centos 8 to rocky linux 8

Since Red Hat’s announcement that they are discontinuing development of Centos 8, a whole bunch of free forks have emerged. One of them is Rocky Linux, to which I will migrate my system from Centos 8. The migration procedure is quite simple and obvious.


Let me remind you that Rocky Linux is a fully binary compatible distribution with RHEL. It is collected by the community and the Rocky Enterprise Software Foundation. The system is being developed by Gregory Kurtzer, author of Centos. I prefer Rocky Linux, because the organization around it is built only for the development of the system itself. All other forks are issued by commercial organizations. As you know, any commercial organization is aimed at maximizing profit.

Now these companies are doing well with money. Someone is trying to increase their fame at the expense of the distribution, as the niche freed up after the news of Red Hat. There is no guarantee that in the future, after the distribution gains popularity, it will not start to monetize in any way. Another scenario is that a commercial organization may go bankrupt or be bought by someone else. In this story, I put more trust in the organizational structure that is being built around Rocky Linux. Although I understand that it also has its own risks. At the moment, support for this system has been announced from large it vendors.

I am aware that I do not understand the legal intricacies and organizational structure of the Rocky Enterprise Software Foundation. This is my purely subjective opinion, based only on faith and a little intuition. Which distribution you prefer is up to you. I think most will move to Oracle Linux. If by the end of the year everything is in order with Rocky Linux, I will move to it with all my Centos 8. The utility for changing the system is already ready, you can test it.

Download Rocky Linux

You can download the latest version of RockyLinux from the official distribution site – https://rockylinux.org/download. At the time of this writing, versions for x86_64 and ARM64 (aarch64) architectures were available.

The iso format of images is the same as Centos:

  • Boot (720M)
  • Minimal (2G)
  • DVD (9,5G)

In addition, the system image for installation is already available on the marketplaces of popular cloud providers – Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, as well as containers in Docker Hub.

Centos 8 migration to Rocky Linux 8

If you are planning to migrate production servers from Centos to RockyLinux, be sure to run tests on clones of operating systems first. Such a transition from one system to another is a potentially dangerous operation.

The first step is to download the migration script – migrate2rocky.sh.

# wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/rocky-linux/rocky-tools/main/migrate2rocky/migrate2rocky.sh
# chmod +x migrate2rocky.sh

In order to start the transition from Centos to Rocky Linux, run the downloaded script.

# bash migrate2rocky.sh -r

Migrate2rocky script

Information about the current packages and repositories of the system will be collected. Then they will be replaced on the Rocky repository, and all current packages from the new repository will also be updated. Everything will be done automatically without additional requests !!!

Loading packages from new repositories starts.

Centy migration to RockyLinux

After downloading, the installation of packages starts automatically. The process is quite lengthy. It can take up to an hour. Naturally, though, this will depend on your internet connection, server performance, and the number of packages installed on the system. In fact, the entire system will be reinstalled.

When the update procedure is over, you will need to reboot the system.

# reboot

Completing the migration from centos to rockylinux

At the start of the download, you will see the Rocky Linux kernel instead of Centos.

RockyLinux kernel

Log in to the system, check the distribution kit and its version:

# cat /etc/redhat-release 
Rocky Linux release 8.4 (Green Obsidian)


In general, the migration from Centos to Rocky Linux is simple and regular. If you don’t like something in this system, you can switch to any other fork. Since they are all binary compatible with RHEL, migration from one system to another is supported.

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