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AlmaLinux OS Foundation : Names New Chair, Founder Steps Aside to Increase Independence of Community Owned and Governed CentOS Alternative

10/12/2021 | 12:03pm EST

The only 100% community-owned and governed CentOS replacement, AlmaLinux names benny Vasquez to replace Igor Seletskiy as chair of governing board

The AlmaLinux OS Foundation, stewards of the 100% community-owned and governed enterprise-grade Linux distribution, announced today that benny Vasquez will take over as chair of its governing board of directors replacing Igor Seletskiy of CloudLinux, who steps down from board membership.

Seletskiy started the initiative for developing and establishing a RHEL rebuild intended as a safe haven for CentOS users left stranded with Red Hat’s announcement of its change in direction last December. In March, the software code was made available for AlmaLinux 8.3 then an update, based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.4 was released just one week after RHEL in May.

“When we created AlmaLinux back in December, the most important part for us was to make it community-owned. We realized that corporate ownership of any kind would be a terminal illness for such a project,” said Seletskiy. “We wanted to make sure that all the trademarks, copyrights and infrastructure would be owned by non-profit organizations, similar to the Linux Foundation. My personal goal was to remove myself from the board as soon as possible when we had AlmaLinux set up to run efficiently from a technical and organizational perspective. We have achieved that and built a great start over the past 10 months and I have complete conviction in the people taking over from here. I want to thank everyone who got us to this point and especially note the counsel of Simon Phipps who guided us through the process to achieve our goal of a 100% community-owned and governed enterprise-grade Linux distribution. The future of AlmaLinux is guided by its governing board and in the hands of the user community.”

There have been hundreds of thousands of downloads from the primary mirror site, plus an undetermined number from over 190 other mirror sites worldwide. Contributions have come from people all over the world. AlmaLinux OS has added support for Arm processors and Raspberry Pi. AlmaLinux OS images are now available for cloud platforms including AWS, Azure, Equinix, Google, Linode, Oracle, Vultr, and others.

In March, a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization, the same model used by the Linux Foundation, was set up, Jack Aboutboul was named community manager, and the governing board named including Aboutboul; Jesse Asklund, vice president of customer experience for WebPros at cPanel; Simon Phipps, open source advocate and a former president of the Open Source Initiative; Igor Seletskiy, CEO of CloudLinux; and Eugene Zamriy, director of release engineering at CloudLinux. Later, benny Vasquez joined the governing board which manages, promotes and continuously improves AlmaLinux for the benefit of its user community.

Just last week, the AlmaLinux Foundation announced open membership for individual contributors and sponsors. Members will be able to vote and help to steer AlmaLinux OS and ensure the Foundation is acting in the best interests of the community.

“We all owe Igor tremendous praise for his drive to create a CentOS alternative when the void was created at the end of last year -- he has done a truly legendary job,” said benny Vasquez, chair of the AlmaLinux governing board. “As a result of his belief in the project, we have a tremendous amount of momentum and community support to build on. Igor and the AlmaLinux community have accomplished a great deal and really established a solid start for this industry initiative to carry on.”

benny Vasquez’ full-time position is head of developer relations for Chef at Progress Software.

“Igor’s guidance has helped us hit the ground running. It is bittersweet to say goodbye to him, but at the same time I know that anytime we need him, Igor will step up to lend a hand,” said Jack Aboutboul, community manager, AlmaLinux. “The community now has its destiny in its own hands and this is the realization of something that’s been long overdue. Community is our soul, and the soul is now in control.”

AlmaLinux references the Latin-language word for soul.

Read Igor’s blog post about his stepping down from the governing board. An Ask Me Anything (AMA) with the governing board is scheduled on Thursday, October 21 at 12 Noon Eastern for anyone to join on YouTube.

About AlmaLinux

AlmaLinux OS is an open source and forever-free enterprise Linux distribution, governed and driven by the community, focused on long-term stability and a robust production-grade platform. AlmaLinux OS is a 1:1 binary compatible with RHEL and was founded by the team behind the well-established CloudLinux OS.

ę Business Wire 2021
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