Chapter 9. Troubleshooting

You can refer to the following tips to troubleshoot upgrading from RHEL 7 to RHEL 8.

9.1. Troubleshooting resources

You can refer to the following troubleshooting resources.

Console output

By default, only error and critical log level messages are printed to the console output by the Leapp utility. To change the log level, use the --verbose or --debug options with the leapp upgrade command.

  • In verbose mode, Leapp prints info, warning, error, and critical messages.
  • In debug mode, Leapp prints debug, info, warning, error, and critical messages.


  • The /var/log/leapp/leapp-upgrade.log file lists issues found during the initramfs phase.
  • The /var/log/leapp/dnf-debugdata/ directory contains transaction debug data. This directory is present only if the leapp upgrade command is executed with the --debug option.
  • The /var/log/leapp/answerfile contains questions required to be answered by Leapp.
  • The journalctl utility provides complete logs.


9.2. Troubleshooting tips

You can refer to the following troubleshooting tips.

Pre-upgrade phase

  • Verify that your system meets all conditions listed in Planning an upgrade.
  • Make sure you have followed all steps described in Preparing for the upgrade for example, your system does not use more than one Network Interface Card (NIC) with a name based on the prefix used by the kernel (eth).
  • Make sure you have answered all questions required by Leapp in the /var/log/leapp/answerfile file. If any answers are missing, Leapp inhibits the upgrade. Example questions:

    • Disable pam_pkcs11 module in PAM configuration?
    • Disable pam_krb5 module in PAM configuration?
    • Configure PAM and nsswitch.conf with the following authselect call?
  • Make sure you have resolved all problems identified in the pre-upgrade report, located at /var/log/leapp/leapp-report.txt. To achieve this, you can also use the web console, as described in Assessing upgradability and applying automated remediations through the web console.

Example 9.1. Leapp answerfile

The following is an example of an unedited /var/log/leapp/answerfile file that has one unanswered question:

# Title:          	None
# Reason:         	Confirmation
# =================== remove_pam_pkcs11_module_check.confirm ==================
# Label:          	Disable pam_pkcs11 module in PAM configuration? If no, the upgrade process will be interrupted.
# Description:    	PAM module pam_pkcs11 is no longer available in RHEL-8 since it was replaced by SSSD.
# Type:           	bool
# Default:        	None
# Available choices: True/False
# Unanswered question. Uncomment the following line with your answer
# confirm =

The Label field specifies the question that requires an answer. In this example, the question is Disable pam_pkcs11 module in PAM configuration?

To answer the question, uncomment the confirm line and enter an answer of True or False. In this example, the selected answer is True:

# Available choices: True/False
# Unanswered question. Uncomment the following line with your answer
confirm = True

Download phase

  • If a problem occurs during downloading RPM packages, examine transaction debug data located in the /var/log/leapp/dnf-debugdata/ directory.


    The /var/log/leapp/dnf-debugdata/ directory is empty or does not exist if no transaction debug data was produced. This might occur when the required repositories are not available.

initramfs phase

  • During this phase, potential failures redirect you to the Dracut shell. Check the Journal log:

    # journalctl

    Alternatively, restart the system from the Dracut shell using the reboot command and check the /var/log/leapp/leapp-upgrade.log file.

Post-upgrade phase

  • If your system seems to be successfully upgraded but booted with the old RHEL 7 kernel, restart the system and check the kernel version of the default entry in GRUB.
  • Make sure you have followed the recommended steps in Verifying the post-upgrade state of the RHEL 8 system.
  • If your application or a service stops working or behaves incorrectly after you have switched SELinux to enforcing mode, search for denials using the ausearch, journalctl, or dmesg utilities:

    # ausearch -m AVC,USER_AVC -ts boot
    # journalctl -t setroubleshoot
    # dmesg | grep -i -e selinux -e type=1400

    The most common problems are caused by incorrect labeling. See Troubleshooting problems related to SELinux for more details.

9.3. Known issues

The following are known issues you might encounter when upgrading from RHEL 7 to RHEL 8.

