Home CentOS How To Migrate To CentOS Stream 8 From CentOS Linux 8

How To Migrate To CentOS Stream 8 From CentOS Linux 8

By sk
Published: Last Updated on 22.6K views

If you are planning to upgrade to CentOS 8 from CentOS 7, you may need to skip it for now, because CentOS 8 is going away! If you are already using it, you should consider to migrate to CentOS Stream 8 from CentOS Linux 8.

Why should we migrate to CentOS Stream?

CentOS (short for Community ENTerprise Operating System ) is the clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux system (RHEL). CentOS is widely known for its stability and reliability and It is the popular choice for many web hosting providers. Also, it is the gateway for the people who wants to learn RHEL at free of cost. Well, the show is over. The CentOS developers have announced that they are shifting their focus to CentOS Stream.

According to the official announcement, CentOS Linux 8, as a rebuild of RHEL 8, will end at the end of 2021. CentOS Stream continues after that date, serving as the upstream (development) branch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. In other words, CentOS Stream is going to be a rolling pre-release (i.e. beta) model.

So CentOS Stream won't anymore be a downstream rebuild of the RHEL release. It is now a midstream that will live in-between Fedora and RHEL. To put this in layman terms, it is not anymore Fedora -> RHEL -> CentOS but Fedora -> CentOS -> RHEL. Starting from January 2022, RHEL is going to be based on CentOS not the other way around.

You still can use CentOS 8 and send patches as well until December 31, 2021. But CentOS 8 will be ended early around this time next year, and there will be no CentOS 9. The CentOS Linux 7 users need not to panic. CentOS 7 will continue through the end of its life in 2024.

While going through the comments in CentOS blog, I noticed that Mr.Gregory Kurtzer, the original founder of CentOS, has left a comment. He says that he is planning to create another rebuild of RHEL. Good news indeed!

Now let us go ahead and migrate CentOS Linux 8 to CentOS Stream 8. It is not that difficult.

Migrate to CentOS Stream 8 from CentOS Linux 8

First of all, backup your important data, just in case.

Update CentOS 8 to latest available version using command:

$ sudo dnf update

After updating the system, reboot it. Check the current CentOS 8 version using command:

$ cat /etc/redhat-release 
CentOS Linux release 8.3.2011
Check CentOS version
Check CentOS version

Next, enable CentOS Stream repository using command:

$ sudo dnf install centos-release-stream

Sample output:

Last metadata expiration check: 0:35:27 ago on Wednesday 09 December 2020 12:44:07 PM IST.
Dependencies resolved.
 Package                 Arch     Version                 Repo      Size
 centos-release-stream   x86_64   8.1-1.1911.0.7.el8      extras    11 k

Transaction Summary
Install  1 Package

Total download size: 11 k
Installed size: 6.6 k
Is this ok [y/N]: y
Downloading Packages:
centos-release-stream-8.1-1.1911.0.7.el8  17 kB/s |  11 kB     00:00    
Total                                    5.9 kB/s |  11 kB     00:01     
Running transaction check
Transaction check succeeded.
Running transaction test
Transaction test succeeded.
Running transaction
  Preparing        :                                                 1/1 
  Installing       : centos-release-stream-8.1-1.1911.0.7.el8.x86_   1/1 
  Verifying        : centos-release-stream-8.1-1.1911.0.7.el8.x86_   1/1 


Enable CentOS Stream repository
Enable CentOS Stream repository

Replace all existing CentOS Linux repositories with CentOS Stream repositories:

$ sudo dnf swap centos-{linux,stream}-repos

Finally, run the following command to migrate CentOS Linux 8 to CentOS Stream 8:

$ sudo dnf distro-sync

The distro-sync command will do the necessary upgrades, downgrades or keeps selected installed packages to match the latest version available from any enabled repository. If no package is given, all installed packages are considered. Type Y and hit ENTER to start migrating to CentOS Stream 8:

Sample output:

