NethServer 7 migration#

Migration is the process to convert a NethServer 7 machine (source NS7) into a NethServer 8 (destination NS8).

Before starting you will need:

Also check the following requirements:

  1. The NS8 cluster VPN address must be resolved correctly by NS7 and the VPN port must not be blocked by intermediate network appliances. The VPN address and port were configured during the cluster creation: by default the address is the leader node FQDN and the port number is 55820.

  2. If NS7 is connected to an external account provider, you must configure NS8 with the same account provider, as explained in Account provider.

  3. You must be granted access to your authoritative DNS server. Applications in NS8 have a dedicated virtual host name, a FQDN that must be registered in the DNS. You will need to add or change a DNS CNAME for each of them.

  4. The nethforge repository must be enabled in NS8 to migrate SOGo.

Connect to NS8#

The migration procedure will add NS7 as special node of the NethServer 8 cluster.

  1. Install the migration tool on the source machine. Access Cockpit on the source server and install “Migration to NS8” from the Software Center.

  2. Open the just installed NS8 migration application.

  3. Connect the NethServer 7 server to an existing new NethServer 8 cluster by entering the following fields:

    • NS8 leader node: the host name or IP address of NethServer 8 cluster leader node

    • NS8 admin username and NS8 admin password: administrator credentials for the leader node. As a best practice, create a dedicated user from the Administrators page and delete the user once the migration has been completed. Please note that the user must have 2FA disabled.

    • uncheck the TLS validation option if the leader node does not have a valid TLS certificate

  4. Click the Connect button.

Migrate an application#

The web interface will display the list of all applications installed inside NethServer 7.


If NS7 has a remote account provider and an error message is displayed instead, see Account provider.

  1. Choose an application and click on the Start migration button. In this phase the migration process will install the application into the NethServer 8 cluster and start the first data synchronization. If the NethServer 8 cluster is composed by 2 or more nodes, you will be asked to select a destination node.

  2. Click the Sync data button multiple time to keep in sync the application data between NethServer 7 and NethServer 8. If something goes wrong at this point, click the Abort migration button to remove the NS8 application instance and start over with it.

  3. When you are ready for the final migration, click the Finish migration button. If the migrated application requires extra parameters, the system will display a dialog box before proceeding.

Please note that most web application will need a dedicated FQDN (virtual host) after finishing the migration. Make sure the DNS record points to the NS8 node. In NS8, you can still configure custom HTTP routes for the migrated applications.

At the end of each application migration the following happens:

  • The application in NS8 is configured and started with the migrated data.

  • The application in NS7 is stopped and disabled.

  • The migration tool configures an HTML page with a link pointing to the new application virtual host name served by NS8. End-users will see that link instead of the old application. See also Manual HTTP routes.

  • If the NS7 application was connected to the local account provider, the NS8 application still uses it, through a temporary external account provider and the cluster VPN. See Account provider for more information.

As alternative, the migration of an application can be skipped with the Skip migration button.

Complete the migration#

When the account provider is finally migrated, the migration procedure disconnects NS7 from the NS8 cluster and the initial connection page appears again.

If NS7 needs to use NS8 as remote account provider, read carefully the section Account provider.


  • The migration tool UI has a Logs page for reading /var/log/ns8-migration.log contents. The migration procedure of each application sends a trace of its activity to that file.

  • Furthermore, when joining/leaving the NS8 cluster and when NS7 services are modified, some information can be recorded by /var/log/messages as usual.

  • On the NS8 side, the application log contains the trace of the import-module activity.

Account provider#

Your action is required if the NS7 system is configured with a remote account provider. The migration tool expects to find in NS8 an external user domain matching the BaseDN value of the remote account provider. For example, in NS7 under the Users & Groups page, look at the Account provider details: if the BaseDN value is dc=directory,dc=nh, then the NS8 external user domain name must be set to directory.nh. Apart from the matching name, the external user domain of NS8 must point to the same LDAP database of NS7 (regardless its implementation). Bear in mind that every node of the NS8 cluster must reach the same LDAP database, now and in the future.

On the contrary, if the NS7 system is configured with a local account provider, ensure that its BaseDN does not match any NS8 user domain name. After connecting to the NS8 cluster, a temporary external user domain is created so that migrated applications can access the NS7 local account provider until it is migrated, too. The local account provider is migrated at the end of the procedure: at that point the temporary external user domain is automatically removed.

