Linux Operating system is the most popular platform among other operating systems like Windows and macOS. One of the reasons for its popularity is the number of distributions based on Linux. Linux distributions are operating systems compiled from components developed by various open-source projects and programmers. The components include a Linux kernel, GNU shell, X-server, Desktop environment, and a package management system. There are several distributions namely available including; Ubuntu, CentOS, RedHat Enterprise Limited (RHEL), KDE Neon, Linux Mint, Debian, AlmaLinux, Gentoo, Arch Linux, Fedora, OpenSUSE, etc.

What is AlmaLinux?

AlmaLinux is one of the Linux Distributions that is free and focuses on long-term stability and providing a robust production platform. Is community-owned and governed. It fills in the gap left by the discontinuation of the CentOS Linux stable release. AlmaLinux AlmaLinux OS is 1:1 binary compatible with RHEL® and pre-Stream CentOS and this makes switching from either CentOS and RHEL to AlmaLinux easy and less costly.

The latest release is AlmaLinux OS 9.0 for x86_64, aarch64, ppc64le, and s390x architectures with the codename Emerald Puma. It is based on upstream kernel version 5.14 and includes cloud and container development advancements as well as web console improvements. Applications are modernized fast and easier with the updated version of components like glibc 2.34 and binutils 2.35. Also something to note is that the use of SHA-1 for signatures is restricted in the default crypto policy in the latest relase.

Features.

  • AlmaLinux 9 packages and repositories are signed with the new RPM-GPG-KEY-AlmaLinux-9.
  • Enhancements for security and compliance including additional security profiles.
  • Updated dynamic programming languages, web and database servers:
    • Perl 5.32
    • PHP 8.0
    • Git 2.31
    • Apache HTTP Server 2.4
    • Varnish Cache 6.5
    • Squid 5.2
    • MySQL 8.0
    • Redis 6.2
  • GCC 11 with the latest versions of LLVM, Rust and Go.
  • Java tools updates with Maven 3.6 and Ant 1.10.
  • Performance tools and debuggers updates:
    • GDB 10.2
    • Valgrind 3.18.1
    • Grafana 7.5.11
    • SystemTap 4.6
    • Dyninst 11.0.0
    • elfutils 0.186
  • Compiler update to Go Toolset 1.17.7

AlmaLinux has 3 ISO images available for installation.

  1. AlmaLinux-9.0-x86_64-boot.iso – a single network installation CD image that downloads packages over the Internet.
  2. AlmaLinux-9.0-x86_64-minimal.iso – a minimal self-containing DVD image that makes possible offline installation.
  3. AlmaLinux-9.0-x86_64-dvd.iso – a full installation DVD image that contains mostly all AlmaLinux packages.

Download AlmaLinux 9 ISO

To download an ISO, visit the AlmaLinux ISOs links site to select the package to download.

Select the architecture and version. then it will open a page that shows the list of mirrors available near you. Click on One and select the ISO you want to use for installation.

Then select the ISO image to download. I chose the boot option which will install packages over the internet. Select the one you prefer and click to download.

You can also download the file from using the wget command.

#x86_64
wget http://repo.almalinux.org/almalinux/9.0/isos/x86_64/AlmaLinux-9.0-x86_64-dvd.iso

#aarch64
wget https://repo.almalinux.org/almalinux/9.0/isos/aarch64/AlmaLinux-9.0-aarch64-dvd.iso

#ppc64le
wget https://repo.almalinux.org/almalinux/9.0/isos/ppc64le/AlmaLinux-9.0-ppc64le-dvd.iso

#s390x
wget https://repo.almalinux.org/almalinux/9.0/isos/s390x/AlmaLinux-9.0-s390x-dvd.iso

Create AlmaLinux 9 Bootable Medium

After the download, You can create a bootable medium of the image. I will use Ventoy which you can download from the release page to create a bootable medium.

This requires you to just format the drive that you want to use for booting.

Confirm that you want to format the drive and the process begins.

You will receive a confirmation after the process ends.

Then copy the ISO image to the drive after formatting.

And with that, you have a bootable drive with AlmaLinux ready to install. More information can be found on creating a bootable medium with Ventoy.

Install AlmaLinux 9 – Step by Step With Screenshots

You will enter the BIOS setup on startup the select the Drive with the bootable medium to use for booting. The following page appears. Select Install AlmaLinux and press Enter to continue.

The setup opens and starts installing the necessary packages for the installation.

The next window that opens allows you to choose the System Language. Select the language and click Continue.

The installation summary is shown. This step allows you to configure settings like Keyboard, Time & Date, Installation Source, Installation Destination, and set Root Password.

Click on Installation Destination and select the Disk to be used for installation, The disk selected will be formatted for installation. Once selected it is highlighted then click Done.

The next Option to configure would be to set the Root Password.

The next option would be to set the Date and Time. It might already be configured automatically but you would just change the region and city just in case it is not the same.

You can also select the type of software that will be installed. I chose the minimalistic option with the GUI. You can choose to install the server alone without the GUI. The choice is yours.

Once you are done with the settings. You can now click on Begin Installation to start the Installation.

The installation downloads the packages and configures the Kernel in the process.

Once done you should see a complete status like the one shown below. Click on reboot system.

Setup AlmaLinux 9 after installation

After rebooting the system. You will be presented with 2 options to start the system. Select the first option. Once you log in, the following welcome page is shown. Click on Start Setup to configure the basic settings of the system.

The Privacy window opens as shown. It is enabled by default hence click on Next.

Then the next window shows the possible online accounts that you can connect to including Google, Microsoft, and Nextcloud. You can set up the account or skip to set up later.

The next option is to set up the account name and Username.

The next option is to set up the Password of the user.

The setup is now complete. Click on Start Using AlmaLinux.

This is the screen that appears, You can choose to take the tour or skip it by clicking No Thanks.

Then AlmaLinux Desktop screen is open as shown

You can access other applications and settings by clicking the Activities tab on the top-left side of the screen.

You can access settings and go to the About tab and view the system’s details as shown below.

You can also access the terminal and view the system details from the terminal.

Update and upgrade your system

sudo dnf -y update
sudo reboot

Conclusion

The purpose of this guide was to show how to install AlmaLinux on any device from its ISO image. We have also created a bootable medium of the ISO to enable us to install the operating system from the BIOS setup on Boot. AlmaLinux is easy to install and set up as we have seen. You can also choose to install the server only without the GUI.

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