Webserver changes summer 2016

This page lists the changes to the webservers of ULYSSIS in the summer of 2016, and how you can prepare for it. If any of these instructions are not clear to you, or if you have some more questions about the change, don't hesitate to e-mail us at

When are the changes planned?

The exact date will still be announced, but are currently planned for the last weekend of July: there will be a downtime on June 25 and 26 when we upgrade all of our servers. After that, we will use the new webserver configuration.

How can I test if my site will still work?

Our new webservers can be directly accessed at the IP address You can see if your site still works on the new servers by changing your hosts file.

Where is the hosts file?

On Windows: if Windows is installed in C:\Windows (the default), this will be C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts.

On Mac OS X: /private/etc/hosts.

On Linux: /etc/hosts.

How should I change the hosts file?

If your website is at and, then you can test if it works by adding the following line to your hosts file:

Make sure that you remove these changes when you're done testing.

If any issues crop up, you can check the logs at /var/log/new_apache_user/username (where username is your username) for hints on what went wrong. Don't worry if you don't find your username listed in the directory /var/log/new_apache_user, it will appear automatically when you enter it. If you found a problem that you can't fix yourself, please do e-mail us at We'd like the transfer to go smoothly for all of our users.

What will change?

The most important changes are the following, click on them or scroll down for more info:

  1. The PHP version will change from 5.5 to 7.0
  2. The OS will be upgraded from Ubuntu 14.04 to 16.04

If you stuck to best practices when working with PHP, and if you have kept everything up to date, your website will in most cases just work.

PHP moving from 5.5 to 7.0

On the new webservers, the PHP version is 7.0, whereas on the old webserver, this was 5.5.

On the website, there are lists of the most important changes from 5.5 to 5.6, and from 5.6 to 7.0.

Notably, php_mysql has been removed. Instead use the php_msqli or the PDO_MySQL extension. If you use a common CMS, like Wordpress or Drupal, that has been updated to the latest version, this will usually pose no issues.