I'm confused about the different organizational structure when it comes to Rocky and Alma

Let met start out with that I have been running Rocky Linux from the beginning after it first was released and I am happy with it. I am just confused by all the different opinions, post and statements you read online(Reddit and other websites) about organizational structure of Rocky Linux vs Alma Linux.

From my understanding in short it looks like this. The RESF is a Public Benefit Corporation and owned by Gregory Kurtzer and the RESF is backed by several big companies. Gregory Kurtzer is the lead of RESF’s board where he is assisted my board members who are trusted people and members from the community. Then there are different community teams that work on different categories of tasks for Rocky all made up of volunteers. Gregory Kurtzer owns the RESF doesn’t that mean if he wanted to sell Rocky Linux he could do that too, at least that’s why most sources online seem to indicate?

While the Alma Linux foundation is a non-profit organization backed by Cloud Linux and several other companies as well, but the foundation is in community control so Cloud Linux has no control over the foundation . There are people who work full time on Alma Linux and there are people from the community who work on Alma Linux as well

Am I understanding it correctly and if not can some explain to me to me so that I will be able to understand it correctly , because from my understanding it sounds more like with Alma’s organizational setup? Is it also because also correct that because Rocky Linux is worked on only by community volunteers that new version(minor/major) releases take longer to be released than with Alma Linux because Alma Linux is worked on full-time by several people as well as community volunteers?

Thanks for in advance helping me understand and lessening my confusion!

I used these sources to try to get an understanding of the different organizational structure of Rocky and Alma:

https://almalinux.org (Main page: About Alma Linux OS)


The short answer, No. :slight_smile:

The longer answer, we are in the process of ensuring everything is under RESF and that there isn’t “an owner”. But we are also trying a different path that we believe is the best long term solution for not just Rocky Linux, but other Open Source projects. There’s things we are still working out and figuring out legally. But to this explicit situation as it stand right now, should Greg decide to “sell out” and IF the new “owner” does not respect the Rocky Linux leadership - Rocky Linux as a project would leave the RESF. How that would work legally is still a bit questionable, but it’s something that we are thinking through as we look to bring in other projects. Ultimately, we’d like to partner with other projects under the RESF but we need to make sure that projects can leave under amicable or tense situations (such as the hypothetical “hostile take over”). So while the technically-legally-possibility is that yeah, Greg could sell the real answer is that no, Greg can’t “sell” the Rocky Linux project - he could sell the RESF but the new “owner” would have little control except to disband the RESF. In which case, the Rocky Linux project would go on its own.

As for Alma, they did things a different way. They decided that was best for them and their community. It’s a good thing they went a different path then Rocky. And it’s a good thing that Rocky is trying a new path.

Also, I want to make it clear that one of the things Rocky is doing different from many other projects is the VERY strong commitment to community. Anyone contributing to the community can become a Rocky Member. And only Rocky Members become leadership or have votes on Rocky direction. Thus, Rocky is ONLY community led. No person nor company can buy votes, seats on the board, or authority over Rocky direction [nor can any company have enough votes to make sole decisions]. Only Rocky Members (which is open to any contributing in the community) can vote.

As for release time… A) it’s not a race. :rofl: The goal isn’t to be fast, it’s to provide the best we can to meet our goal of being 1:1 compatible with RH. B) we place a high emphasis on testing and quality. That is NOT implying other projects have less testing/quality. It is ONLY a statement that we would rather take our time and be confident in the work we do. If others can do something better and faster, good for them - we work at the pace we can and do the best quality we can. We have no interest in being “fast”; we have every intention on doing the best work we can.

It’s a good thing Alma exists and does things differently. It provides the EL community choice. But we have no interest in detrimental competition with Alma. We want to uplift all of the EL community.

Here’s a few helpful links in the FAQ for you to read that I hope answer in better clarity: Rocky Enterprise Software Foundation

Also, please do read the charter and by-law on this page: About | Rocky Enterprise Software Foundation

We try hard to be transparent. Feel free to ask follow-up questions.

Rocky Linux Testing Lead

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Hello @stack!

Thanks for detailed and extensive reply! Sorry for having doubted in the organizational setup but I just needed to hear it for myself from from an actual source other than some replies or topics on a social-media platform and some random tech websites. Thanks for answering al my questions and taking away my doubt and confusion!

I recently migrated all my personal vpses from Rocky Linux 8 to Rocky Linux 9 since I had to move to a new host. I would just like thank everyone working on Rocky Linux for the time and work they put into making Rocky Linux such a great distribution!

I also came across this podcast today which also is has a lot of good information in it about Rocky Linux, just thought I would share it here as well in case others come across this post who haven’t listened to it yet.

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Glad to help! Feel free to ask if you have other questions. Thanks for sharing the podcast link!