Change in supported distributions: housekeeping announcement

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Change in supported distributions: housekeeping announcement

Many dependencies for Kopano Core have seen a lot of change recently, so we are updating some of these dependencies to stay with the times.

The new release of Kopano Core will drop support for php5, python2, Ubuntu 14.04, and more. Many people will not be affected by this at all, but if your Kopano installation is running on an older system, you may have to upgrade / update some things. Read on to find out if the new changes will affect you.

With the release of Kopano Core 8.7

Kopano supports the most recent and second most recent version of the LTS releases of Ubuntu (see Kopano Support Lifecycle document). With Ubuntu 18.04 available for some months already, support for Ubuntu 14.04 will be dropped with the release of Kopano Core 8.7. The last final 8.6 packages for Ubuntu 14.04 will remain available in the repositories for some time, to ensure they can still be used with your current installations. For new Ubuntu based installations we recommend that you use Ubuntu 18.04.

More changes coming with Kopano Core 8.8 – PHP 7 & Python 3

Ubuntu 16.04 was introduced a few years back, and this was also the start of support for PHP 7 in Kopano. The difference between the ‘old’ PHP 5 and the ‘new’ PHP 7 was big – so big that the support for both versions required a duplication of the code base. There have been many improvements in PHP 7 and these were also to the benefit of Kopano. Not only in terms of new ‘features’, but performance gains as well.

Active support for PHP 5.6 ended in 2017 and security support for this branch of PHP will be dropped at the end of this year (http://php.net/supported-versions.php). At the end of 2018, Kopano will also drop support for PHP 5, including the versions of the distributions that depend on this particular version of PHP. For distributions that are still officially supported, we are working on providing more recent versions of PHP packages. For RHEL, this could mean that Remi would be introduced as a dependency.

These distributions still depend on PHP 5.x:

  • Debian 8 and Univention 4.2
  • Redhat Enterprise Linux 6
  • Redhat Enterprise Linux 7
  • Suse Linux Enterprise Server 12

As mentioned, we will introduce support for the Remi repositories for RHEL 7. SLES 12 provides a PHP 7 based repository in the Web Scripting module, which is already supported.

We’ll also introduce Python 3 as a new dependency, as it has gained massive adoption and many distributions such as Ubuntu switched to Python 3 as the default.

The switch to PHP 7 and Python 3 allows us to provide a higher quality code base as well as utilize more modern functional and technological approaches provided by each language framework – resulting in even more stable and  better performing communication products.

Why are we recommending Remi Repositories?

Remi is a widely used third-party repository that provides the latest versions of the PHP stack and some other related software to users of Fedora and Enterprise Linux (EL) distributions such as RHEL, CentOS, Oracle, Scientific Linux and more. Remi repo is very stable, free and popular. Remi repo is maintained by Remi Collet, a senior software engineer from Red Hat in France with large support from the community. We’ll be using the “-safe” series of Remi’s repositories to ensure that nothing from the base EL7 distro is overwritten or replaced. For more information in Remi repositories, please check out the FAQ page: https://blog.remirepo.net/pages/English-FAQ

Important notice: It is required to use REMI repository along with EPEL repository, otherwise you may end up with dependency problems in many cases.

Need to migrate? Plan ahead

Of course there is time to update or migrate from existing distributions to ones that match the requirements. And even when we stop supporting your current operating system that does not mean the software will stop working – but it does mean we will no longer build packages for those distributions. In most cases (due to other changes in the background – such as the use of more modern C++ versions) we will no longer be able to build those packages for you. This means that you will no longer benefit from feature development, bug fixes and security fixes – so it is important to have a plan in place to ensure your continued access to updates and upgrades of Kopano.

The following distributions will continue to be supported with Kopano Core 8.8:

  • Ubuntu 16.04 and 18.04
  • Debian 9
  • Redhat Enterprise Linux 7 (with the Remi builds)
  • CentOS 7 (with the Remi builds)
  • Suse Linux Enterprise Server 12 and 15
  • Univention 4.3

If you are running a different distribution (version), please update/upgrade to one of the distributions in the list above.

 

Bob Huisman
Bob Huisman

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