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Has anyone upgraded a Red Hat 9 machine to any CentOS release? Any ideas on how to do it...

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At present Red Hat/CentOS does not support upgrading from one release to another.

Upgrading from a version dating before the first release of RHEL/CentOS to any recent and supported version will present a lot of challenges.

Your best option is to install a new system with a recent release of CentOS next to your existing system and migrate your data/applications one by one.

It all depends on what you are using the system for. e.g. apache, mysql, python, perl have all released major updates included in recent releases that are often not backwards compatible.

  • +1 Yes. We do this regularly here. The lack of direct upgrade options in Red Hat Linuxes is almost a red herring when the version spans are so great. A RH9 box is probably running on ~8 year old hardware, so you've already got a good excuse to build up a completely separate system, then migrate. – Warren Young Apr 17 '12 at 15:34
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The closest would be CentOS 3. You can try replacing redhat-release with centos-release and then installing yum and its dependencies, but be prepared for an uphill battle.

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    uphill, through snow, wearing only boxers, while fighting off robot ninja zombies. I wouldn't trouble myself with this kind of upgrading however it may be possible... I would just rebuild the server from scratch and make sure all the services on the machine are mirrored to the new (updated) box. – GruffTech Jun 29 '10 at 7:30
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Reinstall.

Copy your files over after, do it in a VM first.

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