Upgrading legacy Redhat 9

I find myself stranded with another piece of shrike Redhat 9 server, somehow sold to an Indian client by Redhat India. (You’d think they would have the decency to say “by the way, there’s the project called Fedora..”) Anyway, I’m eventually going to try to bodysnatch it, but until then it desperately needs some package upgrades, and there’s no way I’m paying for RHN.

Here’s how to do Redhat 9 upgrades for free:

  1. Head over to the excellent RPM repository for legacy and recent Redhat/Fedora distributions maintained by Dag Wieers. He also has a tool called “rpmforge” which seems to help manage the packages (though I haven’t fully figured it out yet — maybe its just the config files for apt, up2date, yum, etc.) From RPMForge.net:
  2. The RPMforge.net project is an independent community-driven project to provide the infrastructure and tools to allow users, developers and packagers to meet and work together to provide and improve RPM packages.

  3. Check the FAQ for the appropriate RPMForge RPM. Install.
  4. Install the appropriate yum RPM. (Though I experimented with up2date, I could only get yum to work. apt-get is also probably okay..)
  5. Copy the yum configuration from /usr/share/doc/rpmforge-release-0.#.#/rpmforge.yum into /etc/yum.conf.
  6. Make sure that baseurl and mirrorlist are uncommented and correctly configured in yum.conf. (This bit threw me.. I have no experience with yum since going Gentoo.)

And that should do it. Running yum update from the command line will do a global system update for you. yum list updates will show you what’s available.

YoLinux has a delicious little yum tutorial, as well as a link to upgrading across releases if you want to enhance flavor and keep the hat on.