AlmaLinux ELevate – How to Upgrade from CentOS 7 to CentOS 8 Stream, CentOS 7 to AlmaLinux, or CentOS 7 to Rocky Linux

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Have you ever wanted to upgrade from CentOS 7 to CentOS 8? How about CentOS 7 to AlmaLinux? Or CentOS 7 to Rocky Linux? None of those were possible or seamless before, and usually involved major system administration effort as a reinstall was usually required.

That changes starting today. AlmaLinux today announced their latest project: AlmaLinux ELevate. More information can be found on AlmaLinux’s website here.

Major version upgrades within the RHEL/CentOS ecosystem have never been possible – until now. Gone are the days where you had to manually back up your data, reinstall the server, and then restore your configurations and backups.  Now with AlmaLinux ELevate, you can migrate between major versions of RHEL-based distributions from 7.x to 8.x. Preserve your applications, your data, and your sanity.

Please note that the ELevate project is at an early stage of development at the time of writing this post, and is not yet suitable for production environments. However, this is definitely major progress and great news for the community! We feel fairly confident that this will be well developed before CentOS 7 reaches EOL (end-of-life) in 2024, thus, AlmaLinux ELevate is something to consider for both development environments, and soon production environments.

Here’s a guide on how to upgrade your existing CentOS 7 server to AlmaLinux (or Rocky Linux, CentOS 8 Stream, or Oracle Linux): https://wiki.almalinux.org/elevate/ELevate-quickstart-guide.html — here, you’ll find the commands you will need to run in order to upgrade your system accordingly.

Additionally, below are a few FAQ’s from AlmaLinux’s website with more information regarding ELevate:

WHAT IS ELEVATE?

ELevate is a project aimed to provide the ability to migrate between major versions of RHEL-based distributions from 7.x to 8.x. It combines Red Hat’s Leapp framework with a community created library and service for the migration metadata set required for it.

IS THIS READY FOR PRODUCTION?

YMMV. Every environment is different and unique based on applications and configurations. Since this is still under development, to avoid any surprises, we highly recommend that you test migrations scenarios in a VM or sandbox before running a migration in production.

WHAT OPERATING SYSTEMS DOES ELEVATE SUPPORT?

Currently ELevate provides Leapp data for migration from CentOS 7 to the following OS:

  • AlmaLinux OS 8
  • CentOS Stream 8
  • Oracle Linux 8
  • Rocky Linux 8
WILL MIGRATION BE “IN-PLACE?”

Yes. All your data, applications and settings will be kept.

IS THIS LIVE OR DOES IT REQUIRE A REBOOT?
Migrations will require your system to reboot twice.

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