Ubuntu Migration Plan


I had just tested the latest commit, and it seemed to work. I got it to install on a clean box, create the admin user, nginx was actually working, and the admin console displayed what it needed to. That was as of 13 December 2018 10PM (Arizona, UTC-7), 14 December 2018 12AM (Washington DC, UTC-5), 14 December 2018 5AM (Greenwich, UTC-0 or UTC).

Now, I cannot confirm I can send/receive mail, but if it does show itself to work, can we actually make that an official release, @JoshData? Is it actually time? :smiley:


Hi, any timetable for the 18.04 release? I want to migrate to a Amazon lightsail box and they only offer 16.04 and 18.04 releases…


It might be awhile until MIAB is ready for prime time on 18.04 @JoshData knows more about that however.

That said if you need something right now that is more urgent, PM me, maybe I can help you step in the right direction.


I’m going to be very busy for about the next month so there’s no particular timeline. But the ubuntu_bionic branch on github is probably working and if you’re willing to help sort out any bugs you encounter while using it, I’d recommend using it for Ubuntu 18.04.


Yes, @slave2anubis, I, and a couple others here have said that the current development build for ubuntu_bionic works. However, in order to make an “official” release, my impression is that there has to be more extensive testing and the maintainer has to be more confident that it works and is tested to make the Ubuntu bionic development build an official release.

However, for reasonable purposes (i.e., non-business critical assets that can survive being corrupted), it is reasonable to try out the Ubuntu bionic release.

As I have said a few times on here, here is the command for getting the development build on your Ubuntu 18.04 box:

$ git clone --single-branch -b ubuntu_bionic --depth=1 https://github.com/mail-in-a-box/mailinabox.git
$ cd mailinabox
# bash setup/start.sh



I’m going to test the 18.04 ubuntu_bionic branch upgrade on my system.

Can someone please point me to the install instructions to test?

My upgrade and test plan (untested instructions):

  • give users plenty of notice of when downtime is.
  • make sure updated to v0.29 of mailinabox.
  • take a snapshot on digital ocean of the mailinabox droplet.
  • convert backups to snapshots on digital ocean for the mailinabox droplet (so they are kept after “rebuild”).
  • make sure backup files are copied offsite and current ( https://mailinabox.email/maintenance.html#moving-boxes ). If you haven’t done a backup restore before, perhaps try restoring them on a separate practice droplet (you should practice restoring anyway!!). If you want to be extra safe do a practice restore anyway.
    And make sure you force a backup locally before you back up the files offsite. So that your backup is current.
cd mailinabox
sudo management/backup.py
  • create a fresh Ubuntu 18.04 install (keeping the same ip, use Droplet -> Destroy -> “Rebuild”. Make sure convert backups to snapshots, and make sure your backup files are current up first!!)
  • On rebuilt fresh install… check out ubuntu_bionic branch of mailinabox git repo, and install mailinabox.
$ git clone --single-branch -b ubuntu_bionic --depth=1 https://github.com/mail-in-a-box/mailinabox.git
$ cd mailinabox
# bash setup/start.sh
$ mv /home/user-data /tmp/user-data.bak
# do restore here...
  • rerun sudo mailinabox now that your old files are back.
  • test system (send/get emails, calendar, admin section, etc). Look at system checks: https://mailinabox.email/guide.html#checks
    You will see this failure message because you are running an unsupported pre-release version of mailinabox.

:heavy_multiplication_x: A new version of Mail-in-a-Box is available. You are running version Unknown. The latest version is v0.29. For upgrade instructions, see https://mailinabox.email.

  • test backup and restore of backup files also works (on a separate droplet).
  • if testing of system fails: restore from digital ocean snapshot.
  • if testing of system passes: make mental note to buy mailinabox people another beverage in the future, and do happy dance.
  • keep snapshot backup around for a few weeks in case something wrong in future is noticed.
  • keep copy of backup files in case need to restore from them again in the future.

Why “rebuild” on Digital Ocean? It keeps the IP address (it took months to gain reputation on the IP).
Your droplet will be rebuilt using your snapshot image, permanently destroying anything currently on the droplet, but keeping the IP address.https://www.digitalocean.com/community/questions/how-can-i-keep-ip-address-of-destroyed-droplet-after-i-recreate-it-using-a-snapshot-from-another-droplet

Note: these are untested instructions. Corrections very welcome!


Mail-in-a-Box version v0.40 and moving to Ubuntu 18.04

Just one minor thing that you did not mention – and most likely should not need to be mentioned, but we all know that not everyone does updates when they are released …

Be sure that you are updated to the current version of MiaB (v 0.29) before you attempt the migration to Ubuntu 18.04. @JoshData noted recently that v 0.28 is also supported though originally he said that v 0.29 was required. I like to err on the side of caution.


Oh, yes. Thanks for that.

Mailinabox and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS - available soon?

Well. The upgrade went well :slight_smile: During the process I updated the upgrade instructions above a couple of times.

I haven’t been able to notice any problems, and I can still send/get email.

/happy dance/ :beers: :coffee: :wine_glass:


Thanks you for posting your experience! I’ll copy your steps into our official upgrade suggestions (once we go live with the new branch). :slight_smile:


How would updating MiaB from the bionic branch be performed after this install?


I installed bionic branch in Oct 2018 to make a non-critical email server. It has performed perfectly ever since. Today I tested migration from this to a new clean 18.04.01 server. I used the work flow suggested above by Illume. Bionic branch and the user-data restore both installed perfectly apart from one little thing. The server now seems to be performing equally well to the previous installation.
The one thing was this, see picture.

Early on I was asked for the main email address but I was unable to select the suggested me@localhost in order to change it. I could only toggle between OK and cancel. I solved the problem in a dirty way by editing questions.sh line 47 to the address I wanted. Is the inability to select the email address field just me not understanding something, or a bug?


@triangledigital Sounds like a bug, but Can’t confirm. I can’t remember needing to change that, because I think it had my email address in there correct (it’s been some days, so my memory could be wrong). Did you try pressing up-arrow-key to get into that edit box? Might be worth submitting an issue: https://github.com/mail-in-a-box/mailinabox/issues


@JoshData, is it possible for us to get a “beta” branch and an “alpha” branch, so we can somewhat lock down working versions of the development version for Ubuntu 18.04?


there is a bionic branch, which is a “working” version for 18.04…

Edit, sorry it was “ubuntu_bionic”

Link: https://github.com/mail-in-a-box/mailinabox/tree/ubuntu_bionic


So where’s the potentially not-working version of ubuntu_bionic?


Can anyone share what the update path looks like from beta to stable? Wil it require complete reinstallation?


I believe @joshdata said that it would be best to do a clean install for the 18.04 branch once it is stable. However I have not been able to locate that comment.


I believe that #4 in this thread may be the message you are referring to…


@alento to be fair, I am legally blind :smile: