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I'm trying to update CentOS 6.3 to 6.5. If it matters, I'm doing this inside VBox 4.3.8, on a Mac running OSX 10.9.2.

Following directions found on if-not-true-then-false.com:

What version am I running?

$ cat /etc/redhat-release
CentOS 6.3 release (Final)

$ uname -r
2.6.32-279.el6.x86_64

Okay, let's try updating:

$ yum clean all
$ yum update glibc* yum* rpm* python*
$ yum update

That all seemed to go well. (I'd paste the output but due to the inability to export cut-and-paste buffer, it's impractical -- in fact, what I'm ultimately trying to do is install VBOXADDITIONS to enable just that, which requires a 6.5 kernel.)

$ reboot
:
$ cat /etc/redhat-release
CentOS release 6.3 (Final)

Hmm. Well, I don't loik that.

$ yum info kernel

Indicates that two kernels are "installed" - .279, and .436. The former is highlighted in such a way to suggest that it is the one currently running. (I tried this whole thing yesterday, which is probably why there is a staged .436 version.)

Any ideas what I'm doing wrong? Or what I may be confused about? The whole purpose of this exercise is to be able to install the VBox Guest Additions 4.3.8, which require CentOS 6.5 (6.3 being obsolete).

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6.3 isn't obsolete, CentOS & RHEL releases are supported for 7+ years, typically 10 per major release number. –  slm Mar 23 at 1:05
    
@slm: At the moment, I can't find where I saw that assertion made, but the problem seems to be that, using VirtualBox 4.3.8 to run CentOS 6.3, the VBOXADDITIONS 4.3.8 won't install. So perhaps what I read was something to the effect that CentOS 6.3 was obsolete as far as VBOXAdditions 4.3.8 was concerned. –  Chap Mar 23 at 3:34

2 Answers 2

Check GRUB's menu.lst file, /boot/grub/menu.lst and make sure you're pointing to the new kernel you just installed. It should be the first one in the list and the default value above should be set to 0, indicating the 1st one in the list.

Also I'd use the command yum upgrade as opposed to yum update.

I typically do this:

$ yum clean all
$ yum update
$ yum upgrade
$ reboot

I'm assuming you got your steps from this tutorial, titled: Upgrade to CentOS 6.5 from CentOS 6.4/6.3/6.2/6.1/6.0. If you scroll down into the comments you'll see a question about how to do the upgrade from 6.3 to 6.5. You need to use the steps as I've described to do that.

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There isn't a file called menu.lst in /boot/grub/. –  Chap Mar 23 at 2:56
    
Unfortunately, that tutorial uses the terms 'update' and 'upgrade' interchangeably, at least in prose. Not a great choice for two terms with different technical meanings. +1 for highlighting the distinction. –  Chap Mar 23 at 3:06
    
@Chap - strange I have that file on 6.5. Check for /boot/grub/grub.conf. –  slm Mar 23 at 3:49
    
@Chap - The only real difference is that upgrade includes the switch --obsoletes, which update does not. –  slm Mar 23 at 3:50
    
grub.conf does exist. I'm back to a fresh version of 6.3. Running yum upgrade caused my CentOS to fail to reboot (froze just before showing the desktop). The CentOS is on a disk image provided in a Cloudera course I took, and it's preconfigured with lots of Hadoop-related stuff, which may well be incompatible with 6.5. –  Chap Mar 23 at 4:29

Make sure you've actually configured a CentOS 6.5 yum repo as one of the repos in your /etc/yum.repos.d directory. Otherwise you will just keep updating against a 6.3 repo, which won't have the 6.5 packages.

For example you might have something like this

[centos-6.3-updates-x86_64]
name=centos-6.3-updates-x86_64
baseurl=http://x.x.x.x/cobbler/repo_mirror/centos-6.3-updates-x86_64
enabled=1
priority=99
gpgcheck=1

But you may be missing this:

[centos-6.5-updates-x86_64]
name=centos-6.5-updates-x86_64
baseurl=http://x.x.x.x/cobbler/repo_mirror/centos-6.5-updates-x86_64
enabled=1
priority=99
gpgcheck=1

(The baseurls will be different than mine, which are pointing at an internal mirror.)

In my case, my org is using Cobbler/Puppet, so I had to update the core-0 configuration to point at a CentOS 6.5 repo as well.

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