Convert RedHat to CentOS


SoftLayer users have the option to convert their RedHat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) operating system to CentOS at any time.  CentOS is a free OS based on Linux and works to maintain complete binary compatibility with RHEL to keep the user experience between RHEL and CentOS as similar as possible, aside from a few minor differences.  The Convert RHEL to CentOS procedure outlines the steps required to convert the version of RHEL installed on your machine to a similar version of CentOS.  The following OS versions are currently compatible and are covered in this procedure:

  • RHEL 5.x to CentOS 5.x
  • RHEL 6.x to CentOS 6.x

Important Note: This procedure makes a serious change to the operation of your system; complete backups should be taken prior to attempting the conversion.  Also, note that if you have cPanel installed on a RedHat system, you will not be able to do this conversion and it will require a full OS reload instead. If you do not feel comfortable performing the steps below, please contact our Sales team to order a new system and migrate your content.

Follow the steps below to convert RHEL to CentOS.

Convert RHEL to CentOS 

  1. Enter the following command in the terminal to remove all cached packages and headers.  This will force yum to download its required files the next time the command is run.   

        yum clean all

  2. Enter the following command in the terminal to create a directory to download the required CentOS release files and RPMs.

        mkdir ~/centos && cd ~/centos/

  3. Download RPMs for system installation for the appropriate version of CentOS.  Refer to the table below for each version and its associated RPMs.