If you’re still using Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver), it’s time to start thinking about upgrading.

As of May 31, 2023, Ubuntu 18.04 will reach its End of Standard Support (EOSS) date, meaning that it will no longer receive security updates, bug fixes, or technical support from Canonical.

In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of upgrading from Ubuntu 18.04, the risks of staying on an unsupported system, and how to make the transition to a newer, supported version of Ubuntu.

Effective June 1st, 2023: We will be discontinuing support for connections made using TLS 1.0. This decision aligns with industry standards and best practices to maintain a secure environment for all of our users. Learn more.

What Is An EOL Version Of Ubuntu?

EOL stands for end of life and is a tag given to all the releases of Ubuntu that are no longer being supported by Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu. This means that it will no longer receive any security updates, bug fixes, or new features.

Running an EOL version of Ubuntu exposes your system to potential vulnerabilities, compatibility issues, and performance degradation.

Using an EOL version poses several risks, such as:

  1. Vulnerabilities: An EOL version may have unpatched security flaws that can be exploited by hackers or malware. This can compromise your data, privacy, and system integrity.
  2. Compatibility: An EOL version may not be compatible with newer hardware, software, or standards. This can cause errors, crashes, or performance issues.
  3. Support: An EOL version will not include any technical support from the developer or vendor. This means that you’re on your own if you encounter any problems, or need help.

You can see the list of all Ubuntu releases and their respective end-of-life dates on Ubuntu Wiki

What is LTS?

LTS stands for Long-Term Support and is a tag given to Ubuntu releases with an even version number. For example, 18, 20, 22, and so on.

LTS versions receive security updates and bug fixes for five years from their release date. This is much longer than ordinary releases that are typically supported for less than a year.

Is Ubuntu 18.04 reaching EOL?

No, Ubuntu 18.04 is an LTS release and it will reach the end of standard support on May 31, 2023 – it’s different from End of Life.

Although it’s highly recommended to move to a newer version of Ubuntu, it might not be possible for everyone to do this before June 2023. Ubuntu 18.04 servers that are subscribed to Ubuntu Pro or Canonical Embedding Programme will continue to receive essential updates for another 5 years and will reach its End of Life in April of 2028. 

How To Identify Your Ubuntu Version

You can check whether you are using the latest version of Ubuntu in the RunCloud dashboard. Open your server page, and at the top, you will see the current version of Ubuntu that’s running. 

You can also check the status of your Ubuntu Pro subscription and the current Ubuntu version from the terminal. Log into your server using SSH, and execute the following commands:

uname -r # Check Kernel version
pro status # Check Ubuntu Pro status
lsb_release -a # Check Ubuntu version

How To Upgrade Ubuntu To The Latest Version On RunCloud

RunCloud strongly recommends you avoid upgrading your existing server. Instead, you should create a new server and migrate to it.

There are several advantages of doing this:

  • Upgrading existing servers may cause compatibility issues with the software or hardware.
  • Upgrading existing servers may overwrite some of the existing configuration, security, or device settings.
  • Creating new servers and migrating to them allows us to take advantage of new technology or better services that may not be available on the old servers.

We recommend you follow the following steps to move to a newer version of Ubuntu.

Note: Before you back up and upgrade your server, you need to make sure that your app is compatible with a higher PHP version. Ubuntu 18.04 supports PHP 7.0 and 7.1, but Ubuntu 20.04 only supports PHP 7.2 and above. Therefore, you need to move your app to at least PHP 7.2 before you proceed with the backup and upgrade process. You can use RunCloud’s dashboard to change the PHP version for your web application. This step is not required for containerized servers, as they use their own container images for PHP.

Backup Your Existing Applications

We have written an extensive blog article outlining how to perform backups. Here’s a quick summary.

Start by opening the web application in the RunCloud dashboard, and then go to the “Backups” tab. 

While creating the backup, make sure you select the “Web Application and Database” option. After that, select your desired storage option, and configure other basic settings. 

Once your backup is completed, you will see a “Completed” status next to it.

Provision A New Server

While the backup is in process, you can provision a new server. We have an in-depth knowledge base article that explains how to connect a server to RunCloud.

You can read it and follow along, but just make sure that you select the latest version of Ubuntu, 22.04 LTS, while creating the new server. 

Migrating Applications

Provisioning a server and creating backups takes just a few minutes. Once both are complete, you can begin migrating your application. We strongly recommend you do this at a time when you don’t get a lot of traffic to your site in order to minimize potential disruptions.

We have an in-depth knowledgebase article that explains How to clone a web application to another server, but here’s a quick summary.

Open the “Web Application” dashboard in RunCloud, and click on “Cloning”.

Select the newly created server, and provide the new names for both the web application and database which will be used on the new server. 

After that, if you’re using RunCloud’s Cloudflare integration, your DNS records will be updated automatically.

However, if you wish to update your records manually, you might want to read our guide on How To Speed Up DNS Propagation first. 

That’s it!

Your application should be up and running on the new server. If you have multiple applications, you’ll need to perform the above steps for each application. 

Testing The Migration

Once you have completed the migration, you can visit the website and check its IP address in the DevTools menu. The remote address field should show you the IP address of the new server. If you’re still seeing the old IP address, clear your browser cache and retry after a few minutes.

Once your new site is up and running, we recommend keeping the old server alive for a few days while you perform tests on the new server. Ideally, you should test every user sign-up form and checkout process to make sure everything is working properly.

TLS 1.0 Support Will Be Discontinued

As of June 1st, 2023, RunCloud will no longer accept connections made using TLS 1.0. This decision aligns with industry standards and best practices to maintain a secure environment for all of our users.

Why Is TLS 1.0 Being Deprecated?

TLS 1.0 is an outdated encryption protocol that has been found to have security vulnerabilities and weaknesses. By discontinuing support for TLS 1.0, we are prioritizing your data security and protecting it from potential threats.

What action do you need to take?
To ensure uninterrupted access to the RunCloud panel, we kindly ask you to take the following actions before the deprecation date:

  1. Update your browser: Ensure that you are using a modern web browser that supports TLS 1.1 or higher. Popular browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Safari have already dropped support for TLS 1.0 and offer more secure versions.
  2. Verify server compatibility: Check if your server environment supports TLS 1.1 or higher. Most modern server configurations already have the necessary protocols enabled. If you are unsure or need assistance, please reach out to our support team, and we will be happy to help.
  3. Upgrade your application: If you are using any third-party applications or integrations that communicate with the RunCloud panel, ensure they support TLS 1.1 or higher. If necessary, update those applications to ensure compatibility.

We understand that this change may require some adjustments on your end, but it is necessary to maintain a secure environment for all our users. We apologize for any inconvenience caused and appreciate your cooperation in this matter.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact our support team. We are here to guide you through this transition and address any concerns you may have. Thank you for being a valued RunCloud customer. We remain committed to providing you with a secure and reliable hosting experience.

After Action Report

It’s clear that upgrading to the latest version has several benefits such as improved security, performance, support, compatibility, and features. In this article, we also highlighted the risks of using unsupported versions of Ubuntu, such as vulnerabilities, compatibility issues, lack of support, and missing out on new features.

If you follow the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be able to migrate to the latest version of Ubuntu with minimal disruptions.

After the upgrade is complete, it’s a good idea to install a monitoring agent, such as New Relic, to check for errors on your server. Read our blog post that explains How To Install New Relic Monitoring on RunCloud.

RunCloud is built for developers that want to focus on shipping great work, not on managing their infrastructure. We provide painless server configuration so you don’t need to spend hours figuring it out – get started with RunCloud today and get up and running in minutes