Ubuntu 16.04 reached End-Of-Life (EOL) in April 2021, 18.04 to follow in 2023
In 2021 it was announced that Ubuntu 16.04 will be reaching its End-Of-Life (EOL) on the 30 April 2021, officially entering the Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) stage.
ESM is a special usability program created by Canonical, in which companies can take part if they wish to continue using old OS distributions while also remaining secure in the process.
The news of Ubuntu 16.04 reaching its EOL was quite important as that meant that support for the operating system would cease along with the fact that no more security updates would be rolling out as well. This announcement was quite impactful for all businesses and companies that had applications and websites running on the 16.04 version of the operating system.
If you haven’t yet made the switch and are still using this old Ubuntu version, here is some advice.
Should I move away from Ubuntu 16.04?
Running an outdated and no longer supported operating system can cause major damage in the long run. Because of this, we strongly recommend that you make a switch from the now outdated Ubuntu 16.04 to one of the newer versions of the operating system.
When a given OS reaches its EOL, support for it stops, meaning that any potential existing exploits remain unfixed and unaddressed, which can have a severely negative impact on your application’s security.
Additionally, features also stop being updated and bugs are no longer fixed. Software incompatibility and poor performance are also issues that you will begin to encounter.
Because of this, it is always the best choice to switch to a different operating system as soon as your current one becomes no longer supported.
Keeping that in mind, some good examples of newer Ubuntu releases that you can switch to include Ubuntu 18.04 and Ubuntu 20.04. Both are a good option and will be a great substitution to the outdated 16.04 version.
How do I upgrade to a newer Ubuntu version?
Generally speaking, you have 2 alternatives that you can choose from.
Your first option is to buy a new VPS or Dedicated Server and install the newer Ubuntu version directly onto your server. Then, you will have to configure your existing applications and migrate them along with the data from your old to your newly purchased server.
Afterwards, you will need to swap the IP addresses of your servers accordingly to avoid any potential issues and your new server will be up and running with an updated Ubuntu version.
The second option that you have is to upgrade your existing server and setup. It is much cheaper and substantially easier, but you need to take into account the fact that there will be some downtime for your server, which can potentially influence your customers and users.
Additionally, you will also need to create a full backup of your system, server and database just in case. However, this method is not applicable for OpenVZ-based VPS servers.
IMPORTANT: If you want to upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04, you will need to go through Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) first and then make the switch to Ubuntu 20.04.
How to upgrade from Ubuntu 16.04 to 18.04?
Before you start upgrading your existing installation, please ensure that you have made a full backup of your system data and your database. Next, carefully go through the change log and make sure that you have all required updates already installed on your current Ubuntu version.
The upgrade process itself can be easily done by running the following 2 commands:
sudo apt-get install update-manager-core do-release-upgrade
From here, you just need to simply follow the instructions that will appear on your screen.
How to upgrade from Ubuntu 18.04 to Ubuntu 20.04?
Upgrading from Ubuntu 18.04 to the 20.04 release is quite similar, all you need to do is to just run this command:
sudo do-release-upgrade -d
Now, you just have to follow the instructions again, as you did before when installing Ubuntu 18.04.
What are the EOL dates for Ubuntu 18.04 & 20.04?
The EOL dates for the Ubuntu 18.04 and 20.04 versions are April 2023 and April 2025 respectively.
Seeing as how 2023 is just around the corner, it is advised for you to begin thinking about making the switch from 18.04 to 20.04 as the former version will also become outdated.
If you have a server with us and you would like to update your operating system or are having any problems doing so, please do not hesitate to contact us - our support team will gladly help you out.