Red Hat Enterprise Linux based distributions list

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Red Hat Inc.

Red Hat, Inc. is an IBM subsidiary U.S. software company that provides open source software products to enterprises.

Founded in 1993, Red Hat has its corporate headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina, with other offices worldwide.

Red Hat has become associated to a large extent with its enterprise operating system Red Hat Enterprise Linux. With the acquisition of open-source enterprise middleware vendor JBoss, Red Hat also offers Red Hat Virtualization (RHV), an enterprise virtualization product. Red Hat provides storage, operating system platforms, middleware, applications, management products, and support, training, and consulting services.

Red Hat creates, maintains, and contributes to many free software projects. It has acquired several proprietary software product codebases through corporate mergers and acquisitions and has released such software under open source licenses. As of March 2016, Red Hat is the second largest corporate contributor to the Linux kernel version 4.14 after Intel.

On October 28, 2018, IBM announced its intent to acquire Red Hat for $34 billion. The acquisition closed on July 9, 2019. It now operates as an independent subsidiary.

The name Red Hat came from Ewing’s experience in his college computer lab. He would wear his grandfather’s red Cornell lacrosse cap, and people would say, "If you need help, look for the guy in the red hat."

Red Hat & Red Hat Enterprise logo are trademarks by Red Hat Inc., registered in the United States and other countries.

1993 - 1999: Red Hat Inc. history
1993 - 1999

Red Hat Inc. began when a small businessman met a geek at a tech conference.

  • Marc Ewing was the geek—hacking, debugging, and spinning his own distribution of Linux® on CDs from his home in Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • Bob Young was the businessman—running a computer supply catalog business out of his home in Connecticut. He noticed a growing interest in Linux, so he began to buy Ewing’s CDs.
  • Young sold out of them so many times that he and Ewing joined forces, and Red Hat Software was born in 1995, with Young as CEO.

Instead of protecting trade secrets and filing patents for expensive proprietary products, Red Hat took a radically different approach to software: a stable, accessible distribution of a constantly evolving, community-developed operating system called Linux.

Red Hat believed that open collaboration was the best way to create software. It saw itself as an upstart charging the gates of a closed, monopolistic technology industry, and this view was represented in the creation of the Shadowman logo.

Part superhero, part rebel, and part private detective, Shadowman captured much of Red Hat’s early market strategy—sneaking past the barriers built by proprietary technology companies and bringing open source into datacenters.

2000 - 2006: Red Hat Inc. history

For many years, Red Hat Linux was a boxed product sold alongside Microsoft Windows and Lotus Notes in retail stores. Like other software companies, Red Hat released a new version every six months or so—hoping customers would buy it for the new features. While the development model was innovative, the business model wasn’t.

In 2001, Red Hat stopped the distribution of boxed Red Hat Linux, its primary source of revenue. Instead, affirming its trust in open source once again, Red Hat introduced an enterprise edition that would be sold on a subscription basis.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux became the company’s flagship product, an offering to the world’s most demanding datacenters. A freely available, community version of its Linux operating system would continue to be developed and supported under a new name: Fedora.

Matthew Szulik, then CEO and a tireless open source evangelist, believed in Red Hat’s role as a catalyst for change in the technology industry. In 2006, he charted what would become Red Hat’s vision:

"To be the defining technology company of the 21st century, and through our actions, strengthen the social fabric by continually democratizing content and technology."

Red Hat’s success with Red Hat Enterprise Linux led to steady growth, and investment and participation in other open source communities. As these communities crafted new technologies, the company added more features and capabilities and expanded their portfolio. Defining moments included the first Red Hat Summit in 2005 and the "Unfakeable Linux" response at Oracle OpenWorld in 2006.

2007 - 2018: Red Hat Inc. history

Jim Whitehurst became President and CEO of Red Hat in 2007. He initiated a new collaborative mission statement in 2009 that told the world not only of Red Hat’s dedication to open source but also to the open source way:

"To be the catalyst in communities of customers, contributors, and partners creating better technology the open source way."

