How to fix “Error: xz compression not available” in CentOS and cPanel & WHM upgrade provides outsourced hosting support to web hosting companies. As part of our work, we help web hosting companies keep their servers upgraded and patched to the latest version.

In some cPanel/WHM and CentOS servers, we’ve faced the error Error: xz compression not available when performing a distribution upgrade.

What causes Error: xz compression not available?

All RedHat compatible servers such as CentOS, RHEL and Fedora use a compression algorithm called LZMA/LZMA2 to build their RPM packages. So, the package manager YUM uses a compression utility called xz to unpack the files.

XZ compression utility is provided by Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) repository of CentOS.

In some servers, we’ve seen the wrong version of EPEL is configured in YUM config files. This causes an incompatible version of xz utility to be used, and it results in this error.

You don’t have to lose your sleep to keep your customers happy. Our friendly Hosting Support Specialists are online 24/7/365 to help your customers. ]

How to fix the broken upgrade process

When faced with this issue, we generally follow this process. However, it could be different from one server to another.

1. Remove EPEL packages

First the incompatible package needs to be removed by:

# yum remove epel-release

2. Clear the Yum cache

Remove all cached epel files from Yum

# rm -rf /var/cache/yum/XXX/XXX/epel

Replace the XXX with your architecture and CentOS version.

See how we help web hosting companies

3. Re-install EPEL package

Then enable CentOS Extras (in case it’s disabled), and freshly install EPEL repo.

# yum --enablerepo=extras install epel-release

You can check if it worked by listing the repositories using:

# yum repolist

4. Re-run the server upgrade or upcp (in cPanel)

Then re-start the upgrade process, and all should go well.

In case something is still going wrong, we’ll be happy to sort it out for you. Click here to talk to our server experts.



Guaranteed 100% uptime for your servers & 24/7 support for your customers!



  1. I tried this and still get the error.

    • Hi Prakash,

      What’s your current version of CentOS? Are you trying to upgrade it to CentOS 7?

      It’d be great if we can take a look at the server.

      You can submit a ticket by going to our server administration page.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

BUSY WITH TECH SUPPORT ALL DAY? We help web hosts and other web solution providers save time and focus on growth.
Here's how we helped a web host reduce support engagement time from 3 hours to 30 mins per day: