CentOS 7, the last version of CentOS still getting support, is nearing its end-of-life, which will occur on June 30, 2024, just over six months from now.
Since Red Hat’s announcement turned CentOS into CentOS Stream, which pretty much ended its use as a server distro, many users have been switching to other RHEL-based alternatives, with AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux standing out.
The key tool for this migration is ELevate, which has been pivotal in helping users transition smoothly. And now, AlmaLinux OS Foundation has announced the introduction of EPEL (Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux) support in their ELevate project.
AlmaLinux Expands ELevate’s Horizons with EPEL
Let me explain briefly why this addition to the functionality of the ELevate tool is so important. The key point is that most CentOS installations rely on the additional enterprise software repository, EPEL.
However, it can cause issues during migration to another RHEL-based distribution since ELevate does not support the repository. But now, AlmaLinux’s addition of EPEL support for CentOS 7 positions it as a leading choice for migrating from CentOS to AlmaLinux 8.
I emphasize AlmaLinux 8 as making a direct jump to 9 is impossible. If you want to do so, you must first migrate to version 8; then, moving from Alma 8 to 9 is seamless as a second step.
Staying true to our practice of thorough testing, we used ELevate to transition one from our testing servers running CentOS 7, which had EPEL repositories available, to AlmaLinux 8, and the process was exceptionally smooth.
It’s also important to mention that EPEL support currently does not extend to migrations to non-AlmaLinux OSes or between EL8 and EL9 derivatives. Moreover, this new feature is in the testing phase, so the community is invited to participate. Contributions and bug reports are encouraged, with a focus on improving the project.
So, if you’re still using CentOS 7, remember you’ve got about six months left to pick a new RHEL-based replacement. If AlmaLinux is your go-to, we’ve got a handy guide to help you switch. Especially for those of you using EPEL repositories, with the latest ELevate improvements, switching to Alma looks like the right move.