AlmaLinux is the ultimate CentOS 8 replacement after its direction was tuned to the Red Hat rhythm. AlmaLinux OS version 8.4 is the official GA release from the company. This release can be installed to power Production workloads. AlmaLinux OS is a community-driven project built from Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) source code. It is a completely binary compatible fork of RHEL 8 and it is built by the creators of the established CloudLinux OS.

If you have CentOS 8 system it can be migrated to AlmaLinux OS with simple steps. In this guide our focus is on fresh installation of AlmaLinux OS 8 on a physical server, VirtualBox, VMware ESXi, VMware workstation, Xen or XCP-ng virtualization platform. It is worth stating that AlmaLinux OS releases matches the current RHEL release 1:1. This is good for patching and guaranteed stability.

For Rocky Linux 8 use the guide: Install Rocky Linux 8 – Step by Step With Screenshots

Step 1: Download AlmaLinux OS 8 ISO image

Visit AlmaLinux OS 8 releases page and select the latest stable available version.

Pick a mirror from where the ISO file will be downloaded:

Begin the download of AlmaLinux OS 8 by choosing DVD or Minimal ISO file. For servers you can use minimal, and DVD for installation on Laptop or Home Desktop computer.

Step 2: Create Bootable USB Stick / Attach ISO (VM environment)

Once the ISO image is downloaded you have two options:

  • Create Bootable USB Stick media for installation on Laptops or physical server environments
  • Create VM template with compute resources and attach ISO image to virtual CD drive

Create Bootable USB Stick

On Linux use dd command:

# Identify USB device
$ lsblk

# Flash AlmaLinux OS to USB drive
$ sudo dd bs=4M if=./AlmaLinux-8.4-x86_64-dvd.iso of=/dev/sdx status=progress oflag=sync

Where:

  • /dev/sdx is the path to USB stick as shown by lsblk command
  • ./AlmaLinux-8.4-x86_64-dvd.iso is the ISO image path, it can be absolute e.g /home/$USER/Downlods/AlmaLinux-8.4-x86_64-dvd.iso

On Windows and macOS use tools such as rufus vs Etcher

In Virtualized Environment

In a Virtualized environment – VirtualBox, VMware, Xen or XCP-ng, you create a VM template with specs.

VirtualBox

Create a new VM and give it a name. Choose Linux for OS type and Red Hat 64-bit for Version.

Finish creating the VM template. When done click on “AlmaLinux-8 VM” > “Settings

Select “Storage” and Disc plus sign under “Storage Devices” section.

Choose “Add” to map AlmaLinux 8 ISO image.

Browse and choose AlmaLinux ISO file.

Use “OK” button to save the settings.

VMware

On VMware you can drag ISO file when initiating VM creation

Or manually browse to ISO file directory and select.

Xen | XCP-ng

Choose “CentOS 8” template.

Give VM a name and on “Installation Media” select AlmaLinux 8 iso. If you don’t know how to upload check the guide Adding ISO Library Storage Repository in Xen XCP-ng.

Step 3: Install AlmaLinux OS 8.4 on VirtualBox | VMware | Xen | XCP-ng

Finish resource allocations to the Virtual Machine and start it. On a physical box, insert bootable USB stick and modify your boot options to boot from it.

Initiate installation of AlmaLinux OS 8 on VirtualBox | VMware | Xen | XCP-ng by choosing one of the first two options.

Choose the language to be used during installation of AlmaLinux 8.

Storage configurations

Select “Installation Destination” and hit enter.

Select Local disk to be used and storage configuration that works for your needs.

When done save the changes by clicking “Save” button.

Software selection

Use “Software Selection” menu to select the Base environment for your installation

You can also pick additional software components to be installed.

Configure Hostname and Networking

Use “Network & Host Name” to set this machine host name and IP information.

Configure server’s host name.

Turn on the network interface you want to use.

If you have DHCP server in place it will automatically get an IP address assigned. Otherwise configure IP information manually.

Configure Time and Date

Select “Time & Date

Set your region and City and enable NTP.

Confirm both Time and Network settings are configured.

Optionally choose a “Security Policy” you want to use.

Set root password and create admin user

Set a strong password for the root user.

Select “User creation” to add first admin user account.

Input all required user information and set password.

Begin AlmaLinux OS installation on VirtualBox | VMware | Xen | XCP-ng

With all the settings saved start installation by clicking “Begin Installation“.

The installer will start with disk partitioning based on selected scheme.

Then downloading of packages matching base environment.

Packages installation on to the disk starts thereafter.

Packages are installed and configured:

When the installer finishes its work you can eject installation medium and reboot AlmaLinux OS 8 to start using it.

Accept License Agreement.

Login with username and password as configured.

We’ve lined many cool articles on AlmaLinux OS 8 that will help you build a production server from ground.

More guides to read:

Generate AlmaLinux 8 OS Vagrant Boxes for VirtualBox|VMware|KVM

Extend root filesystem /sysroot on OpenShift CoreOS (RHCOS)

How To Fetch CPU Information on Linux|macOS using cpufetch