Rocky Linux Pre-Release

Rocky Linux Pre-Release


Rocky Linux is a CentOS replacement. It's in pre-release and this post will outline how to install it on VirtualBox for testing.

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Rocky Linux is one of the most anticipated Linux releases. When Red Hat decided to change their strategy on CentOS Linux and to move CentOS Stream (which tracks ahead of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and is considered a rolling release) many in the community were looking for an alternative.

One thing I want to point out is that this Rocky Linux release candidate is not ready for production environments. So don’t get ahead of yourself and migrate to this version of Rocky Linux just yet. Deploy it in a test environment and begin to play with it.

This is when Gregory Kurtzer who co-founded CentOS started Rocky Linux which is a 1:1 compatible version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Think of Rocky Linux as your new CentOS to some degree. Users should also be able to migrate from CentOS to Rocky Linux with a single DNF command.

Rocky Linux is available to download from their site. I recently installed Rocky Linux and found the entire process simple, quick and easy – all great attributes for on-boarding folks. I will walk through the installation and show you just how easy this is.

Rocky Linux install on VirtualBox

I am installing Rocky Linux in VirtualBox and configuring my virtual machine with 4GB of RAM and 20GB of disk space (I went with a fixed size vs dynamically allocated).

Download the ISO at the Rocky Linux website, I downloaded the x86_64 minimal version.

Rocky Linux

I’ve already prepped my virtual machine in VirtualBox, so I won’t go into those screenshots, but I do want to show you how quickly you can install Rocky Linux. One thing to keep in mind is a pre-release so do not run this in production, but have fun with it for dev and test purposes.

Once the ISO is booted you will be prompted to install Rocky Linux.

Rocky Linux virtuwise

Once you boot into the installation you will be asked to set your language.

Rocky Linux virtuwise

Once you click continue, you will be prompted to read this pre-release warning, reminding you not to use this in production as this is a early release.

Rocky Linux virtuwise

Click ‘I want to proceed’ and you will be brought to the main setup page. I completed the Root Password, Installation Destination and Network and Host Name sections, then clicked begin the installation. When you go into the Network section be sure to enable the ethernet connection.

Rocky Linux virtuwise

You are then off to the races, maybe grab a coffee at this time but I suspect the install will finish before your coffee is ready.

When you are done, reboot the system and you are done. See how fast and simple that was. Welcome to your new Rocky Linux 8 system. I have some items on the screenshots blurred, but I think you get the general point.

I was not expecting to see a web console available, but that is cool. To activate the web console use the following command systemctl enable –now cockpit.socket once you are logged in.

Let’s start our browser and go directly to the web console, hopfully you have your network settings setup. I type the following URL https://IP Address:9090 you will likely get a certificate error but you can just move past that.

You are presented the login screen. You can use your root creditaials to login.

Rocky Linux virtuwise

Once you have logged in you are presented with a simple and elegant dashboard. Just the way I like it. (I have a few items blurred on the screen below).

Rocky Linux virtuwise

One thing that caught my eye was the Terminal tab and I gave it a try and it connected me to my server.

Rocky Linux virtuwise

Nice to have that functionality in the web console.

There is your first look at Rocky Linux. I encourage you to download and give it a try. Let me know if this is a Linux distro that will become your main go to. I am excited to see the future developments and even hope to contribute in some small way, maybe with documentation or community development.

Let me know on Twitter if you have tried Rocky Linux and what you think and as always thanks for reading!