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Converting a Debian box to SuSE or CentOS?

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Honored Contributor

Converting a Debian box to SuSE or CentOS?

I've got this ancient Debian box that is used for kickstarting other equipment, ftping, and other general duties. It has been customized and configured to the point that everyone who uses it will complain if it were to suddenly change a bunch. Also, it would be an absolute pain to burn it down and start from scratch.

However, the machine is acting up, hasn't been updated in a long time, and is generally long in the tooth. I'd like to bring it up to corporate standards using either CentOS or SuSE -- but again, without formatting or starting from scratch.

I know this isn't recommended, but can it be done in this instance? I've tried some cross-brand updating in the past with mixed results. Anybody have any hints about how this can be done?
Steven E. Protter
Exalted Contributor

Re: Converting a Debian box to SuSE or CentOS?


It is not supported at all.

Centos or SUSE is not an upgrade path for Debian.

What you should do is back up your data, do a cold OS install and then restore the data.

But by kickstart files if you mean OS specific ones, the data is of little use.

I would also think about finding reliable hardware for this function. Your current course will likely lead to lots of work.

Steven E Protter
Owner of ISN Corporation
Ivan Ferreira
Honored Contributor

Re: Converting a Debian box to SuSE or CentOS?

According to your descriptions, these kind of servers are a pain. Nobody wants a change on it because no one knows what it's in there exacly and how was configured.

But the services that it provides are very simple, at least without considering those "general dutties" as a problem.

I would think in replacing the host, installing a CentOS/SUSE from a scratch, and start the migration of services, having them working together for a while.

¿What about virtualyzing that host?
Por que hacerlo dificil si es posible hacerlo facil? - Why do it the hard way, when you can do it the easy way?
Honored Contributor

Re: Converting a Debian box to SuSE or CentOS?

Sorry for the delay in responding. I've been on vacation, thankfully without Internet.

I knew I could could on you two guys to talk straight with me. Max points to both of you. The plan for the new year is to build a brand new machine with SuSE and hope nobody notices the change. I'll have to bite the bullet in this case and rebuild all the kickstart configurations. Then, once I have the new machine where I want it, I'll play with updating the old one -- it'll be an interesting experiment, if nothing else...
Honored Contributor

Re: Converting a Debian box to SuSE or CentOS?

Just a followup, for anybody that's interested. I did try to do a cross-platform update with Suse10.1 -- it did try to do an update, but reported that it could not find the rpm package database. I suspect that the issue is that YaST couldn't handle the apt-get databae.

CentOS 5.1 didn't even give the option to update.

I did read up on apt-get, and managed to do a huge update of the Debian system -- and it now works like a champ.
Honored Contributor

Re: Converting a Debian box to SuSE or CentOS?

see above