How To: Upgrade CentOS Linux 5.3 to v5.4

How do I upgrade CentOS Linux from version 5.3 to latest version 5.4 over the Internet?

CentOS Linux v5.4 has been released and available via mirrors for immediate update. The new version includes the kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) virtualization, next generation of developer features and tools including GCC 4.4, a new malloc(). Also included clustered, high-availability filesystem to support Microsoft Windows storage needs on CentOS Linux.


Fig.01: CentOS running GNOME Desktop (credit wikipedia)

Fig.01: CentOS running GNOME Desktop (credit wikipedia)

Step # 1: Make A Backup

It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to make a backup of your system before you do this. Most of the actions listed in this post are written with the assumption that they will be executed by the root user running the bash or any other modern shell. Use the following tools to backup data to other server:

Step # 2: Update All Packages

Type the following command to get a list of packages that are going to be updated, enter:
# yum list updates
To upgrade your box, enter:
# yum update

Reboot the server:
# reboot

Verify everything is working:
# uname -a
# netstat -tulpn
# tail -f /var/log/messages
# tail -f /path/to/log/file
# cat /etc/redhat-release

Sample outputs:

CentOS release 5.4 (Final)

Or you can use the lsb_release command:
# lsb_release -a
Sample outputs:

LSB Version:	:core-3.1-amd64:core-3.1-ia32:core-3.1-noarch:graphics-3.1-amd64:graphics-3.1-ia32:graphics-3.1-noarch
Distributor ID:	CentOS
Description:	CentOS release 5.4 (Final)
Release:	5.4
Codename:	Final

To view log of all updated package, enter:

tail -f /var/log/yum.log
less /var/log/yum.log
grep -i bind /var/log/yum.log

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I'm Vivek Gite, and I write about Linux, macOS, Unix, IT, programming, infosec, and open source. Subscribe to my RSS feed or email newsletter for updates.

10 comments… add one
  • yoander (sedlav) Oct 22, 2009 @ 14:07

    Hey vivek, where did you get the info related with centos 5.4 release? In the project official site this new no appear.

  • 🛡️ Vivek Gite (Author and Admin) nixCraft Oct 22, 2009 @ 14:20

    Go here. Web pages are not updated immediately ;) also centos update notifiers sent me an email when updates are available.

  • Mihai Secasiu Oct 22, 2009 @ 14:33

    I don’t think the packages are available in the yum repository yet. Maybe you can download the DVD iso, mount then and then configure yum to look for updates there.

  • Guy Oct 22, 2009 @ 22:36

    @Mihai – The packages have been available for over 12 hours. Already downloaded to our local repository and updated our entire dev/test environment (85 or so CentOS servers).

    Thanks Vivek!


  • Paul Stewart Oct 23, 2009 @ 10:54

    We have all the updates up on our mirror if you can’t find them –

  • afokkema Oct 24, 2009 @ 8:54

    Sometimes yum update doesn’t find any updates. If this is the case you can run the following command:

    yum clean all

    and then run the yum update command.

  • Leszek Oct 25, 2009 @ 10:38

    How about upgrading CentOS with cPanel installed ? Do I need to do it or will cPanel do it for me ? Or maybe it won’t ?

  • ashish Oct 25, 2009 @ 14:02

    hello sir
    how to configure vnc server in linux

  • Bret Apr 29, 2011 @ 5:17

    Hey Vikas,

    As of now Centos 5.6 is released and I have got 5.3 installed.

    My question is how to upgrade to Centos 5.5 which is what our requirement is?


    • Shib Jul 1, 2013 @ 10:35

      Did u ever find the answer to this?

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