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Our small company has rented a remote machine some 3 year ago. The machine is used as a company server, runs our email, web, source code repository, bugtracker, forum, wiki, etc.

OS is linux CentOS 5.3, with Plesk 9.5 control pannel. I think both are too old.

How complicated is to update CentOS to current version? What happens with Plesk in that case? Should Plesk be updated first? Or should we continue using CentOS 5.3?

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No updates in years? How many hackers currently consider it their home away from home? – Michael Hampton Sep 14 '12 at 9:33
@MichaelHampton: I guess the question is more about upgrading to CentOS 6.3, not so much about installing updates to the currently installed version (which is still supported). – Sven Sep 14 '12 at 9:48
Yes, but you would have to actually install the updates. – Michael Hampton Sep 14 '12 at 9:56
What did you decide to do? – ewwhite Oct 3 '12 at 12:59
I've accepted answer by SvenW below. I will stick with version 5 and try to update to the latest point release, and forget about 6.x. – Danijel Oct 3 '12 at 14:49
up vote 9 down vote accepted

CentOS 5 is supported with security updates until 2017. If you keep it updated and make sure that any addtional software not from the repos you might have installed is also kept current security-wise, I don't see a reason to upgrade to CentOS 6 if the machine still does all you want.

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Thanks. I'll try to update to latest point release, and forget about 6.x for now. – Danijel Sep 17 '12 at 12:29

No. You should not continue using version CentOS 5.3, especially if you're running public-facing services. Security exploits are the concern here.

If you can bring your current OS revision to CentOS 5.8, or the most recent point-release, that will be the best approach if you want to stay on that major version. That is not particularly difficult, and most items should remain compatible. That's the point of these enterprise operating systems; to provide a stable target for X number of years. You should be find going to the most recent CentOS 5.x...

There are also a number of reasons to go to the 6.x revision of CentOS, mainly involving improved performance, compatibility, newer packages and being in alignment with developments in Linux... However, it is a big jump and would require a rebuild or reprovisioning of your system. Now that the 6.x branch has stabilized, it's become my default for new implementations.

There's no clean upgrade path.

As for whether to stay on 5.x or move to 6.x, you don't want to get too far behind. I still have a handful of CentOS 4.x server in the field, and while they fan fine during their supported lifetime (ending in February 2012), I'm now without updates and still have to do a full rebuild or data migration to get them to the newer versions of CentOS.

So it's simply a question of whether to go through the effort now or later.

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Thanks, very valuable advice. I'll probably go for the latest point release. – Danijel Sep 17 '12 at 12:30

I also using hosting vith CentOS 5.8. I faced problem old PHP in CentOS 5 Upgrade Centos from 5 to 6 is unclean. I add remi repository and install php 5.3 and dependencies from there.

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