CentOS Stream 8 feels like a dead end without any official upgrade support [resolved]

I also just commented this as a comment on the blog post announcing end dates for CentOS Stream 8 and CentOS Linux 7:

Regarding the “Migrate to CentOS Stream 9” option: There is no link here and I can’t find an official migration guide. I don’t think this migration is supported in any way is it? I managed to migrate using a third party guide which was a bit scary and a lot more manual work than I had hoped for. I love Fedora Workstation as my daily driver and did my share of Debian server upgrades without hassle. Using CentOS 8 on a server and upgrading it to Stream 8 feels like a mistake in retrospect.

This article is misleading as it suggests an upgrade between stream versions would be supported and easily possible.

Am I missing anything here? What is the intended use case of a server OS which you can’t upgrade at EOL? Maybe this is really just meant for professional cloud operations and it was my mistake to choose CentOS over Debian when installing server with manual administration.

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In all honesty, I don’t think you are missing anything. The community hasn’t produced an upgrade path beyond the articles you’ve already found. Red Hat Enterprise Linux has a supported in-place upgrade tool, but it does not work with CentOS Stream today.

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I think the misconception of such need is that a major OS jump does not provide a linear mapping. How could this be done - if you want to evolve the underlying technology. And more important - the workload is actually the artefact of interested. Here is the layer where the upgrade path should be implemented.

Has there ever been an official in-place upgrade tool for CentOS? None that I know of. I don’t think it is a new problem of Stream.

In-place upgrades between major versions of CentOS have never been officially supported. That doesn’t mean it’s not possible though – you could try the AlmaLinux ELevate tool (which leverages Leapp, the tool RHEL uses for its in-place updates), or you could update dnf.conf to point to the new repositories, run dnf distro-sync and try your luck.


Isn’t a version of RHEL free, and you can have 16 licenses ?

Yes, the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Developer Subscription is a free option, but I don’t see how it’s immediately relevant to the original post about CentOS Stream upgrade options.

Don’t get me wrong, the Developer Subscription is fantastic and I would highly recommend it to anyone that would like to use RHEL under the conditions it provides. :slight_smile:

Well, it appears CentOS does not/has never had such options, but RHEL would at least provide a familiar platform and the added features you need. Just posting as an alternative.

I second the use of ELevate! We’ve been using it in production for quite a while migrating CentOS 7 machines to AlmaLinux 8. It does a pretty good job of gating potential issues. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like they have CS8 → CS9 support yet but I’m not sure what the hold up is for that.


Lack of man hours are the only hold up. It’s a work in progress and definitely coming. Contributors welcome :wink:

One of the migration path could be Rocky Linux. Check the migration guide for your reference.

From my perspective upgrading is undesirable.

It seems better to install from scratch and apply all customization from configuration management. Any data would be in shared storage or repopulated from backups. Shared storage and backups get migrated to newer solutions in separate processes.

In any work environment I’ve been part of it was preferred to do it this way.

I must confess though, I’ve upgraded fedora versions from time to time mostly because I’ve been lazy and fedora looses support so quickly;-)

Thanks for all the replies!

I wasn’t aware that CentOS didn’t provide an upgrade path either, maybe that was just a wrong assumption from my experience with other distros (Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora… all seem to have upgrade paths and that proves that it can be done @ne0l ). Furthermore the original CentOS was supported for 10 years or so, after that time a full reinstall seems reasonable. Since I started with CentOS 8 in 2020 this is the second time I need to upgrade/migrate in order to not hit EOL in just 4 years. That is kind of a different story than in the old CentOS days, isn’t it?

I did see elevate, but it doesn’t support Stream 8 to Stream 9 upgrades 3 month before EOL therefore I chose not to use that and rather followed the third party guide which seemed easier to understand and debug doing it step by step.

While I’m grateful for Redhats sponsoring of the Fedora project I don’t feel like migrating this server to RHEL, even if the license is free for now.

The Migration to Rocky looks interesting, I might go that route once the time comes again, thanks!

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