speed

Rocky Linux is an efficient operating system because it doesn’t waste CPU cycles or memory. Moreover, it boots up quickly and can handle demanding tasks with ease.

CentOS Performance

Efficiency and Speed

CentOS optimizes hardware resources efficiently, enabling smoother multitasking and better response times. The system’s stability and reliability make it suitable for both desktop and server environments.

CentOS also allows quick boot time, and the system responds promptly to user input. This reduces wait time while ensuring efficient problem-solving.

Rocky Linux vs CentOS: Security Features and Compliance

As critical components of enterprise solutions, Rocky Linux vs CentOS can safeguard data, protect against threats, and adhere to industry standards. Here is how these two distributions are unique from each other:

Rocky Linux Security

Security Policies and Measures

Rocky Linux implements robust security policies and measures to safeguard against potential threats and vulnerabilities. For instance, the Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux) system, a security feature in Rocky Linux and CentOS, provides users an extra security layer. Other security features include firewalling and secure boot. Rocky Linux is also regularly audited and tested for security vulnerabilities.

Community and Vendor Support

Rocky Linux receives security support from a community of developers and contributors. It’s also supported by the Rocky Enterprise Software Foundation for all its commercial support needs.

CentOS Security

Security Protocols and Standards

CentOS uses a variety of security protocols and standards to protect its systems, including:

  • TLS: Transport Layer Security (TLS) is a cryptographic protocol to secure communication over a computer network.
  • SSH: Secure Shell (SSH) is a network protocol that allows secure remote access to computer systems.
  • IPsec: Internet Protocol Security secures IP (Internet Protocol) communication between devices over an IP network, typically the Internet.

This operating system also benefits from regular security updates and patches.

Community and Vendor Support:

CentOS is a community-supported Linux distribution supported by Red Hat for its commercial support needs.

Rocky Linux vs CentOS: Community, Documentation, and Support

When you view Rocky Linux vs CentOS, you will notice that they both are enterprise-grade Linux distributions with strong communities, documentation, and support. However, there are some critical differences between the two distributions in these areas.

Rocky Linux Community and Support

Community Engagement

Rocky Linux has a strong and active community. It has a variety of forums and social media channels where users can get help and support. The social media channels include Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit. The community is also involved in developing Rocky Linux, ensuring continuous feedback and contributing code.

Documentation and Learning Resources

Rocky Linux has a comprehensive and up-to-date documentation hub on its website. The document covers various topics, including installation, configuration, and troubleshooting.

There are also many tutorials and other learning resources on the site. The documentation is written in clear language, and it’s easy to find the information you need.

CentOS Community and Support

Community Involvement

CentOS has an active community that fosters a collaborative atmosphere. This vibrant community enables newcomers to learn and contribute to various topics.  

The support structure is robust and dynamic, with active forums, mailing lists, and chat channels. In case of a problem, members can actively troubleshoot, offer guidance, and provide solutions to users’ issues. This collective expertise ensures that users have access to timely and accurate assistance.

Documentation and Educational Materials

CentOS’s documentation is comprehensive, well-maintained, and readily available to users. It covers various aspects of the OS, from installation guides to advanced system configurations. This extensive documentation empowers users to understand the system thoroughly and troubleshoot problems independently.

Some resources provided by CentOS include tutorials, workshops, webinars, and online courses. These resources also enhance users’ skills and knowledge by allowing them to improve their proficiency in using CentOS.

Rocky Linux vs CentOS: Compatibility and Use Cases

Users need to consider compatibility when choosing the ideal operating system for enterprise solutions. In this comparison between Rocky Linux vs CentOS, we delve into their respective abilities regarding their software and hardware environments.

Rocky Linux Compatibility

Software and Hardware Compatibility

Rocky Linux is compatible with a wide range of hardware and software. It’s binary compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), so it can run any software designed for RHEL.

Ideal Use Cases

  • Servers: Rocky Linux is well-suited for servers because it can host web applications, databases, and other mission-critical services.
  • Workstations: Rocky Linux can be used for office productivity, development, and other tasks that require a stable and powerful operating system.
  • Cloud: Rocky Linux is a good choice for cloud computing environments. It’s lightweight and can be used to deploy and manage cloud-based applications.

CentOS Compatibility

Software and Hardware Alignment

CentOS demonstrate strong compatibility with a wide range of Linux software due to its binary compatibility with RHEL. Additionally, it’s the preferred Linux distribution for hosting control panels in many cases.

Ideal Use Cases

Ideal use cases for CentOS include enterprise-level applications, production servers, and development environments. CentOS’s strong reputation in the server world makes it a preferred choice for businesses and institutions looking for a proven and well-tested solution.

Also Read: How to Install CentOS 7 in 4 Easy Steps


Rocky Linux and CentOS are excellent enterprise-grade Linux distributions with strong track records of stability and performance. Rocky Linux is known for its stability, flexibility, and customization options, while CentOS is a more stable distribution that works great as a development system. To choose between CentOS vs Rocky Linux, you need to consider both their pros and cons and your needs.

One thing you need to note is that CentOS discontinued its future support. On the other hand, Rocky Linux is still young, which means there is no detailed documentation on how good it is. However, it’s fully compatible with RHEL and its open source.

For more information about Rocky Linux vs CentOS, please visit their official websites: Rocky Linux and CentOS website.


Q1. Is Rocky Linux the same as CentOS?

Rocky Linux is a community-driven project designed to be binary-compatible with CentOS. This means Rocky Linux can run the same software as CentOS and be used for the same purposes. However, Rocky Linux is not a direct fork of CentOS. It’s a new project with its development team and roadmap.

Q2. What is Rocky Linux best for?

Rocky Linux is ideal for:

Q3. Is Rocky Linux reliable?

Yes, Rocky Linux is a reliable distribution well-suited for production use.

Q4. Which Linux will replace CentOS?

Rocky Linux is one of the leading contenders to replace CentOS. It’s a community-driven project, CentOS vs Rocky Linux, committed to providing a stable and reliable distribution. Red Hat manages CentOS.

Q5. Is Rocky Linux Ubuntu?

No, Rocky Linux is not Ubuntu. Ubuntu is a commercial distribution owned by Canonical, while Rocky Linux is a community-driven project not affiliated with Canonical.

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