Upgrading Red Hat 9 to CentOS 4.5

It’s been a few months since I last posted an entry to my blog. Life has been busy. This blog has been busy, in terms of web traffic to my Anonymous Letters and Starbucks posts below.

Time for a tech post. I had the privilege of upgrading an ancient Red Hat 9 Linux box to CentOS 4.5. Red Hat Linux has been EOL for a very long time, and was superceded by Fedora, which has had seven major releases. That’s the equivalent of running Windows 3.1 😉 Well, not quite :) Anyhow, the box at hand appeared to be a custom web server. I will outline the steps I used to successfully upgrade it to CentOS 4.5.

1. Download the CentOS 4.5 CD set or DVD image from www.centos.org.
2. Put in CD 1 or the DVD image.
3. Reboot the old Red Hat 9 box and ensure that the BIOS allows booting from the CD/DVD drive.
4. Enter the following at the linux boot prompt and press Enter: linux upgradeany
5. The system will happily hum along while Red Hat 9 is upgraded to CentOS 4.5.
6. If ‘yum’ wasn’t installed, you will need to install it:
rpm -ivh http://centos.arcticnetwork.ca/4.5/os/i386/CentOS/RPMS/python-elementtree-1.2.6-5.el4.centos.i386.rpm
rpm -ivh http://centos.arcticnetwork.ca/4.5/os/i386/CentOS/RPMS/sqlite-3.3.6-2.i386.rpm
rpm -ivh http://centos.arcticnetwork.ca/4.5/os/i386/CentOS/RPMS/python-sqlite-1.1.7-1.2.1.i386.rpm
rpm -ivh http://centos.arcticnetwork.ca/4.5/os/i386/CentOS/RPMS/python-urlgrabber-2.9.8-2.noarch.rpm
rpm -ivh http://centos.arcticnetwork.ca/4.5/os/i386/CentOS/RPMS/yum-2.4.3-3.el4.centos.noarch.rpm

7. Now, run the following command and press Enter: yum update
8. Allow yum to run and update the required packages. Reboot if yum downloads and installs a new kernel.
9. Since the box in question had a custom Apache and PHP configuration, I reinstalled them manually:
yum install httpd
yum install php
yum install mysql
yum install mysql-server
yum install php-mysql

10. I had to update the MySQL configuration to point to the correct socket:
Update my.cnf:
instead of
and add the following to use your existing database passwords
11. Copy any required PHP extensions to new system path:
cp -R /usr/local/lib/php/extensions/* /usr/lib/php4
12. Edit /etc/php.ini:
error_reporting = E_ALL & ~E_NOTICE

13. Finally, set services to start up automatically:
chkconfig –level 345 httpd on
chkconfig –level 345 mysqld on
chkconfig –level 345 sendmail on

14. There you have it. The server should be happily running CentOS 4.5 now. Remember to keep it up-to-date by running yum update regularly.

Configuring Ubuntu – Part 2

Opps. I just checked a few of my older blog posts and quickly realized I neglected to post part 2 of my ‘Configuring Ubuntu – Part 1’ guide.

Well, here it is!

By default, Ubuntu Server installs MySQL and PHP. However, it doesn’t tweak the system for performance. If you run a WordPress blog on your server, you may not realize that your blog could run more efficiently. WordPress relies on both PHP and MySQL. PHP scripts need to be read from a server’s hard drive, parsed by the web server software and then executed. Wouldn’t it be nice if the server could just skip the first two steps and just execute PHP scripts as quickly as plain HTML?

That’s where eAccelerator comes in. eAccelerator is a free, open-source PHP accelerator and cache. I’ve been using it for nearly seven years on personal and commercial servers. In other words, it’s very stable for a free product.

Let’s get started.
Continue reading “Configuring Ubuntu – Part 2”