Development of Rocky Linux began shortly after, in late 2020, Red Hat terminated development of CentOS, a community-based Linux distribution derived from Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) that had been in existence since 2004. It is named after Jason Dale “Rocky” McGaugh, a talented programmer involved in CentOS development, who passed away in December 2004 at the age of only 30. Asked what McGaugh might have thought of the OS being named after him, Kurtzer told IT World Canada, “to be honest, he was a shy guy. I don’t know if he would have liked the attention, but at the same token, he was a huge advocate of open source and a big fan of open source.
“Personally, I don’t think he would have liked what happened with CentOS.”
Kurtzer added that “what we are doing with Rocky Linux is really where he would have liked to see the project and open source going. When we named it Rocky Linux, it was a hat tip to him for everything he has done, not only in open source and high-performance computing (HPC), but also with the CentOS project.
“One of the last e-mails that he wrote to the e-mail list was that he was 99 per cent done development of CentOS. It was pretty much ready to go when he passed, but he never saw it released.”
The key for an open-source initiative to grow and flourish, said Kurtzer, lies with registering it as a non-profit organization, which was the case with The cAos Foundation. He has done the same with Rocky Linux.
It’s official name is the Rocky Enterprise Software Foundation, “backed by an advisory board of trusted individuals and team leads from the Rocky Linux community.”
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