AlmaLinux Boosts Legacy Hardware Support with Latest Linux Release

AlmaLinux 9.4 is a Red Hat Enterprise Linux clone that retains older hardware support.

AlmaLinux 9.4, the latest release from the AlmaLinux OS Foundation, is not just another Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) clone. It's a unique offering that includes support for depreciated hardware that RHEL has abandoned. This makes AlmaLinux 9.4 a valuable tool for those with older hardware, ensuring they can continue to operate efficiently.  

AlmaLinux is not built from RHEL's source code, and Red Hat has made that much harder in recent years. Instead, as the AlmaLinux OS Foundation board chair, Benny Vasquez, wrote, AlmaLinux "decided to drop the aim to be 1:1 with RHEL. AlmaLinux OS will instead aim to be Application Binary Interface (ABI) compatible.

To do this, AlmaLinux uses the CentOS Stream source code, which Red Hat continues to offer to all. The result is a Linux that works and plays well in a RHEL software stack.  

The swift release of AlmaLinux 9.4, hot on the heels of Red Hat’s update, is a testament to the strength and depth of knowledge within the AlmaLinux community. This community, known for its dedication to both speed and stability, has played a crucial role in delivering the enterprise-grade Linux needed by various industries.

The update to AlmaLinux 9.4 brings several enhancements that significantly improve machine security, data protection, and system reliability. These new features, designed to enhance system roles for automating operations and promoting consistency, are particularly beneficial in complex environments. Notably, the new system roles make creating and managing logical volume manager (LVM) snapshots easier, enhancing data backup and recovery processes.

Vasquez views the release as a milestone in the platform's evolution. "This is our second point release for AlmaLinux 9 since last year’s shift from copying Red Hat bit-for-bit, and we are starting to take advantage of our freedom," Vasquez proudly proclaimed.

A crucial aspect of the 9.4 release is its support for hardware that had been deprecated upstream in RHEL 9.4. By reintroducing support for older device drivers and hardware, AlmaLinux aims to reduce both hardware and human costs by extending the life of still-functional, aging servers. This older hardware support is particularly significant in sectors like VFX, where older CPU rendering blades are essential. Tristan Theroux, IT infrastructure & security director for SHED animation studio, noted the update revitalizes older systems, which are critical in video special express (VFX) studios, allowing them to reserve more powerful servers for intensive tasks.

These older  AlmaLinux 9.4 supported devices in include: 

  • aacraid - Dell PERC2, 2/Si, 3/Si, 3/Di, Adaptec Advanced Raid Products, HP 


  • be2iscsi - Emulex OneConnectOpen-iSCSI for BladeEngine 2 and 3 adapters

  • hpsa - HP Smart Array Controller

  • lpfc - Emulex LightPulse Fibre Channel SCSI

  • megaraid_sas - Broadcom MegaRAID SAS

  • mlx4_core - Mellanox Gen2 and ConnectX-2 adapters

  • mpt3sas - LSI MPT Fusion SAS 3.0

  • mptsas - Fusion MPT SAS Host

  • qla2xxx - QLogic Fibre Channel HBA

  • qla4xxx - QLogic iSCSI HBA

With this release, AlmaLinux continues to bridge the gap between past and present technology, providing a platform for innovation and ensuring the sustainability of valuable IT resources across various industries.

That includes CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, which just joined the foundation as a silver sponsor. CERN uses AlmaLinux as one of its Linux distributions for its world-class research in fundamental physics. Cern chose AlmaLinux after testing, which demonstrated it to be fully compatible with upstream RHEL. 

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