Upgrading from 12.04 to 14.04

Doug Burks edited this page Jun 16, 2016 · 90 revisions

Please read through this entire page before beginning!


  • We offer no guarantees that this upgrade process will work perfectly.


  • Before upgrading production sensors, you should fully test this upgrade process on test sensors in a test environment that closely matches your production environment.


  • If you are behind a proxy, make sure that you've configured your proxy settings. In the commands below that use sudo, you may need to use sudo -i so that your proxy settings are applied to the sudo environment.

  • The upgrade process will take at least 1-2 hours (per server/sensor), depending on the speed of your server hardware and Internet connection. Please plan accordingly.

  • If you’re upgrading a distributed deployment, you’ll need to perform the steps below on the master server and all sensors, but make sure you start with the master server first!

  • After upgrading the master server, ensure all sensors are upgraded as soon as possible to minimize disruption and/or incompatibility issues. Mixed-release (12.04 + 14.04) environments are currently untested and unsupported.


  • Start with a fully configured Security Onion 12.04 installation.

  • If running in a VM, create a snapshot so that you can revert if necessary.

  • You may want to record a transcript of the full upgrade so you can refer back to it in case of any errors. For more information, please see https://www.debian.org/releases/stable/i386/release-notes/ch-upgrading.en.html#record-session.

  • Ensure all 12.04 updates are installed:
    sudo soup

  • If soup prompted to reboot, go ahead and do that. If it didn’t, go ahead and reboot anyway:
    sudo reboot

  • Review sostat output to make sure system is healthy before continuing:
    sudo sostat

  • IMPORTANT! Backup Bro config since it will be removed when Ubuntu removes the package:

sudo sed -i 's|PREV="2.3.2"|PREV="pre-2.4"|g' /var/lib/dpkg/info/securityonion-bro.preinst
sudo /var/lib/dpkg/info/securityonion-bro.preinst install
  • Verify that Bro config was backed up to /opt/bro/etc_pre-2.4/ (you should have files in this directory):
    ls -alh /opt/bro/etc_pre-2.4/

  • You may want to backup any other files that you've manually modified.


  • Configure Ubuntu to look for the 14.04 upgrade:
    sudo sed -i 's|Prompt=never|Prompt=lts|g' /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades

  • Kill xscreensaver (otherwise, do-release-upgrade in the next step will prompt you to do so):
    sudo pkill xscreensaver

  • Initiate upgrade to Ubuntu 14.04:
    sudo do-release-upgrade

  • Follow the prompts. If you receive a prompt regarding xscreensaver, select OK. You may receive prompts regarding files that have changed like the following:

    file answer
    /etc/sudoers Y
    /etc/apache2/mods-available/ssl.conf Y
    /etc/apache2/apache2.conf Y
    /etc/apache2/ports.conf Y
    /etc/syslog-ng/syslog-ng.conf N
    /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini Y
    /etc/xdg/xdg-xubuntu/menus/xfce-applications.menu Y
  • These are files that Security Onion modifies, and you may receive prompts for additional files that you have modified. The safest option for each of these is to choose to install the package maintainer’s version (Y, where applicable), with the exception of the prompt in regard to syslog-ng.conf. Choosing the installation of the package maintainer's version will back up the existing file in case you need to review it later for any custom modifications you had made.

  • IMPORTANT! If you receive a prompt regarding syslog-ng.conf, press N to keep your currently-installed version.

  • When prompted to restart, press Y to continue.


  • After rebooting, log back in.

  • If running in a VM, perform a snapshot.

  • Open a terminal, and add back our stable PPA:
    sudo apt-get install -y software-properties-common
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:securityonion/stable
    sudo apt-get update

  • Add back any missing Security Onion packages by installing the securityonion-iso metapackage. If you didn't install from our ISO and instead installed from your preferred flavor of Ubuntu and added our PPA and packages, then you may not necessarily need to install the securityonion-iso metapackage. In the command below, you can replace securityonion-iso with the same Security Onion metapackage(s) you originally installed (securityonion-server, securityonion-sensor, securityonion-all, securityonion-elsa, etc).:

    sudo apt-get install securityonion-iso syslog-ng-core

  • IMPORTANT! If you receive a prompt regarding syslog-ng.conf, press N to keep your currently-installed version.

  • If you encounter an error in regard to mod_passenger.so, try disabling the module as follows:
    sudo a2dismod passenger

  • Update all packages that are currently installed:
    sudo soup


  • Review your Snort/Suricata/Bro/other configuration for any local customizations that you may need to re-apply.

  • Clean up old UFW file:
    sudo rm /etc/ufw/applications.d/apache2.2-common

  • Remove any unnecessary packages:
    sudo apt-get autoremove

  • Reboot:
    sudo reboot


  • After rebooting, log back in.

  • Keep in mind that there is a 60 second delay after the system boots before it tries to start any Security Onion processes, so wait a minute or two before continuing.

  • Verify services are running:
    sudo service nsm status

  • If you had created your own ELSA query menu at /var/www/elsa/local.php and it wasn't automatically migrated to /var/www/so/elsa/local.php, then you can copy it:
    sudo cp /var/www/elsa/local.php /var/www/so/elsa/local.php
    You may also need to adjust any links to match the new URL structure. Replace <a href="https://<?php echo $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST']; ?>:3154/? with <a href="/elsa-query/?

  • Run sostat and look for anything out of the ordinary:
    sudo sostat

  • Check log files for anything out of the ordinary.

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