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How to Migrate AlmaLinux 8 to 9 Using ELevate

May 15, 2023 - TuxCare PR Team

In May 2022, the team behind AlmaLinux published AlmaLinux release 9, but initially, there was no simple upgrade route from AlmaLinux 8 to AlmaLinux 9, necessitating a clean installation for all upgrades. 

However, that’s all changed, because AlmaLinux included AlmaLinux 9 in its ELevate program earlier this year – so you can now seamlessly migrate AlmaLinux 8 to 9 using ELevate.


What’s the Difference Between AlmaLinux 8 vs. 9?


Similar to previous AlmaLinux General Availability (GA) releases, AlmaLinux 9 is based on the matching RHEL version and essentially carries all the improvements made between RHEL 8 and RHEL 9 into AlmaLinux 9 (just the same way CentOS used to do).

For AlmaLinux 9, it mainly means new versions of repositories and programming languages as well as updated components, including web servers, database servers, etc. AlmaLinux 9 is based on Linux kernel version 5.14.


Understanding the ELevate Tool


ELevate is a feature provided by AlmaLinux that helps users switch between RHEL-based Linux distributions. For example, from CentOS to AlmaLinux or from one version of AlmaLinux to another. It is built on a modified version of Red Hat’s Leapp framework and utilizes the Package Evolution Service, which is a data library and toolset.

It automates the upgrade process and provides a smooth transition, including doing a pre-upgrade check to identify potential issues that may arise during the migration process. In most cases, ELevate works as expected, making the upgrade from AlmaLinux 8 to 9 seamless.


Steps to Migrate AlmaLinux 8 to 9


Update your AlmaLinux 8 release so you know everything is up to date:

yum update -y

After the update is completed, reboot the server


Once you’ve rebooted, verify that you are now running the latest AlmaLinux 8 release:

cat /etc/os-release

Start by downloading the elevate-testing repo:

sudo curl -o /etc/yum.repos.d/elevate-testing.repo

Next, import the ELevate GPG key:

sudo rpm --import

Then, install the Leapp packages that enable you to upgrade from AlmaLinux 8 to AlmaLinux 9:

sudo yum install -y leapp-upgrade leapp-data-almalinux

You should see confirmation that the packages were installed. Next, as with the previous stage, you need to first run a pre-upgrade check using the following command:

sudo leapp preupgrade

As before, you can view the results in


Common problems you’ll find are around SELinux and Firewalld Configuration AllowZoneDrifting.

You can fix these issue as follows:

To disable SELinux:

sudo vim /etc/sysconfig/selinux
##Change selinux mode to Disabled.


You then need to reboot:

sudo reboot


You may also need to set AllowZoneDrifting to no

sudo vim /etc/firewalld/firewalld.conf



Another blocker is that you need to be running the latest installed kernel version, so ensure that is the case and reboot into the latest version if you’re not yet doing that.

It’s worth re-running the pre-upgrade command to check that you’re good to go.

This is the message that you want to see at the end of this process:

The text in green is the indication that all went well and the system is ready to upgrade. A message in red means that there are still some upgrade blockers that demand attention. As mentioned previously, you can find all of the information in the log files and it will usually include some instructions on how to solve each of those blockers.


You can then trigger the upgrade:

sudo leapp upgrade

After a period of time, you’ll need to reboot your system, so:

sudo reboot


A new entry in GRUB called ELevate-Upgrade-Initramfs will appear and your system will automatically boot into it. 

You can confirm that you’re now running AlmaLinux 9 using the following command line:

cat /etc/os-release


That’s it! (But why not take a look at Enterprise Support from TuxCare?)


You’ve just executed all the steps you need to upgrade from AlmaLinux 8 to AlmaLinux 9, which means you’ll continue receiving active support for AlmaLinux right until May 31st, 2027 – and security updates until May 2032.

However, if you’re using AlmaLinux in an enterprise environment, we suggest you consider TuxCare’s Enterprise Support. With Enterprise Support for AlmaLinux, you can get a TuxCare-vetted repository with guaranteed uptime and expedited break-and-fix support, stay on specific AlmaLinux minor versions for 5 years (FIPS-certified and non-FIPS deployments), benefit from automated live patches for the kernel and critical userspace packages with zero downtime, and optimize your support costs with pay-as-you-go hourly support bundles.

TuxCare’s Enterprise Support for AlmaLinux provides you with industry-leading support coverage, helps to ensure business continuity and compliance, and minimizes your vulnerability exposure. You can read more about it here.”

How to Migrate AlmaLinux 8 to 9 Using ELevate
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How to Migrate AlmaLinux 8 to 9 Using ELevate
AlmaLinux included AlmaLinux 9 in its ELevate program earlier this year. Learn how seamlessly migrate AlmaLinux 8 to 9 using ELevate.
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