EPEL Statistics Show Recent Surge In Rocky Linux Usage Past AlmaLinux, CentOS Stream

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 19 June 2022 at 06:48 AM EDT. 24 Comments
Statistics published by Fedora for the Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) usage point to a recent surge in Rocky Linux usage -- at least for those with EPEL enabled -- and at least recently appears to surpass the usage for the likes of CentOS Stream, AlmaLinux, and even the RHEL usage with EPEL enabled.

Rocky Enterprise Software Foundation Project Manager Brian Clemens shared the recent EPEL statistics pointing to the recent uptick in Rocky Linux usage. Rocky Linux as a reminder is the RHEL downstream started after the announcement that CentOS Linux would cease and CentOS 8 to go EOL in order to focus on Red Hat's new CentOS Stream development approach. Rocky Linux gained initial notoriety with Gregory Kurtzer as the original CentOS founder having started it to pursue the original goals initially laid out by CentOS. It's been nearly one year to the day since the first Rocky Linux 8 GA release and they are currently working on their Rocky Linux 9.0 release coming soon.

Going off the EPEL repository access log data, the data source is pointing to a sizable uptick in Rocky Linux use that puts it ahead of the other popular RHEL-based enterprise Linux distributions on a weekly basis. Granted, it's the subset of EL-running users that enable the popular EPEL package repository.

We'll see if this recent trend holds. The latest rocky Linux numbers still point to lower total access numbers seen by Red Hat Enterprise Linux back in November. With AlmaLinux 9.0 having recently launched, we'll see if they enjoy a nice uptick there as well. Oracle Linux meanwhile remains the least popular for EPEL usage.

The EPEL statistics also include the "system age" as a number 1 to 4 for indicating if the system is one week or less old, 2 to 4 weeks old, 5 to 24 weeks old, or 25+ weeks old. Here is a look at that EPEL data for the age of Rocky Linux systems accessing EPEL.

Anyhow, some fun data for those curious about the rough RHEL vs. CentOS Stream vs. AlmaLinux vs. Rocky Linux vs. Oracle Linux usage, but again is limited to the subset of servers that are Internet-connected and accessing the EPEL repository for augmenting their EL package selection. In any case should make for some fun weekend discussions and we'll be sure to check back on the EPEL data at a later date to see how the breakdown is over a longer duration of time particularly in regards to AlmaLinux vs. Rocky Linux usage for those looking at a free, community-based alternative to RHEL.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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