About Switching from CentOS Linux to Oracle Linux

Red Hat Software will soon EOL CentOS Linux 8 and recommends two alternatives to move forward: switch to either CentOS Stream or to RHEL. A better, less expensive option is to switch to Oracle Linux.

If you switch to CentOS Stream, you'll lose 1:1 compatibility with RHEL, which has implications for your development and test environments. A switch to RHEL requires you obtain a paid support subscriptions. By using a simple, readily available script, you can alleviate these issues by migrating your Linux implementations to Oracle Linux. This script will work for CentOS Linux versions 6, 7, and 8.

Learn the Benefits of Migrating

If you decide to migrate from CentOS to Oracle Linux, you will appreciate some significant benefits:

  • Oracle Linux is free to download, distribute and use (even in production) and has been since its release over 14 years ago. Oracle Linux has an equivalent release for every major Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) version: 4, 5, 6, 7, and most recently 8. Oracle Linux releases consistently track Red Hat with errata typically released within 24 hours, update releases usually available within five business days, and major version releases within three months.
  • Installation media, updates and source code are all publicly available on the Oracle Linux yum server with no login or authentication requirements.
  • Since its first release in 2006, Oracle Linux has been 100% application binary compatible with the equivalent RHEL version. In that time, there has never been a compatibility bug logged. Oracle offers a choice of two kernels: the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) for Oracle Linux or the Red Hat Compatible Kernel (RHCK). Both are supported by Oracle. UEK offers extensive performance and scalability improvements to the process scheduler, memory management, file systems, and the networking stack.

Understand Supported Version

The migration script currently supports switching CentOS Linux 6, CentOS Linux 7 and CentOS Linux 8. It does not support CentOS Stream.

Review Script Limitations

Before migrating from CentOS to Oracle Linux, be aware of certain limitations of the centos2ol.sh script:

  1. The script currently needs to be able communicate with the CentOS and Oracle Linux yum repositories either directly or via a proxy.
  2. The script currently does not support instances that are registered to a third-party management tool like Spacewalk, Foreman or Uyuni.
  3. Compatibility with packages installed from third-party repositories is expected but not guaranteed. Some software doesn't like the existence of an /etc/oracle-release file, for example.
  4. Packages that install third-party and/or closed-source kernel modules, e.g. commercial anti-virus products, may not work after switching.
  5. The script only enables the base repositories required to enable switching to Oracle Linux. Users may need to enable additional repositories to obtain updates for packages already installed

Get Support

Oracle provides support services for issues that might arise when switching from CentOS to Oracle Linux.

  • Open a GitHub issue for non-security related bug reports, questions, or requests for enhancements.
  • To report a security issue or vulnerability, do not raise a GitHub Issue. If you believe you have found a security vulnerability, please submit a report to secalert_us@oracle.com, preferably with a proof of concept. Oracle provides additional information on how to report security vulnerabilities which includes public encryption keys for secure email. Do not use other channels or contact project contributors directly.