Easiest way to upgrade Ubuntu 14.04 to 18.04 for a newbie?

Posted December 10, 2019 8.3k views
NginxUbuntu 18.04

I have Ubuntu 14.04 and Nginx for running several Wordpress and Drupal websites. I was having problems running “sudo apt-get update” and learned that 14.04 is EOL, so I’ve tried to upgrade to 18.04 following, but it doesn’t work, it doesn’t find the appropriate files and it “gives up”.

I’ve read some posts and apparently is pretty frequent to encounter problems during the upgrades between versions, so it’s recommended to move to a new server. I’ve looked at but it looks super complicated for me and I’m afraid I would be blocked as soon as 1 error show up (I have no DevOps knowledge, I’ve just installed everything following the DigitalOcean guides).

Maybe it’s easier to just install a new DigitalOcean image and move my files “manually”? I don’t have any custom stuff, only the things recommended by the DigitalOcean guides to install Wordpress and Drupal. So I guess just by moving the Wordpress/Drupal files and databases to the new server everything could work fine.

Also, I’m using Nginx because it was supposed to run faster than Apache, but ran into several small problems over the years (and there is always more documentation for Apache), so I was thinking of changing to Apache at the same time I upgrade to Ubuntu 18.04. Not sure if it’s a good idea or that would cause a lot of problems.

Sorry for the newbie questions and thanks for your help!

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2 answers

Hi @delvallelajas,

Everything you’ve read is true.

You’ll most surely encounter problems if you start upgrading your Ubuntu directly. Additionally, a jump from 14.04 to 18.04 is a big one.

As for the second suggestion, just creating a new droplet. This is for sure the best option. If you are using the standard stuff the setup wouldn’t take more than a couple of hours. Once you’ve actually completed the setup it would just be a matter of copying the files over.

Regarding your third suggestion, I’m also a bigger fan of Apache than Nginx. I like it that in Apache you have an .htaccess file for every website and you can use it to tweak your settings rather than just doing it directly in the configuration file like in Nginx.

All in all to summarize, I’ll suggest creating a new droplet, installing the services needed for your Application there and then migrating the files over.


Thanks! I will move things to a new droplet then.

Since I’m basically using Wordpress (I will have 3 Wordpress sites in the droplet and 1 Drupal site) with Apache now, do you recommend that I start the droplet with:

A) The Wordpress image (
B) Some other image
C) An “empty” Ubuntu 18.04 droplet (and install manually everything that Wordpress needs)

  • Hi @delvallelajas,

    I’ll recommend using either option A or C. Leave B, there is no point in going to another image only for you to start finding out how this OS works. Unless you want to of course!

    Of A and C, you can choose whichever you like.

    The first one will come with everything installed and ready to go. The third option would allow you to install the services yourself.

    It’s really up to a personal choice.