AlmaLinux 9.4 Beta 'Seafoam Ocelot' now available

The AlmaLinux OS Foundation has officially released the beta version of AlmaLinux 9.4, codenamed “Seafoam Ocelot,” available for various hardware architectures including Intel/AMD (x86_64), ARM64 (aarch64), IBM PowerPC (ppc64le), and IBM Z (s390x). Enthusiasts and developers can access the beta ISOs here.

As with any beta software, the Foundation advises against using this release in production environments. It is essential to follow this guidance, especially when considering upgrades from previous versions, as beta versions can lead to unexpected issues that could disrupt operational systems.

AlmaLinux 9.4 Beta introduces several security enhancements and data protection features to bolster machine security. Notable updates include improvements to the web-console and system roles that facilitate automation and promote consistency across complex IT environments. These updates aim to increase system availability and reliability, simplify recovery operations, and enhance virtual machine snapshot capabilities, particularly beneficial in hybrid cloud environments.

The release also introduces new system roles for managing logical volume manager (LVM) snapshots, enhancing data backup and recovery processes. Continued improvements focus on performance, scalability, and reliability, aiding developers in efficiently building and managing applications.

In a notable differentiation, AlmaLinux 9.4 extends support to older hardware that was previously unsupported in upstream releases. This includes modifications to device drivers to re-add PCI IDs for various hardware such as Dell PERC RAID controllers, HP Smart Array Controller, and Broadcom MegaRAID SAS, among others. This move responds to community feedback requesting support for updated operating systems on older hardware platforms.

Users are encouraged to participate in testing, report bugs through the AlmaLinux Bug Tracker, and engage in discussions via the AlmaLinux Community Chat, Reddit, or other forums. The production release of AlmaLinux 9.4 is expected to follow shortly after the release of RHEL 9.4, anticipated in mid-May.

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