Switching from RHEL to a clone

There are problems assosiated with upgrading a RHEL/CentOS 5 system so that it can properly build a recent linux kernel, due to it requiring a somewhat current build chain (binutils, gcc, etc). Rather than continue to back-port these RPM packages from fedora to my CentOS 5 machines, which is what I’ve done in the past, I have opted to just upgrade and use a new operating system.

Because CentOS has not yet released version 6, I opted for a 30-day trial of RHEL6. This trial is now up, and I can’t update/install any packages anymore without paying a subscription fee.  I’m pretty cheap when it comes to buying things (by nessisity, having 4 kids does that to you) I opted to switch over to one of the RHEL clones that does have version 6 out, at least for now, so I can pull down whatever build dependancies I may need.

So I switched to Scientific Linux, and the process to swtich is incredibly simple. Download the “release” rpm of the distribution, and:

sudo rpm -e redhat-release-server –nodeps

sudo rpm -ivh sl-release-6.0-6.0.1.x86_64.rpm

Then “yum install” whatever it is you need, and allow yum to import the new GPG keys. The only problem I ran into is the fact that my system was RHEL 6.1 and scientific linux is still only on 6.0, and there were a few packages that required specific versions of others that weren’t yet avilable in scientific linux, but usually all that needs is some rpm magic and they’re solved.

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