Elevate your os from Centos7 To Almalinux8

Posted on June 20th, 2024

The cPanel ELevate Project provides a script to upgrade an existing cPanel & WHM RHEL 7 based server installation to a RHEL 8 based installation.

For example:

CentOS 7 to AlmaLinux 8
CloudLinux 7 to CloudLinux 8

There are risks in upgrading. InterServer recommends upgrades on vps systems where snapshots can be made. For dedicated servers the process can be riskier due to a failure leading to the system being down with out a restore point. For bare metal / dedicated servers an offsite backup should be available to restore.

Things To consider:
* PHP scripts that are at end of life may not work any more. The oldest php version supported is not 7.2 (7.1 and below are not supported) with out imunify. I can not guarantee scripts that require end of life php will continue to work
* old ciphers that are end of life will be off by default. This can mean users running end of life windows operating systems can not connect to email like windows7 or xp. These ciphers have been end of life since 2018.

Can I elevate virtuozzo7?
Virtuozzo7 elevate from centos7 to almalinux8 has been tested on some systems and is working. This process must be carried out by InterServer Staff. The upgrade requires some changes on the server

1) All os updates must be applied
2) cpanel must be the latest 110 version
3) yum.conf must be set to ipv4 only
4) mysql 5.7 can not be used, and must be upgraded to mariadb 10.5 or higher. I recommend 10.5
5) All php versions under php 7.1 must be removed. That would include php 7.1, 7.0, 5.6 and below. They will not be available on the next cpanel version. Consider adding https://imunify360.com/ if old php versions are needed.
6) python3 must be removed if installed. It will be reinstalled later by the upgrade. Any custom python3 set up would be lost.
7) The downtime is 1 – 3 hours for the upgrade. After the os upgrade cpanel, mysql, and yum updates must run, then apache/php and wordpress toolkit must run. A final upcp and dnf/yum update is run.

Notes: No failures have been reported on Virtuozzo Elevate

Elevating KVM
Some failures have occurred on KVM upgrades. With zfs snapshots the system is rolled back and stays centos 7: Failure states include but are not limited to:

Failure to upgrade the kernel due to custom drivers
Incomplete upgrade of software because this code base is not aware of it.

This upgrade will potentially take 1 – 3 hours to upgrade all of the software. During most of this time, the server will be degraded and non-functional. We attempt to disable most of the software so that external systems will re-try later rather than fail in an unexpected way. However there are small windows where the unexpected failures leading to some data loss may occur.

In order to run the upgrade

* php below 7.2 must be removed and is not supported
* mysql must be mysql 8.0 or mariadb 10.5+
* all updates for centos 7.9 must be run
* Third party repos and rpms may need to be removed first
* imunify360 (hardened php) may need to be removed if used
* cpanel calendars and contacts must be removed

Another thing to keep in mind is the potential for a non standard set up. If at any point something was done, outside of cpanel normal install to activate any feature, that will not be included in a new set up and would have to be remembered and manually added. Some things that have come up in the past are ImagickMagick/Imagick or ffmpeg.

Elevating Baremetal
While possible, this is recommended only if there is a full and complete remote backup ready to go and an extended downtime is planned for. There are 5 stages to the upgrade, and a failure in any one of them could render the system unusable.

Please reach out to InterServer support for more info.

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