Enterprise Linux Upgrade : It’s a Sorry State!


It’s 2017 and it’s still not possible to reliably upgrade an Enterprise Linux distribution between major versions!

At this point you are scrolling down to the comments to “educate me” about the redhat-upgrade-tool, because you read about it somewhere and you once heard someone successfully upgraded an installation on a lab machine. Unless you have an ultra vanilla starting point, you are going to end up with a mess that probably won’t boot. By the time you come to upgrade a “real server”, there have been years of changes and it is unlikely to resemble some pristine minimal installation.

I know your next comment is going to be something about the architectural changes brought in by project X and version Y in RHEL7, which is why it is all so hard. Stop now! You are boring me already! Is it an enterprise distribution or isn’t it? If it is, you should be able to upgrade it reliably!

Next up comes, “But you have to reinstall when you get new hardware!” I present to you virtual machines. Physical hardware upgrades with no need to reinstall the OS on the VM.

I can’t believe I’ve been using Linux for about 19 years and this is where we are at.



Author: Tim...

DBA, Developer, Author, Trainer.

5 thoughts on “Enterprise Linux Upgrade : It’s a Sorry State!”

  1. Still dunno why they stick “enterprise” in front of its name. It’s never been that. Or else “enterprise” is the new name for script kids carrying a laptop…
    It’s really a pity because I love Linux and its ideals. But fact is: its suitability as an enterprise OS is nothing but a sad joke. And they got only themselves to blame for this…

  2. Noons: I’m still a fan of Linux, but some days… 🙂

    Hemant: I’m sure if there was a real desire for it, it would be done. I can only think those in the know just don’t care about this, and are still hoping to make a Linux desktop a reality and focussing on that. Wrong direction IMHO. 🙂



  3. WTF?I know Its not called enterprise or anything nor supported – but I’m using real-world-servers with real workloads (web stuff of course) on them and plain debian underneath – I know: no support from any other major sw supplier no “enterprise” in its name but hey: I’ve upgraded a couple of these servers and installed them first time back then when Debian 4 was up to date – they are running on 8 now going almost flawlessly through 4 major update cycles and everybpody was happy most of the time with the reliability and I had no major hassle either .. Now I finally have to re-install all this stuff because it’s still running on 32 bit ….

    I wanna say: seems as if it ought to be possible even on Linux ….

  4. Linux, enterprise in name only :-).
    I guess you just have to consider treating your host instances as kind of ephemeral/disposable. Just a platform for running your apps (be it an oracle instance, weblogic or any other stuff).

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