How to Migrate from Ubuntu 18.04 to Ubuntu 22.04

4 min read

Support for Ubuntu 18.04 Servers Ends May 1st 2024

Please ensure you migrate your websites to Ubuntu 22.04 (recommended) or 20.04 servers before this date to continue using support.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. How to Upgrade
  3. Vultr: Keep Your Existing Server IPs and Avoid DNS Changes
  4. IMPORTANT: Check Your Websites Before Deleting Your 18.04 Server
  5. PeakFreq Managed Servers
  6. Additional Resources

Introduction

For those of you beginning to migrate from Ubuntu 18.04 servers, our cloning scripts are fully compatible with both the 22.04 and 20.04 stacks. However, as with any migration, please ensure you thoroughly test that all your sites have migrated successfully before deleting your original servers.

Information

Our Ubuntu 22.04 stack comes with some significant upgrades. If you haven't already, we recommend that you read this article:
The Ubuntu 22.04 Stack Feature Updates

How to Upgrade

The easiest way to move your websites is to create a brand new server and then use our full server clone functionality to clone all of your websites in one go. Details on this feature can be found here:

Cloning One Entire Server to Another

Important: Unfortunately, it’s not possible to support upgrading a server’s OS. This is not the straightforward process that it appears to be on the surface, and it can’t simply be automated. Each stack is built specifically to be compatible with each version of the Ubuntu OS and the different software/packages/modules that support it. This means you need a new 22.04 server.

Vultr: Keep Your Existing Server IPs and Avoid DNS Changes

Vultr allows you to convert your existing server IP addresses into “reserved” IP addresses (commonly known as floating IPs). This can potentially save you a great deal of time, and Vultr outlines the process in the following article – but please ensure you follow the guidance immediately below before deleting existing servers:

Vultr: Convert an Existing IP to Reserved

IMPORTANT: Check Your Websites Before Deleting Your 18.04 Server

Our cloning tool is extremely reliable and will work without issue for almost all websites. However, no matter how reliable, you must always check your websites to confirm that they have been cloned successfully. You can do this via a local host redirect as detailed here before changing DNS / moving your floating IP address:

How can I edit my local hosts file to redirect URLs

PeakFreq Managed Servers

Our PeakFreq-managed servers are also an option we’ve received a lot of inquiries about. This is also now available to everyone by making a deposit, and all PeakFreq servers run Ubuntu 22.04. You can learn more about PeakFreq here:

Additional Resources

If you don’t already have a DNS management strategy in place for your hosting clients, now is an excellent time to implement one.

Q&A

Yes, assuming your servers are all properly sized, and your website databases don’t have any serious issues.

If you’re running a full server-to-server clone, you will also be able to use remote backups from alternative sources for any that don’t play nice for any reason.

Easily Deploy a GridPane WordPress Site

And these articles will help you get started customizing your settings for even quicker deployments:

New WordPress Website Build Configuration Settings

Using Default WordPress Admin Settings to deploy GridPane sites

New Website Checklists

There are numerous reasons why support for new OS versions takes some time. For example, we were waiting for specific Nginx updates before we released the 20.04 stack, and then ultimately ended up building those ourselves.

Here’s a rundown of the different factors:

  • Different packages/modules that we require are not immediately supported by their respective developers, and we need to either wait for their updates to support them or build what we need ourselves.
  • Each new stack contains new features, and these take time to build, iterate on, guard against user error, and ensure backward compatibility with earlier stacks.
  • Existing features may require adjustments to be compatible with the new OS and/or new features.
  • The cloning tools need to be fully compatible with 18.04 and 20.04.
  • A massive amount of time-consuming, internal testing before the beta release.

Future stacks will continue to build upon the previous ones, and these may not always have such huge changes like the new system user functionality and directory structures, but we will always be at the mercy of the 3rd party packages we use, which can take 6-9 months or more to come out after the LTS release date.