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How To Migrate To Rocky Linux 8 From CentOS 8 Linux

By sk
Published: Last Updated on 8.8K views

After RedHat shifted its focus from CentOS 8 to CentOS Stream 8, Mr.Gregory Kurtzer, the original founder of CentOS, has started to develop another rebuild of RHEL, named Rocky Linux. Rocky Linux is a community enterprise operating system designed to be 100% compatible with RedHat Enterprise Linux. This step by step guide explains how to migrate to Rocky Linux 8 from CentOS 8 Linux using migrate2rocky script. Rocky Linux dev team has created migrate2rocky script to easily convert an existing CentOS 8 system to Rocky Linux 8.

Migrate to Rocky Linux 8 from CentOS 8 using migrate2rocky script

A word of caution:

First of all, backup important data from your CentOS system before starting upgrade process. I tested this script in a freshly installed CentOS 8 virtual machine. My VM doesn't has any data and it is a server edition with minimal installation. It worked just fine without any issues as expected.

Let us now start Rocky Linux migration task!

Step 1: Upgrade the current CentOS 8 Linux system to latest available version:

$ sudo dnf --refresh upgrade

After update is completed, Reboot your system:

$ sudo reboot

Step 2: Check if you're running the CentOS 8 version on your system:

$ cat /etc/redhat-release

Sample output:

CentOS Linux release 8.4.2105

You can also use the following command to display detailed output:

$ cat /etc/os-release

Sample output:

 NAME="CentOS Linux"
 ID_LIKE="rhel fedora"
 PRETTY_NAME="CentOS Linux 8"
Check CentOS 8 version
Check CentOS 8 version

Step 3: Download Rocky Linux migration script named migrate2rocky from here.

$ curl -O https://raw.githubusercontent.com/rocky-linux/rocky-tools/main/migrate2rocky/migrate2rocky.sh

Step 4: Make the migrate2rocky script executable:

$ sudo chmod +x migrate2rocky.sh 

Step 5: Finally, run migrate2rocky script with -r switch to migrate to Rocky Linux 8 from CentOS 8 Linux system using command:

$ sudo bash migrate2rocky.sh -r

This will replace CentOS 8 repositories with Rocky Linux repositories, remove CentOS branding, add Rocky Linux GPG keys, and then download, install and upgrade all packages.

Preparing to migrate CentOS Linux 8 to Rocky Linux 8.

Determining repository names for CentOS Linux 8.....

Found the following repositories which map from CentOS Linux 8 to Rocky Linux 8:
CentOS Linux 8  Rocky Linux 8
appstream       appstream
baseos          baseos
extras          extras

Getting system package names for CentOS Linux 8.......

Found the following system packages which map from CentOS Linux 8 to Rocky Linux 8:
CentOS Linux 8        Rocky Linux 8
centos-backgrounds    rocky-backgrounds
centos-gpg-keys       rocky-gpg-keys
centos-logos          rocky-logos
centos-indexhtml      rocky-indexhtml
centos-linux-release  rocky-release
centos-linux-repos    rocky-repos
Migrate to Rocky Linux 8 from CentOS 8 using migrate2rocky script
Migrate to Rocky Linux 8 from CentOS 8 using migrate2rocky script

This will take a few minutes to hours depending upon the Internet speed and the installation size. If your installation is minimal and you have SSD with fast Internet connection, it will probably take 5-10 minutes.

Upon successful Rocky Linux migration, you should see the following output:

 Done, please reboot your system.
 A log of this installation can be found at /var/log/migrate2rocky.log
Rocky Linux migration is successful
Rocky Linux migration is successful

Step 6: Run the following command to synchronize installed packages to the latest available versions.

$ sudo dnf distro-sync -y 

Finally, reboot your system:

$ sudo reboot

Step 7: Login to the Rocky Linux system and update the hostname and username that matches to Rocky Linux:

$ sudo hostnamectl set-hostname rocky8

Log out and log back in to apply the changes.

Check the hostname to verify it has been changed:

 $ hostname

Yes, it has been updated!

Here is my Rocky Linux 8.4 system running in KVM after successfully migrated from CentOS 8.4.

Rocky Linux 8.4
Rocky Linux 8.4

That's it. We have successfully migrated CentOS Linux 8 to Rocky Linux 8 using migrate2rocky script.

Rocky Linux 8.4 enterprise Linux operating system is now ready to use.

Migrate CentOS 7 to Any Enterprise Linux 8 With ELevate

Please note that the Migrate2rocky script will only convert CentOS 8 version to Rocky Linux 8. If you are running older versions like CentOS 7.x or 6.x, this script will not help.

Thankfully, there is a tool called ELevate to migrate CentOS 7 to any Enterprise Linux 8.x version.

ELevate is an open source migration tool that allows you to migrate between major versions of RHEL-based distributions from 7.x to 8.x version. For more details, refer the following guide.

Install Rocky Linux

You can download the latest Rocky Linux version from the following link. As of writing this guide, Rocky Linux 8 is available for x86_64 bit and ARM64 (aarch64) architectures. Currently, Rocky Linux minimal ISO, DVD, torrent files are available for download in the official download page.

Rocky Linux container images are available in the following links:

Download the images of your choice and install Rocky Linux on your system as described in the following link.


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