Tag Archive for: ubuntu

5 options for Ubuntu 18.04 EOL

Ubuntu 18.04 goes end of life in April 2023. Our usual EOL blog posts tend to be quite short and sharp, making sure that people are aware of software becoming insecure. When an operating system goes EOL there is usually a lot more to think about.

Here we look at your 5 options for Ubuntu 18.04 EOL.

  1. Do nothing (Not recommended)
  2. Build new infrastructure and move to the latest Ubuntu LTS release (Recommended)
  3. Perform an in-place upgrade
  4. Buy an annual subscription to Ubuntu Extended Security Maintenance (ESM)
  5. Just shut it down

Lets explore the pros and cons of each option.

1) Do Nothing (Not Recommended) Options for Ubuntu 18.04 EOL

By far the easiest of the options but could end up costing you more in the long run.  Dogsbody do not recommend this option.

Doing nothing mean you have a ticking time bomb on your infrastructure. Your 18.04 Infrastructure will no longer receive security updates for the Ubuntu base OS, critical software packages and infrastructure components as well as no security maintenance for high and critical CVEs. This will probably also cause Compliance issues (PCI), Software incompatibility and make your whole network more vulnerable.

Using this option will also mean that more work will be required when you upgrade your server in the future costing you more.

2) Build new infrastructure and move to the latest Ubuntu LTS release (Recommended)

Options for Ubuntu 18.04 EOLDogsbody always recommend this options as a clean and safe way to upgrade. It allows you to upgrade your hardware to the latest tech. (Suppliers may allow you a free cut over period to manage costs).

This options lets everyone involved test things fully without affecting production infrastructure .

Obviously the disadvantage is this is it is one of the more expensive options, not just because of the work involved but as you may have to pay for two set of hardware and support etc until you migrate from your old to your new infrastructure. Dogsbody offer a one month cross over period for all our maintenance customers 🙂 Also if you have multiple sites on the server (shared hosting) you need to update all sites to the new IP.

Ubuntu 22.04 LTS became available in April 2022 and is supported for 5 years with the end of their standard support in April 2027.

We recommend waiting for the .1 release especially for production machines. We expect this to be released in August 2022 giving you 9 months to make the switch.

3) Perform an in-place upgrade

This may only be an option for certain infrastructure types. It can be cheaper than option 2 (and quicker) but only if it upgrades perfectly. This option gives you zero testing time which means there is a risk that this will not work and your infrastructure will be off line whilst you or your support services fix it live.

While in-place upgrades will result with you having a new operating system, you will likely inherit the (less secure) defaults from the old operating system. e.g. Networking in Ubuntu 14.04 is typically configured via the /etc/network/interfaces file.  Networking in Ubuntu 16.04 is typically configured via the netplan configuration files. An in-place upgrade from 16.04 to 18.04 would leave the old interfaces configuration in place which may work or may not depending on the setup you have.

We would certainly never recommend more than one in-place upgrade. Taking a single system from Ubuntu 14.04 -> 16.04 -> 18.04 and now 20.04 is a bad idea as it just leaves too many loose threads.

It also means your hardware will not be upgraded keeping you potentially on old, less efficient  hardware that may also cause you issues at a later date.

4) Buy an annual subscription to Ubuntu Extended Security Maintenance (ESM)

Extended Security MaintenanceUbuntu Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) is an annual subscription from Canonical. It provides Security updates for the Ubuntu base OS, critical software packages and infrastructure components as well as security maintenance for high and critical CVEs for Ubuntu LTS for an additional 5 years (April 2028).

There is a possibility that other software and packages will drop their support for Ubuntu 18.04 so you may cause yourselves problems down the line if you plan to leave it the full 5 years.

This used to be quite a costly options however prices have dropped since the last LTS EOL. Prices for ESM at the time of writing can be seen here

Essential Standard Advanced
What’s included
Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) Yes Yes Yes
Kernel Livepatch service to avoid reboots Yes Yes Yes
FIPS 140-2 Level 1 certified crypto modules Yes Yes Yes
Common Criteria EAL2 Yes Yes Yes
Certified Windows drivers for KVM guests Yes Yes Yes
Landscape On-Prem management dashboard Yes Yes Yes
Landscape SaaS management dashboard Yes Yes Yes
Phone and ticket support 24/5 24/7
OpenStack Security updates Updates + support Updates + support
Kubernetes Security updates Updates + support Updates + support
KVM/LXD Security updates Updates + support Updates + support
MAAS Security updates Updates + support Updates + support
Price per year
Physical server $225 $750 $1,500
Virtual server $75 $250 $500
Desktop $25 $150 $300

5) Just shut it downOptions for Ubuntu 18.04 EOL

It’s good to take stock of your infrastructure sometimes, especially internal/pet projects that may have been left to languish.

