Choosing the Best Alternative OS for CentOS 7

Choosing the Best Alternative OS for CentOS 7

CentOS 7, based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), has been a trusted choice for many enterprises due to its stability and long-term support. However, with its end-of-life status, users must find a reliable alternative to maintain security and performance. This article explores AlmaLinux, Rocky Linux, Debian, and Ubuntu as the best alternative OS for CentOS 7, guiding you in choosing the best option for your needs.

Understanding the Need for an Alternative OS

With the end of support for CentOS 7 on June 30, 2024, continuing to use it poses significant risks. Consequently, without updates and security patches, systems are vulnerable to exploits and performance issues. Therefore, transitioning to a supported OS ensures ongoing security, compatibility, and access to new features.

Top Alternatives to CentOS 7

  1. AlmaLinux

AlmaLinux is a community-driven, open-source Linux distribution designed to be a direct replacement for CentOS. Developed by the AlmaLinux Foundation, it offers full binary compatibility with RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) and is one of the best alternative solutions for CentOS 7 because of it’s RHEL compatibility and as a result provides seamless transition.


    • Binary Compatibility: Provides a seamless transition with full compatibility with RHEL.
    • Community and Commercial Support: Backed by a strong community and commercial support options.
    • Regular Updates: Ensures ongoing security and feature updates.
    • Ease of Migration: Tools and guides are available to facilitate an easy switch from CentOS.


    • Newer Distribution: As a newer project, it has a smaller user base compared to more established distributions.
  1. Rocky Linux

Rocky Linux is another community-driven, open-source Linux distribution designed to be a direct replacement for CentOS. Founded by Gregory Kurtzer, one of the original creators of CentOS, Rocky Linux aims to continue CentOS’s mission of providing a free, stable, and RHEL-compatible OS for enterprises.


  1. RHEL Compatibility: Offers full binary compatibility with RHEL, ensuring a smooth transition.
  2. Community-Driven: Strong backing from the open-source community and enterprise users.
  3. Focus on Stability: Emphasizes long-term support and stability for enterprise environments.
  4. Easy Migration: Provides tools and documentation to help users migrate from CentOS.


  1. Newer Project: Like AlmaLinux, it is a newer distribution and may have a smaller user base.


  1. Debian

Debian is one of the oldest and most stable Linux distributions, known for its robustness and extensive software repository. While not a direct RHEL clone, Debian offers a solid foundation for various server applications.


  1. Stability: Highly stable with a strong focus on security and performance.
  2. Extensive Repository: Large software repository with a wide range of applications.
  3. Community Support: Strong community support with comprehensive documentation.
  4. Long-Term Support: Provides long-term support through the Debian LTS project.


  1. Different Package Management: Uses APT instead of YUM/DNF, requiring some adaptation.
  2. Release Cycle: Longer release cycles may delay access to the latest features.


  1. Ubuntu

Ubuntu, derived from Debian, is known for its user-friendliness and extensive support network. The server edition of Ubuntu is a robust choice for enterprise environments, offering regular long-term support (LTS) releases.


  1. User-Friendly: Easy to use with extensive documentation and community support.
  2. LTS Releases: Regular long-term support releases with five years of support.
  3. Wide Adoption: Popular among enterprises and developers, ensuring a large user base.
  4. Comprehensive Support: Available community and commercial support options.


  1. Different Package Management: Uses APT, which may require adjustments for those familiar with YUM/DNF.
  2. Not RHEL-Compatible: May require reconfiguration for applications designed for RHEL/CentOS.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Alternative OS

  1. Compatibility: Ensure that the new OS supports your existing applications and workflows. AlmaLinux’s binary compatibility with RHEL makes it the easiest transition for CentOS users.
  2. Support: Evaluate the availability of community and commercial support. Debian and Ubuntu have extensive community support, while AlmaLinux also offers commercial options.
  3. Stability and Performance: Look for an OS known for its reliability and performance. Debian is renowned for its stability, while Ubuntu offers a balance of stability and modern features.
  4. Security: Choose an OS with a strong track record of security updates and vulnerability management.
  5. Ease of Migration: Consider how easily you can migrate from CentOS 7 to the new OS. AlmaLinux provides tools to simplify this process, while Ubuntu and Debian may require more manual adjustments.


Transitioning from CentOS 7 to a supported operating system is crucial for maintaining security, stability, and performance. Consider the best alternative OS for CentOS 7 to ensure your systems remain secure and optimized. AlmaLinux, Debian, and Ubuntu each offer unique advantages:

  • AlmaLinux: Best for those seeking a direct, RHEL-compatible replacement.
  • Rocky Linux: Ideal for users looking for a community-driven, RHEL-compatible OS that continues the mission of CentOS.
  • Debian: Ideal for those prioritizing stability and a vast software repository.
  • Ubuntu: Perfect for users looking for ease of use, regular updates, and strong community support.

The best alternative OS for CentOS 7

Evaluate your specific needs and consider factors such as compatibility, support, stability, security, and migration ease to choose the best alternative OS for CentOS 7. Each of these distributions ensures that your systems remain secure and optimized for the future, providing a solid foundation for continued success.

By making an informed decision, you can ensure a smooth transition from CentOS 7, thereby maintaining the reliability and security of your IT infrastructure. Additionally, for more detailed information and comprehensive migration guides, visit the official websites and community forums of AlmaLinux, Debian, and Ubuntu. This will provide you with valuable resources and community support, further facilitating your transition process.


We offer automated VPS installation on all our VPS plans, thereby ensuring a seamless and efficient setup process. Specifically, this feature allows you to quickly deploy your preferred operating system, including AlmaLinux, Rocky Linux, Debian, and Ubuntu. Consequently, you can maintain continuous and reliable operations with minimal hassle. Notably, these options are considered the best alternative OS for CentOS 7.