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Chapter 10. Converting a Host to Red Hat Enterprise Linux with Convert2RHEL

Convert2RHEL enables the conversion of Red Hat Enterprise Linux derivative distributions into a supportable Red Hat Enterprise Linux state while retaining existing applications and configurations.

The conversion process is similar to a minor release upgrade of Red Hat Enterprise Linux in which every RPM package on the system is replaced. Third-party packages and non-Red Hat packages not available in Red Hat Enterprise Linux are not replaced.

Convert2RHEL removes unnecessary packages such as logos, or packages known to cause issues during the conversion, and replaces the CentOS-release package with the rhel-release package. It subscribes the system to Red Hat Satellite and replaces all packages signed by CentOS. For Satellite, it also subscribes the system to Red Hat Subscription Management.

The amount of time taken to do this can vary depending on how many packages need to be replaced, network speed, storage speed, and similar variables.

Use the global registration template to register and subscribe your system before the conversion. For more information, see Registering a Host to Red Hat Satellite Using the Global Registration Template in the Managing Hosts guide.

To convert hosts to Red Hat Enterprise Linux with convert2RHEL, you must complete the following procedures:

Prerequisites

  • You must have completed the steps listed in Preparing for a RHEL conversion.
  • If you are providing the organization ID and activation key to register and subscribe your system, you must have created an activation key in Red Hat Satellite. For Satellite you can also create an activation key in Red Hat Subscription Manager. For more information, see Managing Activation Keys in this guide, and Understanding activation keys in Red Hat Subscription Manager documentation.
  • Ensure you have a subscription manifest uploaded to your Satellite and that there are sufficient Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions for the conversion.
  • If you are providing the organization ID and activation key to register and subscribe your system, you must have created an activation key in Red Hat Satellite or Red Hat Subscription Manager. For more information, see Managing Activation Keys in this guide, and Understanding activation keys in Red Hat Subscription Manager documentation.
  • Ensure you have a subscription manifest uploaded to your Satellite and that there are sufficient Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions for the conversion.
  • itIf you are accessing Red Hat Enterprise Linux packages using Satellite Server, you must use the organization ID and activation key to run the convert2rhel command.

10.1. Installing Convert2RHEL

The following procedure makes Convert2RHEL available to the hosts you are converting.

Procedure

  1. In the Satellite web UI, navigate to Content > Products and click Create Product.
  2. In the Name field, enter the name of the product. Satellite automatically completes the Label field based on your entry for Name.
  3. Optional: From the GPG Key list, select the GPG key for the product.
  4. Optional: From the SSL CA Cert list, select the SSL CA certificate for the product.
  5. You do not need to complete SSL Client Cert or SSL Client Key.
  6. Optional: From the Sync Plan list, select an existing sync plan or click Create Sync Plan to create a sync plan for your product requirements.
  7. In the Description field, enter a description of the product.
  8. Click Save.
  9. Click the Repositories tab.
  10. To add a repository, click New Repository.
  11. In the Name field, enter the name of the repository.
  12. From the Type list, set the content type to Yum.
  13. Do not restrict the architecture or the OS version.
  14. Use https://cdn.redhat.com/content/public/convert2rhel/7/x86_64/os/ as the upstream URL.
  15. Disable the Verify SSL checkbox.
  16. Optional: From the GPG Key list, select the GPG key for the product.
  17. Optional: From the SSL CA Cert list, select the SSL CA certificate for the product.

    You do not need to complete SSL Client Cert or SSL Client Key.

  18. Click Save.
  19. Click the checkbox next to the new repository, then click Sync Now.

10.2. Creating an Activation Key for the Hosts

Use this procedure to create an activation key for the hosts to use.