In 2012, Red Hat became the first open source technology company to surpass more than US$1 billion in revenue. In 2016, Red Hat exceeded US$2 billion in revenue.

The company’s tremendous growth and expanding portfolio precipitated an update of the corporate logo and brand systems. Red Hat was no longer an upstart "secret agent" of change, but the world’s leading provider of enterprise open source solutions.

In 2018, the Open Brand Project began the process of creating the Red Hat logo used today: an unambiguous, bold, bright red fedora that best reflects the company’s reputation of openness, inclusivity, authenticity, and helpfulness.

2019 - Today Red Hat Inc. history


In 2019, Red Hat and IBM joined forces in one of the largest software acquisitions in history. The move aided Red Hat’s efforts to bring open source innovation to an even broader range of organizations and scale to meet the need for hybrid cloud solutions that deliver true choice and agility. But Red Hat is still Red Hat, operating as an independent subsidiary, guided by the same values and principles that have always guided its brand.

In early 2020, Paul Cormier was named President and CEO of Red Hat. His leadership solidified the company as an industry leader and paved the way for the open innovation that is at the heart of Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud strategy.

In July of 2022, Matt Hicks succeeded Cormier as President and CEO. Hicks previously served as Executive Vice President of Products and Technologies, where he was responsible for the entirety of Red Hat’s product strategy and engineering. With more than 25 years experience in Linux, a background in computer engineering, industry vision, and business acumen, Hicks is well-regarded for his work with customers and partners to solve the next generation of IT challenges with open source.

In 25+ years, Red Hat has grown from a small, home-based business into the world’s leading provider of enterprise open source solutions. Today, more than 90% of Fortune 500 companies rely on Red Hat, and its products and solutions are trusted on a global scale.

Starting with the revolutionary foundation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat has built a broad portfolio spanning a full, modern IT stack, including hybrid cloud infrastructure, middleware, agile integration, cloud-native application development, and management and automation solutions. As always, everything continues to be made the open source way.

Red Hat Linux

Red Hat Linux is a discontinued GNU/Linux distribution created by Red Hat Inc., which became one of the most popular in home user environments.

  • The first stable release, Red Hat Linux 1.0, was on 13/05/1995.
  • The last stable release, Red Hat Linux 9.0, was on 31/03/2003.

It was the first distribution to use RPM as its package format, and was the starting point for other distributions, such as the desktop-oriented Mandrake (originally Red Hat Linux with KDE), Yellow Dog Linux (which started from Red Hat Linux with PowerPC support), and ASPLinux (Red Hat Linux with better support for non-Latin characters).

It was the first GNU/Linux distribution to use the RPM Package Manager as its packaging format.

