Welcome to the cPanel ELevate Project.

Goal

The cPanel ELevate Project provides a script to upgrade an existing cPanel & WHM CentOS 7 server installation to AlmaLinux 8.

Disclaimer

We do not guarantee the functionality of software in this repository. We provide it on an experimental basis only. You assume all risk for use of any software that you install from this experimental repository. Installation of this software could cause significant functionality failures, even for experienced administrators.

cPanel Technical Support is limited in their ability to support experimental software. You should instead utilize the Github Issues page

Introduction

This project builds on the Alma Linux ELevate project, which leans heavily on the LEAPP Project created for in-place upgrades of RedHat-based systems.

The Alma Linux ELevate project is very effective at upgrading the distro packages from CentOS 7 to AlmaLinux 8. However if you attempt use it directly on a CentOS 7-based cPanel install, you will end up with a broken system.

This project was designed to be a wrapper around the Alma Linux ELevate project to allow you to successfully upgrade a cPanel install with an aim to minimize outages.

Our current approach can be summarized as:

  1. Check for blockers
  2. yum update && reboot
  3. Analyze and remove software (not data) commonly installed on a cPanel system
  4. Execute AlmaLinux upgrade
  5. Re-install previously removed software detected prior to upgrade. This might include:
  • cPanel (upcp)
  • EA4
  • MySQL variants
  • Distro Perl/PECL binary re-installs
  1. Final reboot (assure all services are running on new binaries)

Risks

As always, upgrades can lead to data loss or behavior changes that may leave you with a broken system.

Failure states include but are not limited to:

  • Failure to upgrade the kernel due to custom drivers
  • Incomplete upgrade of software because this code base is not aware of it.

We recommend you back up (and ideally snapshot) your system so it can be easily restored before continuing.

This upgrade will potentially take 30-90 minutes to upgrade all of the software. During most of this time, the server will be degraded and non-functional. We attempt to disable most of the software so that external systems will re-try later rather than fail in an unexpected way. However there are small windows where the unexpected failures leading to some data loss may occur.

Before updating

Before updating, please check that you met all the pre requirements:

  • You will need to have console access available to your machine
  • You should back up your server before attempting this upgrade
  • Ensure your server is up to date: yum update
  • Ensure you are using the last stable version of cPanel & WHM
  • Use a version of MySQL/MariaDB compliant with Alamlinux 8.

Additional checks can be performed by downloading the script and then running pre-checks.

Some of the problems you might find include:

  • x86_64 RPMs not in the primary CentOS repos are upgraded.
    • rpm -qa|grep el7
  • EA4 RPMs are incorrect
    • EA4 provides different dependencies and linkage on C7/A8
  • cPanel binaries (cpanelsync) are invalid.
  • 3rdparty repo packages are not upgraded (imunify 360, epel, …).
  • Manually installed Perl XS (arch) CPAN installs invalid.
  • Manually installed PECL need re-build.
  • Cpanel::CachedCommand is wrong.
  • Cpanel::OS distro setting is wrong.
  • MySQL might now not be upgradable (MySQL versions < 8.0 are not normally present on A8).
  • The nobody user does not switch from UID 99 to UID 65534 even after upgrading to A8.

Using the script

Download the elevate-cpanel script

  • You can download a copy of the script to run on your cPanel server via:
wget -O /scripts/elevate-cpanel \
    https://raw.githubusercontent.com/cpanel/elevate/release/elevate-cpanel ;
chmod 700 /scripts/elevate-cpanel

Pre-upgrade checks

We recommend you check for known blockers before you upgrade. The check is designed to not make any changes to your system. You can do this by running:

# Check if your server is ready for elevation (dry run mode)
/scripts/elevate-cpanel --check

To upgrade

Once you have a backup of your server (The cPanel elevate script does not back up before upgrading), and have cleared upgrade blockers with Pre-upgrade checks, you can begin the migration.

NOTE This upgrade could take over 30 minutes. Be sure your users are aware that your server may be down and unreachable during this time.

# Start the migration
/scripts/elevate-cpanel --start

Command line options

# Read the help (and risks mentionned in this documentation)
/scripts/elevate-cpanel --help

# Check if your server is ready for elevation (dry run mode)
/scripts/elevate-cpanel --check

# Start the migration
/scripts/elevate-cpanel --start

... # expect multiple reboots (~30 min)

# Check the current status
/scripts/elevate-cpanel --status

# Monitor the elevation log
/scripts/elevate-cpanel --log

# In case of errors, once fixed you can continue the migration process
/scripts/elevate-cpanel --continue
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