OpenELA Marks Major Milestones in Governance and Code Availability

Published on: November 2, 2023
Author: OpenELA Community

  • Source code for packages is now available (and more is on the way)
  • Incorporation is complete, and the Technical Steering Committee has been formed to guarantee access to Enterprise Linux packages

RENO, Nev., AUSTIN, Texas, and LUXEMBOURG—November 2, 2023—OpenELA today announced the public release of the Enterprise Linux source code along with important technical and governance milestones. OpenELA is a trade association of open source Enterprise Linux distribution developers originally founded by CIQ, Oracle and SUSE. It exists to encourage development and collaboration of distributions compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) by providing open and free Enterprise Linux (EL) source code.

Code is Available
The founding sponsors of OpenELA are initializing a basis for the community, and the most important effort has been the creation of the code base. OpenELA is excited to announce that the source code for all packages necessary for anyone to build a derivative Enterprise Linux operating system is now available. The initial focus is on EL8 and EL9, and packages for EL7 are forthcoming. The project is committed to ensuring the continued availability of EL sources to the community indefinitely. To access repositories, visit: Documentation and additional useful information can be found at

Incorporation is Complete
OpenELA was incorporated as a Delaware nonprofit nonstock corporation exclusively for the purpose of operating under 501(c)(6) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. The corporation will provide a forum for stakeholders interested in supporting the goals and interests of developing open source enterprise Linux distributions. OpenELA is in the process of applying to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service for 501(c)(6) tax-exempt status. The founding companies view the legal entity as a foundational tool to make a positive impact on the open source effort, in aligning the values of the effort and ensuring proper engagement with the open source community.

Technical Steering Committee is Formed
OpenELA has also completed the formation of its Technical Steering Committee (TSC). The TSC plays a crucial role in the governance and decision-making process of OpenELA, overseeing the technical aspects of the project and guiding its development and ongoing maintenance. The TSC initially consists of highly experienced individuals from the founding companies who will administrate access to the top-level OpenELA git organizations. TSC membership is expected to evolve over time. The TSC is key to OpenELA’s technical vision, as it represents the interests of the community facilitating collaboration while helping to ensure the security of the code and community and providing the environment for continued code availability and maintenance of the code base.

Further information on the current members and roles of the OpenELA TSC can be found here:

“Today, we release the source code needed for anyone to build and maintain a downstream Enterprise Linux derivitive as a first-class open source citizen,” said Gregory Kurtzer, CEO, CIQ and founder, Rocky Linux. “For decades organizations standardized on CentOS because it was freely available, followed the Enterprise Linux standard and was well supported by many vendors. After CentOS was discontinued, it left not only a gaping hole in the ecosystem, but it also clearly showed how the community needs to come together and do better. OpenELA is exactly that—the community’s answer to ensuring a collaborative and stable future for all professional IT departments and enterprise use cases.”

“When we formed OpenELA earlier this year, we made a number of promises to the open source developer community,” said Wim Coekaerts, head of Oracle Linux development, Oracle. “With today’s announcement of the availability of the source code for packages, the completed incorporation, and the formation of the technical steering committee, we are delivering on our promises and our commitment to helping and maintaining the ability for anyone to develop compatible EL distributions. We’re extremely excited to reach these important milestones, and we look forward to seeing adoption of and collaboration around OpenELA expanding.”

“We’re pleased to deliver on our promise of making source code available and to continue our work together to provide choice to our customers while we ensure that Enterprise Linux source code remains freely accessible to the public,” said Thomas Di Giacomo, chief technology and product officer, SUSE. “We’ve seen tremendous involvement and interest from the community in OpenELA, which demonstrates just how important it is to the open source community that we as an ecosystem remain open and work together to deliver accessible solutions for all.“

OpenELA Encourages New Members to Join
OpenELA welcomes all organizations focused on delivering reliable and secure access to Enterprise Linux packages and build systems. OpenELA seeks to build robust, community-driven standards that ensure impartiality and equilibrium in the broad EL ecosystem. For more information about getting involved with OpenELA, please visit

About OpenELA
In August 2023, CIQ, Oracle and SUSE began work to form OpenELA in response to changes in availability of RHEL source code. OpenELA exists to deliver open source code, tools and systems for the community. Core tenets include full compliance with this existing standard, swift updates and secure fixes, transparency, community and ensuring that these resources remain free and redistributable for all. Learn more about OpenELA at

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Drew Smith

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