Rocky Linux 9 Officially Released with GNOME 40 Desktop, Improved Security

Rocky Linux 9

The Rocky Linux devs announced today the general availability of the long-anticipated Rocky Linux 9 operating system as a drop-in replacement for CentOS Linux and CentOS Stream.

Based on the freely distributed sources of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 operating system series, Rocky Linux 9 is here with GNOME 40 as the default desktop environment, support for Direct Access (DAX) operations in XFS for direct access to byte-addressable persistent memory, as well as the “eager write” mount option in NFS to help reduce latency.

Security-wise, Rocky Linux 9 series disables root user authentication with a password over SSH by default to prevent attackers from gaining access using brute-force password attacks, and OpenSSL 3.0 support.

Other noteworthy changes include an updated Cockpit web console with an improved performance metrics page to better identify causes of high CPU, memory, disk, and network resource usage spikes, the mptcpd or MultiPath TCP daemon instead of iproute2 to configure MultiPath TCP endpoints, and support for key files in NetworkManager to store new connection profiles.

Rocky Linux 9.0 also comes with some of the latest runtimes and compilers, including GCC 11.2.1, LLVM (13.0.1), Rust (1.58.1), and Go (1.17.1), an updated toolchain consisting of GCC 11.2.1, GNU C Library 2.34, and GNU Binutils 2.35, as well as many other great Open Source technologies, including Python 3.9, PHP 8.0, Perl 5.32, Ruby 3.0.3, and Node.js 16. Check out the full release notes for more details about the updated packages.

Rocky Linux 9.0 is available for download right now from the official website for the 64-bit (x86_64), AArch64 (ARM 64-bit), PowerPC 64-bit Little Endian (ppc64le), and IBM system Z (s390x) hardware architectures as Minimal, DVD, and Boot editions. Cloud images are also available for download here.

Existing Rocky Linux 8 users will be able to upgrade their installations to the Rocky Linux 9 series, but the devs highly recommend a fresh install. Keep in mind that Rocky Linux 8 will continue to be supported until May 31st, 2029, while Rocky Linux 9 will be supported until May 31st, 2032.

Image credits: Rocky Linux (edited by Marius Nestor)

Last updated 5 months ago