If you’re looking to spin up a cloud server for multiple websites and don’t want to pay for CPanel’s management console, VistaCP is just as good for a savvy Linux web admin. It presents handy access to monitoring, firewall, DNS, app configuration, and even includes a link to Softaculous for easy web app installations and backups. Best of all, VestaCP is flexible – we can use it for just about any hosting needs. 

There’s just one caveat: the latest supported version of Ubuntu Linux that VestaCP can be installed on is 18.04. While most of Ubuntu 18.04’s apps are still current enough to be used with most web apps, PHP is a bit of an issue because it’s set at 7.02 when many web apps are transitioning to PHP 8.0 (this includes common ones like your WordPress website ). However, all hope doesn’t get lost here. VestaCP doesn’t need much to support PHP 8.0. There’s two ways you can bring Ubuntu 18.04’s apps up to date. One way is to update whatever individual apps you need, and the other involves upgrading the operating system. 

Method 1 – How To Install PHP 8.0 On Ubuntu Linux Bionic 18.04 with VestaCP

The first method is the easiest and likely the safest: updating PHP individually on Ubuntu 18.04. First, make sure you are logged in as root:

login root

Here are the steps:

1. Make a copy of sources.list:

cp /etc/nano/sources.list ./

2. Open up sources.list with nano:

nano /etc/apt/sources.list

3. Replace every mention of Bionic with Focal:

deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal main restricted universe multiverse
deb-src http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal main restricted universe multiverse

deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ bionic-updates main restricted universe multiverse
deb-src http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ bionic-updates main restricted universe multiverse

4. Refresh your repositories:

apt update

5. Update PHP:

apt install php8.0

6. Remove the new sources.list and replace with the old one:

rm /etc/apt/sources.list

cp sources.list /etc/apt/

7. Update your repositories again:

apt update

Method 2 – How To Upgrade The Ubuntu Bionic 18.04 Operating System To Focal 20.04

If you’re missing more than just the latest version of PHP, another option is to upgrade the operating system. While installing VestaCP’s script on 20.04 produces errors during setup, VestaCP appears to work just fine after a safely played upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04. 

1. Follow steps 1-4 in Method 1. 

2. Upgrade your apps:

apt upgrade

3. Select no to any configuration changes that come up. 

4. Do a distribution upgrade, keeping step 3 in mind:

apt dist-upgrade

5. Reboot


It really is that easy to work with upgrades successfully when you’re using VestaCP from Ubuntu 18.04. It shocked me when I realized how simple this task is! I expected there to be a lot of errors, especially with a skip over 18.10, but it’s smooth sailing as long as you remember to keep your configuration files the same. 

I can help you take your website to the next level. A snappy site is a great site, but a responsive site is even better. Whether you want to build an app from scratch or need hosting services, I am here for you to help manage the project from start to finish. Drop a line by me today to schedule a free consultation that will get you started on knowing what you need to fit your interests and your budget.

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