Red Hat Linux History
  • Originally Red Hat Linux was developed exclusively within Red Hat, with only feedback from user reports recovering from bugs and contributions to the included software packages; not contributions to the distribution as such.
  • Early releases of Red Hat Linux were called Red Hat Software Linux (RHS Linux), version preview or beta (29/07/1994)[2].
  • The first release (RHL 1.0) was Red Hat Comercial Linux, released on May 1995, codename Mother's day.
  • Red Hat published the first non-beta release in 20/09/1995, Red Hat 2.0.
  • It was the first Linux distribution to use the RPM Package Manager as its packaging format, and over time has served as the starting point for several other distributions, such as Linux Mandrake and Yellow Dog Linux.
  • On march 15, 1996, the RHL 3.0.3 version was relesed, with codename Picasso. This was the first approximately concurrent multi-architecture release; the (then) Digital Alpha platform was supported.
  • On october 3, 1996, the RHL 4.0 version was released, with codename Colgate. Three architectures supported were x86, Alpha, and SPARC. This release also introduced our current Shadowman logo. Based on the 2.0.18 kernel.
  • First release to ship the spyglass-derived Red Baron browser as a proprietary value-add.
  • On december 1, 1997, the RHL 5.0 version was released, with codename Hurricane. This was first release to include BRU2000-PE backup and Real Audio client and server software as proprietary value-add components.
  • On april 19, 1999, the RHL 6.0 version was released, with codename Hedwig. This release integrated glibc 2.1, egcs, kernel 2.2, and GNOME.
  • On september 25, 2000, the RHL 7.0 version was released, with condeame Guinness. This release integrated glibc 2.2. 2.4 kernel just didn't make it in time, we decided that glibc version was a bigger user-space distinguisher than kernel version. It was first release that supported Red Hat Network out of the box.
  • On september 30, 2002, the RHL 8.0 version was released, with codename Psyche. Lots of new technology in this release. gcc 3.2, glibc 2.3 release candidate (officially approved and requested by upstream maintainer!), 1.0.1, GNOME 2, KDE 3.0.3. Bluecurve was also introduced with the goal of providing a pleasant, unified look across the two desktops and many applications included in the release, which was created by the Red Hat Artwork project.
  • On march 31, 2003, the RHL 9 version was released, with codename Shrike. Start of some new directions. In the past, Red Hat worked to maintain both forward and backward compatibility within a major version series. In the future, Red Hat will not be trying to enable building software on newer releases that runs on older releases, thus the change in versoning.
  • First release to include NPTL (Native POSIX Thread Library) support, using glibc 2.3.2 and kernel 2.4.20 with NPTL support backported from the 2.5.x development kernels. Also, KDE 3.1 and GNOME 2.2.
  • This release is the basis of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.
  • On july 21, 2003, the RHL 9.0.93 was released, with codename Severn. It was the final Red Hat Linux beta release; this release started Red Hat's process of creating an open development process.
  • In 22/09/2003, Red Hat decided to concentrate its development efforts on the enterprise version of its distribution, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) (Red Hat Linux line was discontinued), and delegated the common version to Fedora Core (developed by the community-supported Fedora Project and sponsored by Red Hat), an open source project independent of Red Hat Inc.
  • On september 25, 2003, the FC 0.94 (Fedora Core 0.94), codename Severn was released.
  • A week after Red Hat announced that its open development process was in the process of merging with the pre-existing Fedora Linux project to create the Fedora Project, the renamed second beta came out: Fedora Core 1 test 2, version 0.94. This was the first test release to have a really functional version of the exec-shield security-enhancing patch.

Red Hat Linux Releases History

Red Hat Linux Releases History
Code name
Release date Kernel version

26/06/1994 1.1.18 (dev)
31/10/1994 1.0.9 (stable)
1.1.54 (dev)
Mother's Day
May 1995 1.2.8
bug fix
Mother's Day+0.1
Aug/1995 1.2.11
20/09/1995 1.2.13-2
bug fix
23/11/1995 1.2.13 (stable)
1.3.32 (dev)
01/05/1996 1.2.13
Jul-Aug/1996 2.0
03/10/1996 2.0.18
03/02/1997 2.0.27
19/05/1997 2.0.30-2
01/12/1997 2.0.32-2
22/05/1998 2.0.34-0.6
02/11/1998 2.0.36-0.7
26/04/1999 2.2.5-15
04/10/1999 2.2.12-20
03/04/2000 2.2.14-5.0
25/09/2000 2.2.16-22
31/01/2001 2.4
16/04/2001 2.4.2-2
beta, Roswell
22/10/2001 2.4.7-10
06/05/2002 2.4.18-3
30/09/2002 2.4.18-14
31/03/2003 2.4.20-8

Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Red Hat Enterprise Linux upstream distributions
Red Hat Linux (RHL) (discontinued)
Fedora Linux
CentOS Stream
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is a commercial open-source GNU/Linux distribution developed by Red Hat for the commercial market.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux is released in server versions for x86-64, Power ISA, ARM64, and IBM Z and a desktop version for x86-64.

  • The first version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 2.1, released on 26/03/2002 (AS), to bear the name originally came onto the market as "Red Hat Linux Advanced Server".
  • In 2003, Red Hat Linux was split into a community-supported but Red Hat-sponsored distribution called Fedora Core 1, release on 06/11/2003, and a commercially supported distribution called Red Hat Enterprise Linux 2.1 AS (Pensacola), released on 26/03/2002[3], based on Red Hat Linux 7.2.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 was announced at Red Hat Summit on May 10, 2022, and was officially released on May 17, 2022.

