In the ever-evolving landscape of Linux distributions, CentOS has long been a popular choice for its stability, reliability, and long-term support.
However, with the unexpected shift in CentOS’s strategy to focus on CentOS Stream, many users have found themselves seeking an alternative solution.
So, have you ever asked yourself: How do I migrate from CentOS 7 to AlmaLinux? You don’t need to worry about this anymore because this step-by-step guide will walk you through migrating your CentOS 7 installation to AlmaLinux 8, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free transition.
So far, so good, but how to do it? For those unaware, the AlmaLinux ELevate project allows users to upgrade or migrate between any RHEL-based distro. So let’s dive in and do it.
Here is our CentOS 7 system before starting the migration process to AlmaLinux 8.
1. Take System Backup
Before upgrading, please back up all your essential data and take a snapshot of the complete CentOS 7 system. This way, you will be on the right side if anything goes wrong.
Alternatively, you can always use a command like the one below to archive all the more important directories and their contents in a single tar.gz archive file.
sudo tar czf /centos7.tar.gz \
Of course, add more “–exclude=” parameters if you need to. Finally, the command creates a backup of all the files and directories by placing them in the centos7.tar.gz archive in the root (/) partition.
Then, this file must be transferred to another computer or drive, for example, with the help of the SCP command.
2. Upgrade the Current CentOS 7 System
The next step in the upgrade process is to ensure we have a wholly upgraded system. Update existing software with the following command:
sudo yum update
Once all the packages are updated, reboot your system to apply the changes.
Now let’s verify our current operating system version.
CentOS Linux release 7.9.2009 (Core)
As you can see, the system runs CentOS 7.9, the latest CentOS version in the 7.x branch.
3. Migrate CentOS 7 to AlmaLinux 8
3.1 Install ELevate
The first step in the upgrade process is installing the “elevate-release” package on your current CentOS 7 system.
sudo yum install -y http://repo.almalinux.org/elevate/elevate-release-latest-el7.noarch.rpm
3.2 Install Leapp and Migration Data
The migration process is based on using Red Hat’s Leapp utility. It combines Red Hat’s Leapp framework with a community-created library and service for its required migration metadata set.
Therefore the next step is to install the required packages, which in our case, we wish to upgrade from CentOS 7 to AlmaLinux 8.
sudo yum install -y leapp-upgrade leapp-data-almalinux
3.3 Start a Pre-upgrade Check
The next step is to start a pre-upgrade check. The below command verifies server compatibility without any actual changes:
sudo leapp preupgrade
Probably the check will fail, but don’t panic! That’s normal because some tweaks are required in advance.
According to the official documentation, those three commands are shown below to solve the problem. Just run them one after the other:
sudo rmmod pata_acpi
echo PermitRootLogin yes | sudo tee -a /etc/ssh/sshd_config
sudo leapp answer --section remove_pam_pkcs11_module_check.confirm=True
(Optional) If you rerun the check, the pre-upgrade check will succeed.
sudo leapp preupgrade
3.4 Start the Upgrade Process from CentOS 7 to AlmaLinux 8
Now you can run the following command to migrate CentOS 7 to AlmaLinux 8.
sudo leapp upgrade
Be patient since the upgrade process could take some time. Once the migration is completed, you’ll be offered to reboot the system:
A new entry in GRUB called
ELevate-Upgrade-Initramfs will appear. Hit Enter and wait for the upgrade process to finish. The system will be automatically booted into it.
And you will be welcomed by the AlmaLinux 8 GRUB menu at boot time.
4. Check the OS Version
To confirm that you have successfully migrated from CentOS 7 to AlmaLinux 8, check the OS version:
AlmaLinux release 8.4 (Electric Cheetah)
That’s all. Congratulations! You have successfully migrated to AlmaLinux 8.
(Optional) In addition, you can update the server hostname to match with AlmaLinux.
sudo hostnamectl set-hostname almalinux8
AlmaLinux’s ELevate tool is a great one! It may be a fantastic option if you want to migrate from CentOS 7 to AlmaLinux 8.
In addition, if you are running CentOS 8.x, all you have to do to switch to AlmaLinux 8 is follow our CentOS 8 to AlmaLinux 8: A Step-by-Step Migration Guide.
I have made this guide as simple as possible. Thanks for using it! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments box below.