Procedure

  1. In the Satellite web UI, navigate to Content > Red Hat Repositories.
  2. Enable the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Server repository.
  3. In the Satellite web UI, navigate to Content > Activation keys and click Create Activation Key.
  4. In the Name field, enter the name of the host activation key.
  5. If you want to set a limit, clear the Unlimited hosts check box, and in the Limit field, enter the maximum number of systems you can register with the activation key. If you want unlimited hosts to register with the activation key, ensure the Unlimited Hosts check box is selected.
  6. In the Description field, enter a description for the activation key.
  7. From the Environment list, select the environment to use.
  8. From the Content View list, select a Content View to use.
  9. Click Save.
  10. If SCA is not enabled:

    1. Click the Subscriptions tab, then click the Add submenu.
    2. Click the checkbox under the subscription you created before.
    3. Click Add Selected.
  11. If SCA is enabled:

    1. In the Repository Sets tab, ensure only your named repository is enabled.

10.3. Preparing the Host Group

Use this procedure to prepare a host group to convert CentOS 7 machines.

Procedure

  1. In the Satellite web UI, navigate to Configure > Host groups and click Create Host Group.
  2. In the Name field, enter a name for the host group.
  3. In the Description field, enter a description of the host group.
  4. In the Lifecycle Environment field, select Library.
  5. Optional: In the Content view field enter a value for the Content view.
  6. For Steps 7 - 10, Red Hat does not recommend setting values for this scenario as they might modify the host in ways that are not intended.
  7. Optional: In the Puppet Environment field, select value the Puppet Environment.
  8. The Deploy on field can be safely ignored.
  9. Optional: In the Puppet Capsule field, select the name of the Puppet server configured for this capsule.
  10. Optional: In the Puppet CA Capsule field, select the Puppet Server CA configured for this capsule.
  11. Switch to the Activation Keys tab.
  12. Optional: In the OpenSCAP Capsule field, select the OpenSCAP capsule to use for fetching SCAP content and uploading ARF reports.
  13. Click Submit.
  14. Switch to the Activation Keys tab.
  15. In the Activation Keys field, enter the name of the product activation key.
  16. Click Submit.

10.4. Registering Hosts for Conversion

Use this procedure to register CentOS hosts to Satellite.

Procedure

  1. In the Satellite web UI, navigate to Hosts > All Hosts and click Register Host.
  2. In the Host Group field, select the Host Group you want to use as a template for the conversion.
  3. Optional, In the Operating System field, select the Operating System you are converting from.
  4. Optional: In the Capsule field, select the required capsule.
  5. Optional: Use the Setup Insights field to select whether to install Red Hat Insights on converted hosts.
  6. Optional: Use the Remote execution field to select whether to install SSH on converted hosts.
  7. Optional: In the Token lifetime (hours) field, set the lifetime. The default value is four hours. If you require more time to run the command on your hosts, increase the value of the Token Lifetime.
  8. Optional: Check the Insecure box if the hosts might not trust the Satellite CA.
  9. Optional: In the Remote Execution Interface field, if the host has multiple interfaces and remote execution must use a single one, select the appropriate network interface.
  10. In the Activation Key(s) field, enter the name of the content activation key.
  11. Click Generate Command.

When you run the command on the hosts you want to convert, it is registered in Hosts > All Hosts. If the host subscription status warns of Unknown subscription status, it can be ignored.

10.5. Converting Hosts with Convert2RHEL

Use the following procedure to perform the conversion.

Procedure

  1. In the Satellite web UI, navigate to Hosts > All Hosts and select the target hosts you want to convert. You can use the Search field to filter the host list.
  2. From the Select Action list, select Schedule Remote Job.
  3. In the Job category field, select Convert to RHEL.
  4. In the Job template field, verify that the Job Template is set to Convert to RHEL.
  5. On the Job Invocation page, define the main job settings.

    The Search Query field displays the name of any search you have performed, or the list of hosts you have selected.

  6. In the Activation Key field, enter the host activation key.
  7. Optional: Click Show Advanced Fields if you want to configure further aspects.
  8. Click Submit.
  9. Note that:

    • The conversion can take some time.
    • During the conversion, the host reboots.
    • After the reboot, new OS facts are sent to Satellite.
    • When complete, the OS for the host changes to Red Hat Enterprise Linux and the subscription status turns green.