  • RHEL 9 was the first to be based on CentOS Stream, itself based on Fedora Linux, while historically RHEL was based directly on Fedora Linux.
  • The first beta for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 (Plow), based on Fedora Linux 34, was released on November 3, 2021.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Releases History

Codenames of Red Hat Enterprise Linux are voted on by the developers and a fixed pattern for the naming scheme is absent.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Releases History
Version Based on Release date
RHEL 2.1
RHL 7.2 26/03/2002
RHL 9.0 22/10/2003
Fedora Core 3 15/02/2005
Fedora Core 6 15/03/2007
Fedora Linux 12 & Fedora Linux 13 (modified) 09/11/2010
Fedora Linux 19 & Fedora Linux 20 (modified) 09/06/2014
Fedora Linux 28 07/05/2019
Fedora Linux 34 & CentOS Stream 9 08/11/2022

Active Red Hat Enterpise Linux based distributions

  1. AlmaLinux
  2. Circle Linux
  3. ClearOS, (ex ClarkConnect), based on CentOS and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
  4. Endian Firewall
  5. Eurielec linux
  6. EuroLinux: Is an enterprise-class GNU/Linux distribution made and supported by the EuroLinux company, built mostly from code of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The origin of the system ensures compatibility with most popular enterprise GNU/Linux distributions including RHEL, Scientific Linux, Oracle Linux. Rocky Linux, AlmaLinux and CentOS. While primarily geared toward server workloads, EuroLinux can also be used for desktop computing or any environment where long-term stability and support are demanded.
  7. Jazz Linux
  8. Miracle Linux
  9. Navy Linux
  10. Oracle Linux (formerly known as Oracle Enterprise Linux or OEL): Is a GNU/Linux distribution packaged and freely distributed by Oracle, available partially under the GPL since late 2006. It is compiled from Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) source code, replacing Red Hat branding with Oracle's. It is also used by Oracle Cloud and Oracle Engineered Systems such as Oracle Exadata and others. Potential users can freely download Oracle Linux through Oracle's server, or from a variety of mirror sites, and can deploy and distribute it without cost. The company's Oracle Linux Support program aims to provide commercial technical support, covering Oracle Linux and existing RHEL or CentOS installations but without any certification from the former.
  11. Pingo Linux
  12. Rocky Linux, refounded from the discontinued CentOS.
  13. Springdale Linux (SDL) (ex PUIAS Linux)
  14. StartCom Linux
  15. YOUrOS
  16. VzLinux

Rocky Linux

Rocky Linux is a GNU/Linux distribution developed by Rocky Enterprise Software Foundation, and founded by Gregory Kurtzer. It is intended to be a downstream, complete binary-compatible release using the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) operating system source code.

  • The project's aim is to provide a community-supported, production-grade enterprise operating system. Rocky Linux, along with RHEL and SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE), has become popular for enterprise operating system use.
  • The first release candidate version of Rocky Linux was released on 30/04/2021, and its first general availability version was released on 21/06/2021.


On December 8, 2020, Red Hat announced that they would discontinue development of CentOS, which had been a production-ready downstream version of RHEL, in favor of a newer upstream development variant of that operating system known as CentOS Stream.

In response, Gregory Kurtzer, CEO of Rocky Linux support provider CIQ and one of the original founders of CentOS, announced that he would start a new project to achieve the original goals of CentOS. Its name was chosen as a tribute to early CentOS co-founder Rocky McGaugh. By December 12, the code repository of Rocky Linux had become the top-trending repository on GitHub.

On December 22, 2020, Rocky Linux community manager Jordan Pisaniello announced that the target for an initial release was anywhere between March and May of 2021. On January 20, 2021, it was announced that a test repository would be made available to the public by the end of February, and a release candidate was on target for the end of March 2021. However, that date was slightly pushed back, and on April 30, 2021, the first release candidate was officially released. The second release candidate, of version 8.4, the last before the stable release, was released on June 4, 2021.

