AlmaLinux 8.4: New RHEL clone now with Secure Boot support

Version 8.4 of the free Linux distribution AlmaLinux, which is binary-compatible with the commercial Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), has been released. Probably the most important innovation: AlmaLinux now also runs on systems on which the Secure Boot protection function is activated. The developers have completed support for OpenSCAP, an open source implementation of the Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP). The minor release also includes compiler updates, new module streams and changes to repositories and packages.

AlmaLinux 8.3, the first stable version, was released by CloudLinux at the end of March this year. The impetus for the development was Red Hat’s announcement in December 2020 that the free RHEL clone CentOS would only be continued as a rolling release from the end of 2021 without fixed version cycles. As a directly affected company, CloudLinux then began to develop a CentOS clone, initially named Lenix, which was renamed AlmaLinux in early 2021.

With the support of Secure Boot, the development team claims to have implemented the feature most requested by the AlmaLinux community. in the Bug tracker for the Alma Linux project the project was already documented since the end of January – with the note “We need to sign our bootloader packages properly in order to support Secure Boot”. Now the signature has apparently been replaced and the implementation has been completed.

Secure Boot is part of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). Before the operating system starts, the mechanism checks whether the boot loader is correctly signed. In this way, manipulations caused by malware, for example, can be detected and the system can be refused to start in case of doubt.

A complete overview of all innovations as well as information on installation and download options is provided by the Release Notes for AlmaLinux 8.4 as well as that Release announcement.

Download options for ISO images lists the project on an overview page.


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