Do you actually still need this infrastructure? Has it been replaced by something better? If so then you can always just shut it down.

 

About Ubuntu 22.04

Ubuntu 22.04 LTS release is supported for 5 years with the end of their standard support in April 2027.

Upgrading from Ubuntu 18.04 to Ubuntu 22.04 should, instantly, speed up your sites/infrastructure if you get it right.

It’s worth considering package changes between operating system versions. Some of the most common are…

  • Apache 2.4.29 -> Apache 2.4.52
  • MySQL 5.7 -> MySQL 8.0
  • PHP  7.2 -> PHP 8.1.2 (default)

More info in the Jammy Jellyfish Release Notes.

Dogsbody have a lot of customers who run Ubuntu 18.04 who we will be advising and helping move to the best option for their business. If you need help on deciding the best route for your upgrade please do contact us.

Dead Flowres

Ubuntu 16.04 End of Life April 2021

On April 2021, Ubuntu 16.04 reaches end of life (EOL); We recommend that you update to Ubuntu 20.04.

Technology and security evolves, new bugs are fixed and new threats prevented, in order to maintain a secure infrastructure it is important to update all software and systems.

Operating systems are key to security, providing the libraries and technologies behind NGINX, Apache and anything else running your application. Old operating systems don’t support the latest technologies, which new releases of software depend on, leading to compatibility issues.

Leaving old Ubuntu 16.04 systems past April 2021 leaves you at risk to:

  • Security vulnerabilities of the system in question
  • Making your network more vulnerable as a whole
  • Software incompatibility
  • Compliance issues (PCI)
  • Poor performance and reliability

Ubuntu End of life dates:

Ubuntu LTS (long term support) operating systems come with a 5 year End Of Life policy. This means that after 5 years it receives no maintenance or security updates.

  • 16.04 : April 2021
  • 18.04 : April 2023
  • 20.04 : April 2025

Faster:

Upgrading from Ubuntu 16.04 to Ubuntu 20.04 will, instantly, speed up your site.

  • Apache 2.4 -> Apache 2.4.41
  • MySQL 5.6 -> MySQL 8.0
  • PHP 7.0 -> PHP 7.3

Still using an old operating system?

Want to upgrade?

Not sure if this effects you?

Drop us a line and see what we can do for you!

How will the Ubuntu 14.04 EOL affect me?

On April 2019, Ubuntu 14.04 reaches end of life (EOL).
We recommend that you update to Ubuntu 18.04.

Over time technology and security evolves, new bugs are fixed and new threats prevented, so in order to maintain a secure infrastructure it is important to keep all software and systems up to date.

Operating systems are key to security, providing the libraries and technologies behind NGINX, Apache and anything else running your application. Old operating systems don’t support the latest technologies which new releases of software depend on, leading to compatibility issues.

Leaving old Ubuntu 14.04 systems past April 2019 leaves you at risk to:

  • Security vulnerabilities of the system in question
  • Making your network more vulnerable as a whole
  • Software incompatibility
  • Compliance issues (PCI)
  • Poor performance and reliability

Ubuntu End of life dates:

Ubuntu LTS (long term support) operating systems come with a 5 year End Of Life policy. This means that after 5 years it receives no maintenance updates including security updates.

  • Ubuntu 14.04 : April 2019
  • Ubuntu 16.04 : April 2021
  • Ubuntu 18.04 : April 2023

Faster:

Just picking up your files and moving them from Ubuntu 14.04 to Ubuntu 18.04 will speed up your site due to the new software.

  • Apache 2.4.7 -> Apache 2.4.29
  • NGINX 1.4.6 -> NGINX 1.14.0
  • MySQL 5.5 -> MySQL 5.7
  • PHP 5.5 -> PHP 7.2

Are you still using an old operating system?

Want to upgrade?

Not sure if this effects you?

Drop us a line and see what we can do for you!

 

Feature image by See1,Do1,Teach1 licensed CC BY 2.0.

Root email notifications with postfix

Now that Ubuntu 18.04 is out and stable, we are busy building servers to the latest and greatest. One of the most important parts of new servers builds is root notifications. This is a common way for the server to contact you if anything goes wrong. Postfix is a popular piece of email software, alternatively you can use exim or sendmail. I will be guiding you through a Postfix install on an Ubuntu 18.04 server.

