CentOS 7 End-of-Life: Upgrade Smoothly To AlmaLinux With In-Place Migration

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CentOS 7 End-of-Life: Upgrade Smoothly to AlmaLinux with In-Place Migration

 March 22nd, 2024

Time to Say Goodbye to CentOS 7

For many system administrators, CentOS 7 has been a reliable workhorse. However, its End-of-Life (EOL) is fast approaching on June 30th, 2024. This means critical security updates and bug fixes will cease, leaving your system vulnerable.

Fear not! AlmaLinux emerges as a stable and secure alternative, built on the same foundation as CentOS 7 (Red Hat Enterprise Linux - RHEL). Upgrading to AlmaLinux ensures continued security, software compatibility, and long-term support for your systems.

In-Place Upgrades: A Streamlined Approach

Upgrading to a new operating system (OS) can be daunting. In-place upgrades offer a solution by transforming your existing CentOS 7 system directly into AlmaLinux. This minimizes downtime and streamlines the process compared to a full reinstall.

While convenient, in-place upgrades are not without risk. It's crucial to back up your data thoroughly before proceeding. Additionally, some hardware or software might require adjustments after the upgrade.

Preparing for a Seamless Transition

Before diving into the upgrade, ensure your CentOS 7 system is in top shape. Create a comprehensive backup of your critical data to safeguard against any unforeseen issues. Next, update your CentOS 7 system to the latest version using yum update. This ensures compatibility with the upgrade tools.

Optionally, you can check your system resources and software compatibility with AlmaLinux documentation to identify any potential conflicts.

Upgrading to AlmaLinux with Leapp

The Leapp utility simplifies the in-place upgrade process. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  1. Install the Elevate Repository and Leapp:


    sudo yum install -y http://repo.almalinux.org/elevate/elevate-release-latest-el7.noarch.rpm
    sudo yum install -y leapp-upgrade leapp-data-almalinux

  2. Run the Leapp Pre-Upgrade Check:


    sudo leapp preupgrade

    Carefully review the generated report (/var/log/leapp/leapp-report.txt) to address any identified issues before proceeding.

  3. Resolve Identified Issues:

    Leapp might recommend specific actions to address potential issues. Follow the recommendations to ensure a smooth upgrade.

  4. Perform the Upgrade:

    sudo leapp upgrade

    Leapp will guide you through the upgrade process. Reboot your system when prompted.

  5. Verify the Upgrade:

    After rebooting, log in to your system. Verify that AlmaLinux is now running using cat /etc/os-release.

Post-Upgrade Tasks

Following the upgrade, it's essential to ensure everything functions as expected. Test your applications and system functionalities. Update your AlmaLinux repositories using dnf update and install any available security patches.

Optionally, you might consider removing leftover CentOS packages using dnf remove package_name. However, proceed with caution and only remove packages you're confident are no longer required.

Embrace a Secure Future with AlmaLinux

The upcoming EOL of CentOS 7 necessitates a migration to a secure and supported alternative. Upgrading to AlmaLinux using the in-place approach offers a streamlined and efficient solution. With AlmaLinux, you can rest assured that your systems will continue to receive critical updates and maintain stability for years to come.

For detailed instructions and troubleshooting resources, refer to the official AlmaLinux documentation on in-place upgrades from CentOS 7. Don't hesitate to seek help from the AlmaLinux community forums if you encounter any issues during the process.

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