Ubuntu 10.04.4 (LTS) Desktop and Server editions were released on February 16, 2012. This very popular and stable release was installed on thousands of computers around the world. The Desktop edition reached End Of Life (EOL) on May 9, 2013, but the Server edition is supported until April 2015. See https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Releases. With the EOL date quickly approaching, Ubuntu 10.04.4 is still running on many servers across the Internet. Is yours one of them?
After reaching EOL, a release no longer receives security or bug fixes from Canonical. That leaves computers which continue to run the EOL release vulnerable to any new security flaws which are subsequently discovered. With the recent rash of problems like Heartbleed, Poodle, and Shellshock, the need to keep your server up to date is clear.
Canonical provides an upgrade path between LTS (long term support) releases. For a server running 10.04.4, the upgrade path would be to 12.04. Performing this upgrade can be a simple process:
sudo apt-get update ;update available packages
sudo apt-get upgrade ;run the update on the current release
sudo apt-get install update-manager-core ;install the upgrade tool if needed
do-release-upgrade ;perform the upgrade
This process does not always go smoothly however, and can result in a server that won’t boot. Before attempting the upgrade, be sure that you have a reliable backup of all your server’s important data such as website content, databases, email and configuration files. If the upgrade process fails, you’ll at least then be able to restore the data to a working machine.
A far less risky strategy is to install a more recent operating system such as Ubuntu 14.04 onto a separate server, and then copy over the content from your old server. There are usually bugs to work out such as incompatibilities between versions of Apache, PHP or MySQL for example. It’s much less stressful to solve these problems on a separate test server than it is to solve them on a production server which was broken by a failed release upgrade.
Take the time now to plan your upgrade strategy and to verify that your backups are working. Pantek has performed operating system upgrades for many happy clients and we’d like to schedule yours before the upcoming April 2015 EOL date arrives. Don’t wait until the last minute.. call us now!