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ELevate project to simplify migration from CentOS 7 to RHEL 8 based distributions

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AlmaLinux distribution developers based company CloudLinux in response to a premature folding support CentOS 8, presented tools ELEVATE , to simplify migration of operating systems on CentOS 7.x distributions built on packet-based RHEL 8, preserving applications, data and settings. The project currently supports migration to AlmaLinux, Rocky Linux, CentOS Stream and Oracle Linux.

The migration process is based on the use of the Leapp utility developed by Red Hat , which is supplemented with patches that take into account the specifics of CentOS and third-party distributions built on the RHEL package base. The project also uses an extended set of metadata describing the steps for transferring individual packages from one branch of the distribution to another.

For migration, it is enough to connect the repository provided by the project , install the package with the migration script on the selected distribution kit (leapp-data-almalinux, leapp-data-centos, leapp-data-oraclelinux, leapp-data-rocky) and run the “leapp” utility. For example, to switch to Rocky Linux, you can run the following commands, having previously updated your system to the current state:

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

Recall that the Red Hat company limited the time of support for the classic distribution of CentOS 8 – updates for this branch will be released until December 2021, and not until 2029, as originally intended. CentOS will be replaced by the CentOS Stream assembly, the key difference of which is that the classic CentOS acted as a “downstream”, i.e. was collected from already formed stable RHEL releases, while CentOS Stream is positioned as “upstream” for RHEL, i.e. there will be a test run-in of packages before being included in RHEL releases (RHEL will be rebuilt based on CentOS Stream).

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CentOS Stream will allow early access to the capabilities of the future RHEL branch, but includes packages that are not fully stabilized yet. Thanks to CentOS Stream, third parties can control the preparation of packages for RHEL, propose their changes, and influence decisions. Previously, a snapshot of one of the Fedora releases was used as the basis for a new RHEL branch, which was refined and stabilized behind closed doors, without the ability to control the development process and decisions made.

The community has responded to the change by creating several alternatives to classic CentOS 8, including VzLinux (prepared by Virtuozzo), AlmaLinux (developed by CloudLinux, in collaboration with the community), Rocky Linux (developed by the community led by the founder of CentOS with the support of the custom-built company Ctrl IQ) and Oracle Linux. In addition, Red Hat has made RHEL available free of charge to open-source organizations and individual developer environments of up to 16 virtual or physical systems.

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