Supported Ubuntu versions, and how much freedom do I have for updates?


I’m about to fire up Mail-in-a-Box on a server and have a few questions before getting started.

[1] I initially started up a clean Ubuntu 20.04 LTS server to use for Mail-in-a-Box, seeing as that’s the most recent LTS release. However, when I ran the setup script for Mail-in-a-Box, I discovered that I needed to be running either Ubuntu 14.04 (odd…since that’s been deprecated for 3 years unless you have an ESM subscription), or 18.04 (again, only 1 more year of support without ESM). I figured 20.04 would be safely supported since 22.04 must be right around the corner. But apparently not.

Is my best bet to hold off on building a Mail-in-a-Box mail server until 22.04 is released and supported by Mail-in-a-Box? Or should I go with 18.04 for now and start building right away?

Will Mail-in-a-Box be supported on Ubuntu 22.04 fairly soon after 22.04 is released?

If I do go with 18.04, does the Mail-in-a-Box upgrade scripts ever include distribution upgrades as well, to make this truly an “appliance” type application? Say for example, going from Mail-in-a-Box version 50 to 51 also upgrades Ubuntu from 18.04 to 22.04 as part of the process.

[2] Mail-in-a-Box seems to be a fairly zero-touch application as far as actual changes to the server via SSH are concerned. Therefore, how safe is it to be connecting to a Mail-in-a-Box server and running, say, apt-get update / apt-get dist-upgrade or apt-get upgrade? If one of the packages that gets upgraded is, for example, Postfix, Dovecot, or nginx, is this the end of the world for Mail-in-a-Box and I should only be performing updates to the server by running the upgrade script to newer versions of Mail-in-a-Box? Or is it perfectly safe for me to be performing regular server updates in between Mail-in-a-Box releases?


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Currently, MiaB runs on ubuntu 18.04 as an almost zero touch application.

Within an ubuntu release, they won’t change anything to working applications, so apt-get update etc works (and is necessary to run a stable system.

Probably the next upgrade will be to 22.04. The last time, 't was: making a backup of the old system, do a reinstall of the base system to 22.04 and restore the backup.

As far as I know, it’s save to run regular server updates in between MiaB upgrades. I’m running that for years now

Start with 18.04 and just try. It’s save, stable and it acts as required

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As another has already replied 18.04 LTS is required for new installs of MIAB. This Ubuntu release is supported for a while yet. Later releases are not usable with MIAB.

At some point I believe the plan is for MIAB to move to Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

See pull request in development for 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish

MIAB version upgrades do not include the Ubuntu distribution which you will keep up to date separately with apt-get etc.

See the maintenance guide for instructions.

As another poster has said, there is likely to be a back up and restore required to move to a new distribution version. I would guess it would follow a similar procedure to the move from 14.04 to 18.04

MIAB is not a ‘zero touch’ appliance but it has proven very stable and easy to maintain. Suitable for production use in my option certainly.

Check also Power MiaB. It’s a fork of MiaB and works with 20.04:

I have been running both. Everything ok.

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