Ubuntu 22.04 Tutorials

How to Upgrade Ubuntu PHP 7 to 8: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you looking to upgrade Ubuntu PHP 7 to 8? This comprehensive guide provides step-by-step instructions, tips, and best practices to ensure a successful upgrade. Follow this guide to enhance your Ubuntu PHP version, remove old PHP versions, and unlock new features and improvements.

Ubuntu 22.04


Upgrading the PHP version on your Ubuntu system is a crucial step to ensure optimal performance, security, and compatibility with the latest web technologies. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of upgrading Ubuntu PHP 7 to 8, providing you with detailed instructions, valuable insights, and expert tips. Additionally, we will cover the steps to remove old PHP versions from your system.

Understanding the Importance of Upgrading Ubuntu PHP 7 to 8

Upgrading your Ubuntu PHP version is essential for several reasons. PHP 8 brings significant improvements in performance, memory usage, error handling, and new features compared to PHP 7. By upgrading, you can take advantage of these enhancements and ensure your applications are up to date.

Preparing for the Upgrade

Before proceeding with the upgrade, it’s crucial to prepare your system and applications. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Back Up Your Data: Before making any changes, ensure you have a complete backup of your system and all critical data. This precautionary step will protect you from potential data loss or issues during the upgrade process.
  2. Check Application Compatibility: Determine if your applications or websites are using PHP 7. You can check the version of PHP your applications are currently using by creating a PHP info file. Create a new file in your web server’s document root directory with the following content:

Save the file as phpinfo.php and access it through your web browser (e.g., http://localhost/phpinfo.php). Look for the “PHP Version” section to check the current PHP version used by your applications.

If your applications are using PHP 7, you’ll need to modify their configurations to use PHP 8 as the default version.

  1. Check for Old PHP Versions: It’s important to identify and remove any old PHP versions from your system to avoid conflicts during the upgrade. Open the terminal and run the following command to list installed PHP packages:
   dpkg --list | grep '^ii' | grep 'php'

Review the list of installed PHP packages and note down any versions that are not required. You’ll remove these old versions later in the process.

Performing the Upgrade

Once you’ve completed the necessary preparations, it’s time to perform the upgrade. Follow these steps carefully:

  1. Update Your System: Start by updating your Ubuntu system to the latest version. Open the terminal and execute the following command:
   sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

This command will update all installed packages on your system, ensuring you have the latest security patches and bug fixes.

  1. Add PHP 8 Repository: Ubuntu’s default repositories may not have the latest PHP version. To upgrade to PHP 8, you’ll need to add the Ondřej Surý PPA repository. Run the following commands in the terminal:
   sudo apt install software-properties-common
   sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php
   sudo apt update

This adds the repository and updates the package list to include PHP 8.

  1. Upgrade PHP: Once the repository is added, you can proceed with the PHP upgrade. Execute the following command:
   sudo apt install php8.0

This command installs PHP 8.0 and its dependencies. During the installation, you may be prompted to replace some configuration files. Choose the appropriate options based on your requirements.

  1. Verify the Upgrade: After the installation is complete, verify the PHP version by running the following command:
   php -v

This command should display the PHP 8 version information, indicating a successful upgrade.

  1. Remove Old PHP Versions: Now that you have upgraded to PHP 8, it’s time to remove any old PHP versions from your system. Use the following command to remove the unwanted PHP packages:
   sudo apt purge php7.X

Replace 7.X with the version number of the old PHP package you want to remove. Repeat this command for each old PHP version you identified earlier.

Additionally, you can also remove any orphaned packages by running:

   sudo apt autoremove

This command will remove any packages that were automatically installed as dependencies but are no longer needed.

Common Challenges and Troubleshooting

While upgrading Ubuntu PHP 7 to 8 is generally smooth, you may encounter some challenges. Here are a few common issues and their solutions:

  1. Compatibility Issues: If your applications are not fully compatible with PHP 8, you may experience errors or unexpected behavior. Check the application documentation, forums, or reach out to the developers for assistance in resolving compatibility issues.
  2. Extension Incompatibility: Some PHP extensions may not be compatible with PHP 8. If you rely on specific extensions, ensure they are updated to support PHP 8 or seek alternatives.
  3. Configuration Conflicts: During the upgrade, you may encounter conflicts in configuration files. Pay attention to prompts during the installation process and carefully review the changes proposed by the package manager.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I upgrade directly from PHP 5 to PHP 8?

A: No, direct upgrade from PHP 5 to PHP 8 is not possible. You’ll need to first upgrade from PHP 5 to PHP 7 and then proceed with upgrading to PHP 8.

Q: Will upgrading to PHP 8 break my existing applications?

A: Upgrading to PHP 8 may cause compatibility issues with some applications. It’s essential to thoroughly test your applications after the upgrade and address any compatibility concerns.

Q: How can I revert to PHP 7 if I encounter issues with PHP 8?

A: If you face problems after the upgrade, you can reinstall PHP 7 by removing PHP 8 and its dependencies. However, it’s recommended to have a backup of your system before attempting the upgrade.

Q: Are there any performance benefits of upgrading to PHP 8?

A: Yes, PHP 8 brings significant performance improvements compared to previous versions. It introduces the Just-In-Time (JIT) compiler, resulting in faster execution and reduced memory usage.

Q: Can I upgrade PHP on a production server?

A: Upgrading PHP on a production server should be done with caution. It’s recommended to thoroughly test the upgrade on a staging environment first to identify and resolve any compatibility issues before applying the upgrade to a live system.

Q: What are the notable features in PHP 8?

A: PHP 8 introduces several new features, including the JIT compiler, union types, named arguments, attributes, and improvements in error handling and type system.


Upgrading Ubuntu PHP 7 to 8 is a crucial step to enhance your system’s performance, security, and compatibility with the latest web technologies. This comprehensive guide has provided you with step-by-step instructions, valuable insights, and expert tips to ensure a successful upgrade. Remember to back up your data, review application compatibility, and follow the outlined steps carefully. Additionally, don’t forget to remove any old PHP versions to avoid conflicts. Enjoy the benefits of PHP 8 and stay ahead in your web development journey.

I hope this article was helpful! You can find more here: Ubuntu Tutorial Articles

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