CentOS 6.6 32Bit to 64Bit Upgrade to CentOS 7.0 - NOT 3D Printer Related.


  • Let me say this, it was foolish of me to install a 32bit centos way back when. It started as a vmware player machine I built when CentOS 5.x was the latest and greatest. The problem is that my machine had a 32bit cpu in it. So even the virtual machine was 32bit.

  • This machine was regularly updated and is currently hosting media wiki. The wiki is nice but a pain in the ass to move. Its gone through the update cycles to become a CentOS 6.6 final 32bit machine.

  • CentOS 7.0 is out and I would like to go from CentOS6.6 32bit to CentOS 7.0 64Bit... It is however easier said than done. I could have just rebuilt the wiki with CentOS 7.0 and installed media wiki then exported and imported to it. However I find that a pain in the butt. The documentation is sparse and not really all that friendly. I decided to try another route. 32bit -> 64Bit – CentOS 7.0 64bit. It’s a bit of a hack job and the process could be somewhat scripted. However its not all that bad.


  • You need to know your kernel version before you do anything. uname -a takes care of that. My version happens to be (2.6.32-504.1.3.el6.i686)

  • You need a valid URL for the repo. I used the following. http://mirror.centos.org/centos-6/6/centosplus/x86_64/Packages/

  • You need to back up your machine if it is important to you. For me I am currently hosting this machine on esxi 5.5 and I simply shut down the machine and copied the 20G vmdk out to my desktop.

Jumping in....

  • Execute the following being careful of observing the x86_64 portion of the kernel.

"wget http://mirror.centos.org/centos-6/6/centosplus/x8664/Packages/kernel-2.6.32-504.1.3.el6.centos.plus.x8664.rpm"


"wget http://mirror.centos.org/centos-6/6/centosplus/x86_64/Packages/kernel-firmware-2.6.32-504.1.3.el6.centos.plus.noarch.rpm"

  • Now we must install the kernel. Execute the following if you’re using the same version kernel as I am.

"rpm -Uhv --force --ignorearch kernel-2.6.32-504.1.3.el6.centos.plus.x86_64.rpm kernel-firmware-2.6.32-504.1.3.el6.centos.plus.noarch.rpm"

  • Reboot the box and you should be running a 64bit kernel.

Cleaning up the repo.

  • I did not bother to script this or figure out sed commands. I simply dumped the entire rpm repo out to a file in /tmp

"rpm -qa >> /tmp/rpm.86.txt"

  • We must edit this file and remove the "i686" entries. To do this I am using vi find and replace command. 1 - vi /tmp/rpm.86.txt
    2 - ":1,$ s/i686/x8664/g" This will replace the i686 with a x8664

  • Download all the 64bit packages. As of now not all the packs are available in 64bit, however most 32bit packages will work on a 64bit environment. To download the packages execute the following." cat rpm.86.txt | xargs yumdownloader " NOTE: Please consider the partition you are on and if that partition has 4-5G of free space. I am using /tmp which has about 4.5G of space.

Install new packages.

  • From the download directory execute the following. "rpm -ivh --force --ignorearch *.rpm"

  • We now must reboot the box and check if the original app is still functional.

  • I would suggests backing up the _db files in /var/lib/rpm then rebuilding the rpm db.

1 - cp -p /var/lib/rpm/db* /tmp
2 - rm -f /var/lib/rpm/
4 - rpm --rebuilddb

  • Restart once more.

Upgrade from 6.6 to 7.0

  • I chose to do a live upgrade using the development method. Found in this wiki article. http://wiki.centos.org/TipsAndTricks/CentOSUpgradeTool

  • Add the proper repo to /etc/yum.repos.d/

  • To add the repo simply run vi /etc/yum.repos.d/upgradetool.repo

  • Add the following to the file. "[upg] name=CentOS-$releasever - Upgrade Tool

  • Next up install proper packages. "yum install redhat-upgrade-tool preupgrade-assistant-contents"

  • At this point we should run the update checker. "preupg -s CentOS6_7"

  • Next up we run the importation of CentOs Keys. "rpm --import http://mirror.centos.org/centos/RPM-GPG-KEY-CentOS-7"

  • Finally we run the upgrade. "centos-upgrade-tool-cli --network 7 --instrepo=http://mirror.centos.org/centos/7/os/x86_64/"

  • One thing to note, my system showed critical when asked for update. I went ahead anyway as the errors I have a feeling are related to the older 32bit packages left over. However I have a backup of the system in its original state so it’s not a problem if it goes badly.

  • To force the install anyway "centos-upgrade-tool-cli --network 7 --instrepo=http://mirror.centos.org/centos/7/os/x86_64/ --force"

  • Once prompted restart the server and wait until the cows come home. It takes a while, especially since my wiki only runs 512mb of ram. It generally does not need more than that in my own environment.


It works. I need to disable selinux and the firewall. However the sytem is actually upgraded.

Bruno M.

Engineer, Tinkerer, Technologist, Maker.

New York

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