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Leapp utility simplifies Oracle Linux 7 to 8 upgrades in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) now supports Oracle Linux 7 to 8 upgrades using the Leapp utility, a Linux community framework for updating operating systems and applications. Organizations considering upgrading from one major release of an operating system to another are often faced with a complex and time-consuming task.

As part of a typical major operating system upgrade, administrators must consider the following workflow:

  • A new major Linux instance is installed on a new virtual machine.
  • The application or database products are installed.
  • Any necessary data is migrated from the old instance.
  • The new updated instance is promoted to the production environment.
  • The old instance is decommissioned.

The Leapp utility can help you save time and ease administrative efforts when performing an in-place upgrade of a system from Oracle Linux 7 to 8.

Supported upgrade features

Leapp supports both the x86_64 and aarch64 (Arm) platform upgrades from Oracle Linux 7 to Oracle Linux 8. It includes support for the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) and the Red Hat Compatible Kernel (RHCK), and systems using the btrfs file system.

Leapp operations consist of two phases. Phase one is the preupgrade that runs checks on the system to determine if the software can be upgraded. The second phase is the actual upgrade, based on configuration files that map packages between previous and current versions of the software. Access to the Leapp repositories has been added to recent Oracle Linux 7 updates.

Leapp includes a preupgrade tool to help Linux administrators discover and mitigate issues before running the actual upgrade process. The tool produces a detailed report that includes recommendations for resolving risks to the upgrade process.

The upgrade time from Oracle Linux 7 to Oracle Linux 8 depends on several factors, including CPU and memory speed, system disk performance, system load, and the number of packages that are installed on the system. Typical upgrades using Leapp take 30–45 minutes.

Simplified in-place Oracle Linux upgrades in OCI

Oracle Linux 7 platform images in OCI are preconfigured and tested with OCI native services, including access to the local yum mirrors. Leapp is streamlined for use in OCI, so performing an upgrade in the cloud is less complex, less error-prone, and less labor-intensive, and saves you time.

Leapp preconfigured profiles have been tested in OCI to help ensure that packages are mapped correctly while performing an in-place upgrade. It supports upgrades of instances that were installed from the Oracle Linux 7 with UEK 6 platform images, and deployed on x86_64 (AMD and Intel) and aarch64 (Ampere Arm) instances on all Flex Compute and virtual machine (VM) shapes on OCI.

Upgrading to Oracle Linux 8

The following steps show you how to upgrade from an Oracle Linux 7 instance to Oracle Linux 8 in OCI using Leapp:

  1. Prepare for the upgrade by confirming your backups and the minimum requirements for installing Oracle Linux 8.
  2. Install and enable the Leapp utility on the Oracle Linux 7 instance by running a yum update to receive the latest packages and running the following command:
$ sudo yum install leapp --enablerepo=ol7_leapp,ol7_latest
  1. To verify that the system is cleared of issues that might impede the upgrade, connect to the Oracle Linux 7 instance, and run the preupgrade command:
$ sudo leapp preupgrade --oci [--enablerepo repository]
  1. In this preupgrade phase, you generate an assessment report that identifies risks to upgrading. The report also provides recommendations for resolving those risks. Complete the recommended remedies. After addressing the reported risks, run the preupgrade command again. In the regenerated report, verify that all serious risks are cleared.
  2. Provide answers to the /var/log/leapp/answerfile file, which consists of specific verification checks that Leapp performs on the system. A verification check contains information about the system and prompts you for confirmation on the action to be performed.
  3. When you’re cleared of the preupgrade and all necessary verification checks, you can proceed to the upgrade using the following command:
$ sudo leapp upgrade --oci [--enablerepo repository]
  1. While the system is unavailable and rebooting, you can monitor the progress through the Console.
  2. Verify the upgrade when it’s complete. The upgrade process generates the same files as the preupgrade phase: A process log, a report, and a file called answerfile. Examine the /var/log/leapp/leapp-report.txt file and fulfill any important recommendations to be completed after the upgrade process.
  3. Verify the system’s new OS version with the following string:
$ cat /etc/oracle-release
  1. Check the system’s kernel version, and verify that the kernel contains the el8 substring by typing the following command:
$ uname -r

Conclusion

For more details, follow the instructions in the Oracle Linux 8 Performing System Upgrades with Leapp documentation.

Leapp also supports upgrading on-premises instances from Oracle Linux 7 to 8.

For more information, see the following resources.


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