Chapter 3. Planning for Installation on the x86 Architecture

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3.1. Upgrade or Install?

There are two procedures available for upgrading your current system to the next major version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. To decide which procedure is the right one for your system, read the following descriptions:
Clean Install
A clean install is performed by backing up all data from the system, formatting disk partitions, performing an installation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 from installation media, and then restoring any user data.


This is the recommended method for upgrading between major versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
In-Place Upgrade
An in-place upgrade is a way of upgrading your system without removing the older version first. The procedure requires installing the migration utilities available for your system and running them as any other software. In Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the Preupgrade Assistant assesses your current system and identifies potential problems you might encounter during and/or after the upgrade. It also performs minor fixes and modifications to the system. The Red Hat Upgrade Tool utility downloads the packages and performs the actual upgrade. An in-place upgrade requires a lot of troubleshooting and planning and should only be done if there is no other choice. For more information on the Preupgrade Assistant, see Chapter 37, Upgrading Your Current System.


Never perform an in-place upgrade on a production system without first testing it on a cloned backup copy of the system.
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