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The project aims to provide a new alternative for projects using Red Hat’s CentOS.

The developers of Rocky Linux have announced that the new software project will be available to test by the second quarter of 2021. The announcement came in the form of a Community Update issued earlier this month.

Community Manager Jordan Pisaniello said that “we are targeting Q2 2021 to deliver our first release of Rocky Linux.”

In addition, he said that Rocky Linux at that time will be made available not only in standard commercial regions, but also AWS GovCloud, and China.

“Our teams are working to coordinate the many individuals and organizations that have offered to help advance The Rocky Linux Foundation, Inc.,” he wrote.

“The core team is working to lay the infrastructure that will support the legal entity and the engineering efforts required to deliver and support an initial release.”

Rocky Linux: driven by customer demand

The origin of Rocky Linux stems from a sort of customer revolt that occurred earlier this month, which we covered here.

The uproar occurred when CentOS’s Linux parent company, RedHat, announced that it was shifting focus from CentOS 8. The result was that CentOS co-founder, Gregory Kurtzer, announced he’d create his own CentOS replacement. That replacement was named Rocky Linux.

“In response to this unexpected shift, I am proud to announce the launch of a new project,” he said. “Rocky Linux, in honor of my late CentOS co-founder Rocky McGough.”

Indeed, within 478 hours of announcing Rocky Linux, Kurtzer claimed to already have 650 contributors working on the project.

Timeline and Transparency

The Community Update said the developers were placing a premium on transparency. They promised to communicate a timeline “soon” for the delivery of such things as build infrastuctures and testing packages.

The developers also credited the participanyts in the project. “We’re immensely grateful for the community’s enthusiasm, excitement, and help,” they wrote. “Rocky Linux is, and will remain a community-driven effort.”