upgrading from RHEL 7.3 to RHEL 7.6

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Hello--new to Linux and your patience is greatly appreciated.

I issued the command below in order to go from RHEL 7.3 to RHEL 7.6 (in preparation for RHEL 8.0)

sudo yum update -y

and it failed, giving a transaction check error with the following messages:

file /usr/lib64/vdpau from install of mesa-filesystem-18.0.5-4.el7_6.x86_64 conflicts with file from package nvidia-375.20-x86_64.el7.1.x86_64
file /usr/lib64/libGLdispatch.so.0 from install of libglvnd-1:1.0.1-0.8.git5baa1e5.el7.x86_64 conflicts with file from package nvidia-375.20-x86_64.el7.1.x86_64
file /usr/lib64/libGLX.so.0 from install of libglvnd-glx-1:1.0.1-0.8.git5baa1e5.el7.x86_64 conflicts with file from package nvidia-375.20-x86_64.el7.1.x86_64

Any ideas on what is causing this and how to fix it? Thank you--Nina

Responses

Hi Nina,

All I can say is : don't do that ... even though it might be possible (in theory) to leave out two minor editions, perform a clean installation. And as RHEL 8 is just being released, take the opportunity to (freshly) install the "latest and greatest" edition. :)

Regards,
Christian

Hi Christian,

So I'm guessing that I need to go from 7.3 to 7.4, and then 7.4 to 7.5, and finally, to 7.6. Commands for this? (or links to other resources?) Thanks-Nina

No Nina,

Upgrading from one major version to the next is definitely not recommended ... too many things might go
wrong. Also, upgrading while having the proprietary NVIDIA drivers installed is a "no-go" ... that would lead
to booting into a "black screen". Please perform a clean installation of either RHEL 7.6 or RHEL 8.0 and as
it would take more time to upgrade step-by-step than installing the system from scratch, it wouldn't make
much sense. Backup your personal data and restore it back after having installed the new RHEL system. :)

Regards,
Christian

Thanks, Christian. Do you have links for how to do this? When I got my system from Dell, it had RHEL 7.3 and many other packages (Python, various compilers, libraries.) that I did not explicitly order but seemed to be there by default. I would like to make sure that I don't lose these as I go to 7.6. Any suggestions welcome.

Well Nina, all those packages you mentioned are available in the Red Hat repositories, just reinstall them.
Backing up your personal data is as simple as copying the stuff to an external disk or a separate partition.
And here are four documents describing and explaining the installation process of new RHEL systems. :)

Performing a Standard RHEL (8) Installation
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Installation Guide

RHEL 8 Bare Metal Quick Install
Install RHEL (7) on Bare Metal

Regards,
Christian

Thank you, Christian! I know what I'll be up to for a bit...

You're welcome, Nina ! I wish you good luck. :)

I would certainly upgrade from RHEL 7.3 to 7.6. However, I would stridently recommend against an upgrade from one major release to another (namely from 7.x to 8.x). While Red Hat has a feature to do so, it is certainly with risk. Now there's someone in our forums that did this recently, and their initial feedback was positive. I'm glad the dice were with them with their specific example. I agree with Christian Labisch, that going from one major release to another is not worth the risk!

If you really are going to attempt going from 7.6 to 8.0, I'd really recommend you are prepared with the necessary backups of whatever data is important on that system first. If it is a database, make sure you have a truly valid backup of the database. If a web server, back up the configs, everything. You get the idea, whatever role that system is performing, back up necessary configurations and data that compose it's role and be prepared for a contingency plan. That way you can come back here and report success and that the backups were unnecessary. (Joking aside in the last sentence, it's just a good idea to have a solid "plan b" if things go wrong, because they do sometimes, regardless of pre-preparation).

This week, I upgraded a system from RHEL 7.3 to 7.6 with no issues. So that itself is good.

Now on that note, I've noticed some issues with 7.6, but these issues were even from upgrading from 7.5 to 7.6. Namely with polkit not starting right, and in some cases, ntpdate service being ultra-touchy about erroneous configs in either /etc/ntp.conf or /etc/ntp/step-tickers configuration files. Make sure your ntp files are good in advance.

Know when you go to RHEL 8, there is no ntp. Chronyd is the replacement for the function of ntp, and there is no ntpd. So be prepared with that. If you are using btrfs, know it is not supported at all with RHEL 8. See the RHEL8 release notes too

I hope if you do actually attempt the upgrade from 7.x to 8.x that it goes well. But be prepared if it does. One person's great experience is not a guarantee that yours will follow suit.

Regards,

RJ

RJ--Thank you so much! Christian was kind enough to list some documents regarding the installation process of new RHEL systems; if you have anything to add for going from 7.3 to 7.6 in particular, I'd be grateful.

Nina

I agree with RJ, the "minor" upgrades from one version of 7.x to a newer 7.x are perfectly reasonable to do via "yum update", but major upgrades remain a challenge (6.x to 7.x is particularly difficult; 7.x to 8.x might work better, but we will need some time to see how well the LEAPP upgrade tool performs in the real world instead of in beta testing.

As for your specific case, the problem appears to be with the Nvidia proprietary video driver packages. You might be able to find a solution by searching for the specific errors in your original message (I've been fighting with Nvidia drivers on a laptop recently, and I vaguely recall some tips about removing specific packages to avoid the type of error you are seeing).

A couple of other ways to address this issue are:

1) remove the proprietary NVidia drivers entirely, do the RHEL 7.6 upgrade, then re-install the Nvidia drivers. This is probably best if you are comfortable with removing & re-installing those drivers.

2) since you are using Nvidia drivers, I assume this is a desktop or laptop system (though it could be a GPU compute-node server as well). If you have sufficient disk space available (or you can make space available by shrinking an old ext4 partition), you may be able to follow Christian's advice and do a fresh install, but to a new root partition that won't replace the old one. This is an advanced option, but if you are familiar with juggling partitions & file systems, it can be done fairly safely, and allow you to switch between the new & old systems by rebooting (instead of restoring a full backup).

Hi James,

Thanks for your help. I am very new to all things Linux, so I am not familiar with juggling partitions and file systems. It does indeed seem like some 7.6 elements are conflicting with the Nvidia drivers but need to research whether installing the latest Nvidia drivers would do any good.

Hi Nina,

"I am very new to all things Linux ... " Exactly that's the reason why I recommended a fresh
installation in your case. For troubleshooting upgrade issues some advanced experience is
needed. I really do think that a fresh installation of either RHEL 7.6 or, RHEL 8.0 would be
the best scenario for you. Handling the NVIDIA drivers is not a trivial task - even advanced
users often have problems to get them working. But of course it's up to you to decide ... :)

Regards,
Christian

I agree...will go for a fresh OS start and see how it goes...I'm sure I'll be back here soon!

Good decision, Nina - you're always welcome ! And now, once again : good luck ... :)

Regards,
Christian