Convert CentOS 8 to AlmaLinux 8

BlueOnyx 5210R: CentOS 8 to AlmaLinux 8 Conversion

In December 2020 RedHat (as owner of CentOS) made it known that the End-of-Life for CentOS 8 would not be May 31, 2029 (as initially promised), but rather Dec 31, 2021.

They also made it known that CentOS 8 would transition to something called "CentOS 8 Stream", which would be 'a rolling preview of what's next in RHEL', effectively turning it into a test-bed and playground for overzealous developers. We had written about that back then here and also here.

We cannot and will not base BlueOnyx on an unstable rolling release OS. That disqualifies "CentOS 8 Stream" as host OS of BlueOnyx 5210R. Subsequently we switched our released images of BlueOnyx 5210R to the new AlmaLinux 8, which is a debranded 1:1 carbon copy of RedHat Enterprise Linux 8. In the same way that CentOS 8 was before it got EOL'ed.

If you are still running a CentOS 8 based BlueOnyx 5210R, then you will see the following note on the first page in the GUI after login as user with administrator rights:

This informs you about the upcoming EOL deadline and that you should convert to AlmaLinux 8. An easy to use script has been included in BlueOnyx 5210R to help you to make that transition and you must do so before December 31, 2021.

Plan about 15-30 minutes for the conversion and (as a precaution) it is of course recommended that you have backups. Just in case. However, the included conversion script (provided by AlmaLinux) works pretty well.

How to convert your BlueOnyx 5210R from CentOS 8 to AlmaLinux 8:

  • First make sure your BlueOnyx 5210R is fully YUM updated by running "yum clean all" and "yum update"
  • Make sure your server backups are fully up to date. That never hurts.
  • Run /usr/sausalito/sbin/ as "root" from SSH or the console of your server.
  • Wait for it to finish.
  • Reboot

The video below shows you what to expect and shows the complete output from a successful conversion of a CentOS 8 based BlueOnyx 5210R to an AlmaLinux 8 based BlueOnyx 5210R.

Potential issues

Many OS related RPMs get reinstalled, which in some cases can affect the state of some services. If your email services or SSHd stop working after the conversion to AlmaLinux, then please login to the BlueOnyx GUI and under "Network Services" toggle the respective service off, save and toggle them back on. Especially if you have the AV-SPAM installed it's highly recommended to toggle the services off and back on again to make sure proper config files for the milters are written out.

If you encounter any issues during the conversion, then please let us know. Either by email or on the BlueOnyx Mailing List.


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