May 02, 2024

6 min read

CentOS vs. CentOS Stream vs. AlmaLinux – Best Linux Comparison

Written by

Abdelhadi Dyouri
The difference between CentOS vs. CentOS Stream vs. AlmaLinux may be a bit confusing, but rest assured, that will no longer be the case after this article.


In 2019, Redhat announced that they will be changing their sponsorship for the CentOS Linux distribution. With CentOS Stream being an upstream development platform designed for CentOS community members. Then, in March 2021, CloudLinux released a new AlmaLinux distribution that is binary-compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux. But wait... What is the difference between CentOS, CentOS Stream, and AlmaLinux? And what distribution should you choose? This article answers your questions. CentOS vs. CentOS Stream vs. AlmaLinux

CentOS vs. CentOS Stream vs. AlmaLinux

In summary:
  • CentOS: Known for stability, but transitioning to CentOS Stream has shifted its focus towards upstream testing.
  • CentOS Stream: Acts as an upstream testing ground for new software in the RHEL ecosystem, for users seeking the latest software versions.
  • AlmaLinux: A 1:1 binary-compatible clone of RHEL, offering stability, reliability, and ease of use.


CentOS was a free downstream distribution from RedHat Enterprise Linux. Redhat initially introduced updated and new software onto their Fedora operating system as a test ground. Once testing is done on Fedora, the packages then get added to RHEL for secure and robust enterprise deployments. Once the packages are fully deployed on RHEL, they are then introduced to the free CentOS
Continue reading this article
by subscribing to our newsletter.
Subscribe now