For many years, CentOS Linux was a reliable, enterprise-ready distribution based on RHEL. In late 2020, Red Hat announced a change of direction for the distro, which would now be named "CentOS Stream" and exist as an upstream vendor.
In response, CentOS founder Gregory Kurtzer launched Rocky Linux, a project that will inherit the original goals of CentOS. Being based on RHEL means that it will only inherit the most tested and stable components that have been introduced upstream in Fedora and CentOS Stream.
Not much is known about the new distro at this time, except that it should function similarly to CentOS (the CentOS before this change) and will most likely be an appropriate replacement for it. You can stay abreast of the latest news by visiting the official Rocky Linux site, as well as Rocky's GitHub. We'll also be updating this article as new information is revealed.
Rocky Linux Release Date and Download
Rocky Linux has not yet been released, and doesn't have any official ETA, however as Gregory Kurtzer mentioned on number of occasions you can expect the Rocky Linux release date to be somewhere at the end of Q1 or begging of Q2. As soon as Rocky Linux becomes available, we will be updating this article to include the proper download links and any other relevant information.
Rocky is gaining tons of support, even in these very early stages. Longtime users of CentOS had the rug pulled out from under them, and many are now scrambling for a viable replacement. CentOS 7 has support until June 2024, and it's likely that Rocky Linux will be released before then. Users of CentOS 8, whose end of life comes at the end of 2021, may have to find refuge in Oracle Linux (because it bears many similarities to RHEL and CentOS), or another distro until Rocky is released.