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Simplifying In-Place Upgrade from Oracle Linux 7 to 8 with Leapp

David Gilpin
Principal Product Manager

Upgrading to a newer major release of Oracle Linux (from Oracle Linux 7 to 8) has been historically quite intrusive. This is a typical major upgrade workflow:

  • A new major Linux instance is installed on new hardware or 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 Production
  • The old instance is decommissioned

Obviously this is a very detailed and time-consuming process.

Over the past few years the Linux community has been developing tools to assist in these major upgrade cycles.

The Leapp utility, included with Oracle Linux 8, is a framework for updating and upgrading operating systems and applications. Access to the Leapp repositories has been added to recent Oracle Linux 7 updates. This new enhanced system upgrade feature can save time and ease administrative efforts when performing an in-place upgrade of a system from the current Oracle Linux 7 release to the current Oracle Linux 8 version.

Supported Leapp features

Currently the Leapp utility is supported to upgrade Oracle Linux 7 to Oracle Linux 8. Leapp covers both the x86_64 and Arm (aarch64) platforms. Leapp supports the Red Hat Compatible Kernel (RHCK) and the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK). Systems using the btrfs file system are also supported.

With Leapp you can upgrade the following Oracle Linux profiles:

  • Minimal install
  • Virtualization host
  • Server with GUI
  • Basic Web Server
  • Infrastructure Server
  • File and Print Server

Leapp includes a pre-upgrade 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. After addressing the reported risks the pre-upgrade tool can be executed again and the report verified that serious upgrade risks are cleared.

The Oracle Linux 7 to Oracle Linux 8 upgrade time is dependent on a number of 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 from 30 to 45 minutes.

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