CentOS-Stream - AppStream                                                                               521 kB/s | 6.3 MB     00:12    
CentOS-Stream - Base                                                                                    304 kB/s | 2.3 MB     00:07    
CentOS-Stream - Extras                                                                                  5.1 kB/s | 7.0 kB     00:01    
Last metadata expiration check: 0:00:01 ago on Wednesday 09 December 2020 01:22:28 PM IST.
Dependencies resolved.
 Package                                         Architecture    Version                                Repository                 Size
 centos-stream-release                           noarch          8.4-1.el8                              Stream-BaseOS              21 k
     replacing  centos-linux-release.noarch 8.3-1.2011.el8
     replacing  centos-release-stream.x86_64 8.1-1.1911.0.7.el8
 NetworkManager                                  x86_64          1:1.30.0-0.2.el8                       Stream-BaseOS             2.5 M
 NetworkManager-libnm                            x86_64          1:1.30.0-0.2.el8                       Stream-BaseOS             1.8 M
 NetworkManager-team                             x86_64          1:1.30.0-0.2.el8                       Stream-BaseOS             142 k
 NetworkManager-tui                              x86_64          1:1.30.0-0.2.el8                       Stream-BaseOS             322 k
 avahi-glib                                      x86_64          0.7-20.el8                             Stream-BaseOS              14 k
 avahi-libs                                      x86_64          0.7-20.el8                             Stream-BaseOS              62 k
 bind-export-libs                                x86_64          32:9.11.20-6.el8                       
baseos                     57 k
 python3-subscription-manager-rhsm               x86_64          1.28.5-1.el8                           Stream-BaseOS             362 k
 subscription-manager                            x86_64          1.28.5-1.el8                           Stream-BaseOS             1.1 M
 subscription-manager-rhsm-certificates          x86_64          1.28.5-1.el8                           Stream-BaseOS             258 k
 usermode                                        x86_64          1.113-1.el8                            baseos                    202 k

Transaction Summary
Install    9 Packages
Upgrade  107 Packages

Total download size: 205 M
Is this ok [y/N]: y
Migrate To CentOS Stream 8 From CentOS Linux 8
Migrate To CentOS Stream 8 From CentOS Linux 8

This will take a while depending on your Internet speed. Once the CentOS Stream 8 migration is completed, run the following command to verify:

$ cat /etc/redhat-release 
CentOS Stream release 8
Check CentOS Stream Version
Check CentOS Stream Version

If you want a fresh CentOS Stream ISO, you can get it from the official page.

CentOS users are not happy and are against this decision

A lot of CentOS Linux users and developers are disappointed about this decision. Many frustrated users have commented that they were expecting this since IBM bought out Red Hat.

Also so many users are thinking to move to different distributions that provides long term support. The most suggested alternatives by the users are FreeBSD, Debian, openSUSE and Ubuntu.

We don't know how Red Hat is going to respond to the users' agitation. May be they will simply ignore the CentOS community and move on. Let us wait and see.

Don't want to switch to CentOS Stream? How about other RHEL clones like AlmaLinux or Rocky Linux or Oracle Linux? The following guides explains how to convert to AlmaLInux, Rocky Linux and Oracle Linux from CentOS.

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Chris McGimpsey-Jones December 11, 2020 - 4:23 am

There is a lot of negative reaction and commentary about this decision. Personally, I embrace this decision and believe that it will inject new development energy into the CentOS project, as it will offer CentOS to a much broader audience that is desktop Linux users.

Nader December 14, 2020 - 10:19 pm

Good article. CentOS Stream isn’t a replacement for CentOS. If you can afford a more frequent update cycle then CentOS is the best choice to replace your CentOS.

If you require the stability of CentOS, then look somewhere else. Maybe Rocky Linux when it’s out. Do your homework.

Zatria February 4, 2021 - 3:04 am

i have susccess to migration from cento 8 to centos stream 8, but.. i have problem after reboot, this not login to root… is always say “access denied”.. why..? any idea…? before migration is no problem to login.. thank you for help 🙁


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