  • Network teaming currently does not work when the in-place upgrade is performed while Network Manager is disabled or not installed.
  • If you use an HTTP proxy, Red Hat Subscription Manager must be configured to use such a proxy, or the subscription-manager command must be executed with the --proxy <hostname> option. Otherwise, an execution of the subscription-manager command fails. If you use the --proxy option instead of the configuration change, the upgrade process fails because Leapp is unable to detect the proxy. To prevent this problem from occurring, manually edit the rhsm.conf file as described in How to configure HTTP Proxy for Red Hat Subscription Management. (BZ#1689294)
  • If your RHEL 7 system uses a device driver that is provided by Red Hat but is not available in RHEL 8, Leapp inhibits the upgrade. However, if the RHEL 7 system uses a third-party device driver that Leapp does not have data for in the /etc/leapp/files/device_driver_deprecation_data.json file, Leapp does not detect such a driver and proceeds with the upgrade. Consequently, the system might fail to boot after the upgrade.
  • You cannot perform an in-place upgrade when the winbind and wins Samba modules are used in the /etc/nsswitch.conf file. The upgrade transaction fails with the following error messages and Leapp inhibits the upgrade:

    upgrade[469]: STDERR:
    upgrade[469]: Error in PREIN scriptlet in rpm package unbound-libs
    upgrade[469]: Error: Transaction failed
    upgrade[469]: Container el8userspace failed with error code 1.
    unbound-libs has a PREIN failure

    To work around this problem, configure the system so that it uses only local providers for the user, groups, and hosts database during the update:

    1. Open the system /etc/nsswitch.conf configuration file and search for entries that contain the winbind or wins strings.
    2. If you find such entries, create a backup of /etc/nsswitch.conf.
    3. Edit /etc/nsswitch.conf and remove winbind or wins from the entries that contain them.
    4. Perform an in-place upgrade.
    5. After the upgrade, add the winbind and wins strings to their entries in /etc/nsswitch.conf, based on your system configuration requirements.


  • The Leapp utility does not change customized authentication configuration during the upgrade process. If you used the deprecated authconfig utility to configure authentication on your RHEL 7 system, authentication on RHEL 8 might not work correctly. To ensure that your custom configuration functions properly on the RHEL 8 system, re-configure your RHEL 8 system with the authselect utility.


    During the in-place upgrade, the deprecated pam_krb5 or pam_pkcs11 pluggable authentication modules (PAM) are removed. As a result, if the PAM configuration on your RHEL 7 system contains the pam_krb5 or pam_pkcs11 modules and if these modules have the required or requisite control values, you might be locked out of the system if you perform the in-place upgrade. To work around this problem, reconfigure your RHEL 7 system to not use pam_krb5 or pam_pkcs11 before you start the upgrade process.

  • If the name of a third-party package (not signed by Red Hat) installed on your system is the same as the name of a package provided by Red Hat, the in-place upgrade fails. To work around this problem, select one of the following options prior to upgrading:

    1. Remove the third-party package
    2. Replace the third-party package with the package provided by Red Hat
  • For security reasons, support for single-DES (DES) and triple-DES (3DES) encryption types has been removed from RHEL 8. RHEL 7 Identity Management (IdM), however, still supports 3DES encryption.
    Upgrading IdM clients or migrating the whole IdM environment from RHEL 7 to RHEL 8 is possible because both versions of RHEL prefer stronger AES encryption types by default:

    Version of IdMDefault encryption typesAdditional supported encryption types

    RHEL 7



    RHEL 8


    arcfour-hmac [a]

    [a] RC4 encryption has been deprecated and disabled by default in RHEL 8 because it is considered less secure than the newer AES-128 and AES-256 encryption types. For more information about enabling RC4 support for compatibility with legacy Active Directory environments, see Ensuring support for common encryption types in AD and RHEL.

    If you manually configured a non-IdM Kerberos Distribution Center (KDC), any services, or any users to only use DES or 3DES encryption, you might experience service interruptions after updating to the latest Kerberos packages in RHEL 8, such as:

    • Kerberos authentication errors
    • unknown enctype encryption errors
    • KDCs with DES-encrypted Database Master Keys (K/M) fail to start

    Red Hat recommends you do not use DES or 3DES encryption in your environment. For more information about re-keying Kerberos principals to use stronger encryption types, see Retiring DES from MIT Kerberos Documentation.