The high version number is based on the designation of RHEL. Rocky Linux is a clone of RHEL, which is also binary-compatible and is already supported by numerous large, financially strong sponsors.

On June 21, 2021, the stable release of Rocky Linux 8.4 was released, with the code name "Green Obsidian".

Rocky Linux 9.0 was released on July 14, 2022, alongside a new reproducible build system called "Peridot", created to ensure the community can easily create new RHEL forks if Rocky Linux ever were to be discontinued, and to allow the Rocky Linux project to make new releases faster. Rocky Linux 9.0 is also the first version to support little-endian PowerPC processors and IBM Z (s390x) mainframes.

Rocky Linux Releases History
Version Code
8.3 Green
8.4 21/06/2021
8.5 15/11/2021
8.6 16/05/2022
8.7 14/11/2022
8.8 20/05/2023
8.9 22/11/2023
9.0 Blue
9.1 26/11/2022
9.2 16/05/2023
9.3 20/11/2023

Discontinued Red Hat Enterpise Linux based distributions

  1. CentOS
  2. Asianux
  3. Blue Linux
  4. BluePoint Linux
  5. DigAnTel
  6. Eadem Enterprise AS
  7. Eridani Linux
  8. Happy Linux
  9. HispaFuentes Linux
  10. Holon Linux
  11. HP Secure OS Software for Linux
  12. Immunix Secure Server OS
  13. Madeinlinux
  14. MIZI Linux
  15. MSC.Linux
  16. NeoShine Linux
  17. Kondara MNU/Linux
  18. LGIS GNU/Linux
  19. LASER5 Linux
  20. Lineox Enterprise Linux
  21. Linux Media Lab Distribution
  22. LinuxPPC
  23. OEone HomeBase
  24. Pie Box Enterprise Linux
  25. Plan-B
  26. Probatus Spectra Linux
  27. Red Office Linux
  28. Scientific Linux
  29. StartCom Enterprise Linux
  30. SuperRescue CD
  31. TaoLinux
  32. Userful Desktop
  33. Voodoo Linux
  34. Wazobia Linux
  35. White Box Enterprise Linux
  36. WOW Linux
  37. X/OS Linux


CentOS (Community ENTerprise Operating System) is a discontinued based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), until RHEL 2.1 version, CentOS 2, 14/05/2004.

  • CentOS used yum as an update management package, a tool also used by the Fedora distribution.

CentOS originated as a build of CAOS Linux, an RPM-based Linux distribution started by Gregory Kurtzer in 2002.

In June 2006, David Parsley, the primary developer of Tao Linux (another RHEL clone), announced the retirement of Tao Linux and its rolling into CentOS development. Tao users migrated to the CentOS release via yum update.

  • In 2014 CentOS became a Red Hat sponsored project.
  • On 08/12/2020, Red Hat ended support for CentOS, although it will continue to support CentOS Stream, its rolling release variant.
  • Gregory Kurtzer, its founder, created the Rocky Linux project as its successor.
  • On the other hand, Cloud Linux, the creators of CloudLinuxOS, announced the creation of a new clone of AlmaLinux.
Active CentOS based distributions
  1. BlueOnyx
  2. Baruwa Enterprise Edition
  3. ClearOS, (ex ClarkConnect Gateway/Server)[6]
  4. CloudLinux OS[7]
  5. Elastix[8], based on CentOS, (until version 4)
  6. FreePBX, (ex AsteriskNOW)[9]
  7. Issabel
  8. Koozali SME Server, (ex e-smith)[10]
  9. NethServer
  10. Rocks Clusters
  11. VicidialNOW
Discontinued CentOS based distributions
  1. Boston University Linux
  2. DigAnTel
  3. Honeywall CDROM
  4. Niigata Linux
  5. Openfiler
  6. Stella
  7. Tao Linux
  8. trixbox[11]
  9. Yellow Dog Linux, based on CentOS and Fedora