How-to Switch from CentOS 5.6 to Scientific Linux 5.6

I have recently switched my Lin­ode VPS from Cen­tOS 5.6 to Sci­en­tific Linux 5.6 because I got a bit sick of all of the delays that the Cen­tOS team have been expe­ri­enc­ing, to be hon­est I don’t care what their rea­sons are, I just want a dis­tro that fol­lows RHEL a bit faster!

I think I can sum­marise my rea­sons based on this email:

Faster updates
Secu­rity and bug­fix updates separate
Secu­rity updates also for older ver­sions of SL
More reli­able than CentOS
The Cen­tOS guys seem more focused on infight­ing rather than focussing on get­ting Cen­tOS 6 out the door, con­sid­er­ing how long RHEL 6 has been avail­able this has turned into a bit of a joke!

When I googled around I couldn’t find a con­cise arti­cle that explained how to do this, so here is a my sim­ple guide to switch­ing from Cen­tOS 5.6 to Sci­en­tific Linux (SL) 5.6, it was rel­a­tively straight­for­ward and my rock solid VPS has stayed up and reli­able through­out the process. These instruc­tions are based on the fol­low­ing articles:

If you want to tell what ver­sion of Cen­tOS you are cur­rently run­ning you can use the fol­low­ing command:

cat /etc/redhat-release

Now to “upgrade” to SL. All com­mands should obvi­ously be run as root.

You might also want to back up your release file, you can do that with the fol­low­ing command:

cp /etc/redhat-release /etc/redhat-release-saved

Then just use the fol­low­ing com­mands to remove Cen­tOS and install SL:

yum clean all
rpm -e --nodeps centos-release-notes centos-release yum-3.2.22-33.el5.centos.noarch redhat-logos redhat-artwork redhat-menus
rpm -e --nodeps yum-3.2.22-33.el5.centos.noarch
rpm -ivh
yum update all

If you now check what release ver­sion you are on you should see some­thing like the following:

[root@wahala ~]# cat /etc/redhat-release
Scientific Linux SL release 5.6 (Boron)
[root@wahala ~]#

Next I think I’ll attempt to upgrade or rebuild my VPS to run Sci­en­tific Linux 6… the sub­ject of a future blog post!