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Which distribution should I use?

CERN supports both RHEL and AlmaLinux, and in addition some CentOS versions - so which distribution should I use?

Of the above options, there are also several different 'versions' (families such as '7', '8' or '9') which can also make the decision even more confusing.

In general we recommend to use the latest version available, as this will ensure that the choice you make lasts for the longest period of time.

If you need to use a specific family, please read on:

For the 7 family, historically CERN CentOS 7 (CC7) was recommended

CC7 is due to be deprecated within the CERN environment on 30.06.2024, see OTG0145248 or check if ELS7 could be useful for you.

For the 8 or 9 families you have two choices, either RHEL or AlmaLinux.

  • Please see the table below

AlmaLinux versus RHEL

Situation / Use case Distribution to use
I use software that requires support from a vendor (eg: Oracle, WinCC OA) RHEL should be used
I need to distribute a virtual machine or docker image to users outside of CERN AlmaLinux must be used (please see the RHEL page for more details)
My service provides interactive access to non CERN sites (eg: lxplus or lxbatch) AlmaLinux should be used
My situation is not described above, can I use either ALMA or RHEL? Yes, you may use either - the choice is yours!

End of Support dates

Distribution End of Support
CentOS 7 30.06.2024 (OTG0145248)
CentOS 7 ELS 30.06.2026 (ELS7)
AlmaLinux/RHEL 8 31.05.2029
AlmaLinux/RHEL 9 31.05.2032

CC7/RHEL7 ELS7

Please refer to the dedicated ELS7 page for all details