  • The in-place upgrade might fail on systems with Software Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID). (RHEL-3279)
  • Systems with a disabled GRUB boot loader specification, such as systems using Puppet, cannot create new initramfs for newer kernels. To work around this problem, manually remove packages and the old kernel from the boot loader entry as described in Chapter 6: Performing post-upgrade tasks. (BZ#1955099)
  • The Relax-and-Recover (ReaR) utility is not available on the IBM Z architecture. As a result, IBM Z systems cannot be completely remediated by the OpenSCAP suite and might not be fully compliant with security baselines. (BZ#1958939)
  • During the in-place upgrade, the Leapp utility usually preserves the network interface controller (NIC) names between RHEL 7 and RHEL 8. However, on some systems, such as systems with network bonding, the NIC names require updating between RHEL 7 and RHEL 8. On those systems, perform the following steps:

    1. Set the LEAPP_NO_NETWORK_RENAMING=1 environment variable to prevent the Leapp utility from incorrectly preserving the original RHEL 7 NIC names.
    2. Perform the in-place upgrade.
    3. Verify that your network is working correctly. If needed, manually update the network configuration.


  • If your system boots by using BIOS, the in-place upgrade fails when upgrading the GRUB2 bootloader if the boot disk’s embedding area does not contain enough space for the core image installation. This results in a broken system, and can occur when the disk has been partitioned manually, for example using the RHEL 6 fdisk utility. To verify whether this issue affects you, perform the following steps:

    1. Determine which sector starts the first partition on the disk with the installed bootloader:

      # fdisk -l

      The standard partitioning, which ensures enough space for the core image, starts on sector 2048.

    2. Determine whether the starting sector provides enough space. The RHEL 8 core image requires at least 32 KiB. For example, if the sector size is the standard 512 bytes, then starting on sector 66 or lower would not provide enough space.


      The RHEL 8 core image might be larger than 32 KiB and require a higher starting sector. Always verify how much space the current RHEL 8 core requires.

    3. If the embedding area does not contain enough storage space, perform a fresh installation of the RHEL 8 system instead of performing an in-place upgrade.


  • After the in-place upgrade, SSH keys are no longer auto-generated if the system meets the following conditions:

  • VMWare virtual machines that were created at Hardware Level 13 and are booting with UEFI might experience issues during the upgrade because the NVRAM file is too small. For more information about this issue and how to resolve it, see VMWare: Getting "No space left on device" when executing efibootmgr or mokutil command to add entries. (RHEL-3362)
  • The upgrade might fail if you are upgrading by using RHUI with an ISO image. You can work around this issue by not using the --iso option with the upgrade or by following the instructions in Offline Leapp upgrade using ISO fails with "Failed to synchronize cache for repo 'rhul-microsoft-azure-rhel8', ignoring this repo. (RHEL-3296)
  • The pre-upgrade process might fail with the following error message:

    MountError: failed to create mount target directory …

    If this issue occurs, export the LEAPP_OVL_IMG_FS_EXT4=1 environment variable. For more information, see Leapp can fail with a MountError (OverlayFS + XFS ftype=1). (RHEL-3330)

  • If too many file systems are mounted, the pre-upgrade process might fail with the following error message:

    OperationalError: unable to open database file

    If this issue occurs, complete the following steps:

    1. Unmount any file systems that are not related to the system partitions and are not needed during the upgrade process.
    2. Comment out the unmounted file systems’ entries in the /etc/fstab file to prevent them from being mounted during the upgrade process.
    3. Restore the original file system configuration after the upgrade.


  • If you do not have the /etc/sysconfig/kernel system configuration file on your system, the upgrade fails, resulting in a broken system. To prevent this issue, create the file manually with the expected configuration. For more information, see Verifying the boot loader. (RHEL-22306)
  • If any of the mounted file systems that are defined in the /etc/fstab file do not have the shared propagation flag set, the upgrade might fail. To prevent this issue, remount these file systems to set them as shared:

    # mount -o remount --make-shared <mountpoint>

    Replace mountpoint with the mountpoint of each file system.

    For more information, see Leapp "Can not load RPM file" during the DNF transaction check. (RHEL-23449)

9.4. Obtaining support

To open a support case, select RHEL 7 as the product, and provide a sosreport from your system.

  • To generate a sosreport on your system, run:
# sosreport

Note that you can leave the case ID empty.

For details on generating a sosreport, see the solution What is an sosreport and how to create one in Red Hat Enterprise Linux?.

For more information about opening and managing a support case on the Customer Portal, see the article How do I open and manage a support case on the Customer Portal?.