Interest Article

Advisory: Preparing for the server upgrade from Ubuntu 14.04 to 16.04

January 23, 2019

On 30 April 2019, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Long Term Support) will reach End of Life. After this date, no new security updates to the base operating system will be provided. It is therefore of critical importance for the security of all SecureDrop instances to upgrade to the next version of Ubuntu (16.04) before April 30.

SecureDrop servers use Ubuntu 14.04 LTS as the base operating system. Support for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (which will receive security updates until April 2021) is scheduled to be included with the next release of SecureDrop, version 0.12.0, on February 26. The operating system update itself must be performed manually.

We recommend that you plan two working days (after your instance has been updated to SecureDrop 0.12.0) to backup your instance, perform the upgrade, and test your instance once it is upgraded. We recommend scheduling this maintenance window no earlier than March 6.

Anytime before then, we suggest taking some simple preparatory steps to ensure your SecureDrop instance can be upgraded smoothly:

  1. ensure your instance is running the latest version of SecureDrop;

  2. ensure your Admin Workstation and Journalist Workstations are up to date;

  3. delete old submissions and sources, and back up the SecureDrop servers;

  4. verify that you still have SSH access to the servers.

Please see our documentation for detailed instructions for each of these preparatory steps. The workstation update in particular can take significant time if you have not updated your workstations recently.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out:

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