“I wanna scream and shout and let it all out”.
– will.i.am & Britney Spears

Postfix set up

Install the postfix email software:

sudo apt-get install postfix mailutils

The following screen will pop up. I am setting up a Internet site where email is sent directly using SMTP.

Next enter the server hostname.

If you want to change these settings after the initial install you can with sudo dpkg-reconfigure postfix. There are a number of other prompts for different settings, but I have found the default values are all sensible out of the box.

Now to configure where email notifications are sent to:

sudo vim /etc/aliases

In this file you should already have the “postmaster” alias set to root.  This means that any emails to postmaster are sent on to the root user, making it even more important root emails are seen.

It is good practice to set up a few other common aliases. “admin” and your admin username (In my case this was “ubuntu”).

Finally we need to send root email somewhere.  Your file should end up looking like this…

postmaster: root
admin: root
ubuntu: root
root: replaceme@example.com

Obviously “replaceme@example.com” should be an email address you have access to and check regularly.

These new aliases need to be loaded into the hashed alias database (/etc/aliases.db) with the following command:

sudo newaliases

Finally send an email to the root user (which should be sent onto the email you configured above) testing our setup is working:

echo "Testing my new postfix setup" | mail -s "Test email from `hostname`" root

Sending Problems?

If you have done the above and are still having problems sending email there are two first points of call I would check.

This command shows all queued email that is waiting to be sent out by the server. If an email is stuck it will show up here.

sudo mailq

 

All postfix actions are logged into /var/log/mail.log. You will want to look specifically at the postfix/smtpd messages as that is the process which is talking out of your server to others.

A useful tip for debugging is to use tail -f to monitor a log file for any updates. Then in another terminal session, try to send another email. You can then watch for the corresponding log entries in the original terminal. This way you can be sure which log entries you need to be focusing on.

tail -f /var/log/mail.log

 

Another thing to consider is that your server is part of the bigger internet where spam is a serious issue.

Your servers reputation is important in effecting how email is received, there are technologies you can set up to improve reputation.

Some providers have their own anti-spam protection that could be affecting you such as Google Cloud blocking all traffic on port 25, 465 and 587 & AWS throttling port 25.

Now email is working

Make sure your server scripts and crons are set up to send alerts, and not fail silently. With crons there is a variable to manage this for you, just add MAILTO=root at the top of your cron file.

Lastly, don’t fall victim to alert fatigue. It is easy to send all email to root but this will quickly become tiring. You should only get emails if something goes wrong, or if something needs to be actioned. This way, when a new email comes in you know you need to look at it.

 

Need help setting up email? Struggling with emails failing to send? Want someone else to receive and manage server notifications? Contact us and see how we can help today!

 

Feature image background by tejvan licensed CC BY 2.0.

How will Ubuntu 12.04 end of life affect me?

On April 2017, Ubuntu 12.04 reaches end of life (EOL).
We recommend that you update to Ubuntu 16.04.

Over time technology and security evolves, new bugs are fixed and new threats prevented, so in order to maintain a secure infrastructure it is important to keep all software and systems up to date.

Operating systems are key to security, providing the libraries and technologies behind NGINX, Apache and anything else running your application. Old operating systems don’t support the latest technologies which new releases of software depend on, leading to compatibility issues.

Leaving old Ubuntu 12.04 systems past April 2017 leaves you at risk to:

  • Security vulnerabilities of the system in question
  • Making your network more vulnerable as a whole
  • Software incompatibility
  • Compliance issues (PCI)
  • Poor performance and reliability

Ubuntu End of life dates:

Ubuntu LTS (long term support) operating systems come with a 5 year End Of Life policy. This means that after 5 years it receives no maintenance updates including security updates.

  • Ubuntu 12.04 : April 2017
  • Ubuntu 14.04 : April 2019
  • Ubuntu 16.04 : April 2021

Faster:

Just picking up your files and moving them from Ubuntu 12.04 to Ubuntu 16.04 will speed up your site due to the new software.

  • Apache 2.2 -> Apache 2.4
  • MySQL 5.5 -> MySQL 5.6
  • PHP 5.3 -> PHP 7.0

Are you still using an old operating system?

Want to upgrade?

Not sure if this effects you?

Drop us a line and see what we can do for you!

 

Feature image by See1,Do1,Teach1 licensed CC BY 2.0.