Refer to the next sections for specific information about the local account provider migration.

Samba DC#

Complete the DC migration by clicking the Finish migration button. The procedure asks to select an IP address: it will become the IP of the destination DC.


Windows clients might not know how to reach the new DC

  1. If DNS configuration of Windows clients is controlled by a DHCP server, set the NS8 DC IP address as the new DNS server.

  2. If Windows clients use an external DNS, it must be configured to forward the requests for the Active Directory DNS zone to the NS8 DC IP address.

  3. If Windows clients have a manual DNS configuration and use the NS7 DC IP address as DNS and authentication server, consider to transfer the NS7 DC IP address to the NS8 DC.

In the last case, transferring the IP avoids the reconfiguration of DNS settings for each Windows client. This can be preferable over an external DNS server, if it blocks dynamic DNS update requests (DDNS).

To transfer the source DC IP address to the destination DC some steps must be done manually after the migration has completed.

  1. Check the migration of accounts was successful. Users and groups must be listed correctly under Domains and users page.

  2. At the end of the migration the source DC IP address is free and can be assigned to the destination node. Refer to the node operating system documentation to assign a secondary (alias) IP address to the destination node.

  3. Change the IP address of the DC. For example, if DC instance is samba1 and the new IP is, run the following command:

    api-cli run module/samba1/set-ip-address --data '{"ipaddress":""}'

The NS8 Samba DC can be configured as external account provider for NS7. Bear in mind that NS7 must be able to access the IP address the Samba account provider is bound to. This configuration could be useful if you have modules still running on NS7 that require access to the account provider.

Password expiration settings are preserved during the migration. The password strength policy, if enabled, is converted for compliancy with Windows 2003+ server complexity requirements [1] and is enforced for future password changes. See also Password policy.


Complete the OpenLDAP migration by clicking on the Finish migration button.


The OpenLDAP instance running in NS8 is currently not accessible as external account provider for NS7 and other network devices.

Password policy settings (strength and expiration) are not migrated. They must be enabled under the domain settings of the Domains and users page. See also Password policy.


The Migration Procedure preserves both data and configurations of NS7 Email application, unless stated differently in this section or in Configurations excluded from migration.

Mail messages are copied to NS8 with Rsync. After Finish migration is clicked, some time-consuming operations are executed.

  • IMAP ACL Format Conversion: The user and group name format in IMAP ACLs is modified by removing the domain suffix. For example, an ACL entry referring to IMAP user becomes john.doe. IMAP login still accepts both formats.

  • Quota Recalculation: If IMAP quota is enabled, mailbox sizes are recalculated in the background. During this time, disk usage of mailboxes might not be available.

  • Messages and Attachments Reindexing: The full-text search engine of NS8 runs in the background to reindex all messages and attachments. During this time, full-text searches might not work. To check if the reindexing process is still running, use the command pgrep dovecot-index.

Remember to update the DNS records or transfer the IP address to the NS8 node at the end of the migration.

Smart host#

The NS7 system smart host configuration is converted to a default relay rule. The NS8 Mail application is then configured as the SMTP server for every application in the cluster: see Email notifications.

POP3 connector#

The migration involves transferring POP3 Connector settings to NS8 Imapsync module, together with Email application. Configurations of accounts using the IMAP protocol are translated to working Imapsync tasks. For accounts using POP3, it is necessary to review the settings and commence synchronization manually.

Manual HTTP routes#

In NethServer 7, most web applications were accessible using path-style routes. As an example, given a server named the WebTop installation was available at

On the other side, when the application is migrated you will be asked to enter a FQDN so WebTop will be available on a URL like

If you have already migrated the FQDN DNS record to the new server, you can also manually recreate the old HTTP routes from the proxy page.

Example for adding WebTop routes:

  1. open the HTTP routes section from the Settings page

  2. click on the Webtop instance name, like webtop1, a modal dialog will show the route details

  3. copy the value from the URL field, like

  4. click on the Create route button

  5. choose a Name for the root and select the Node where the WebTop instance is running

  6. paste the value copied before ( inside the URL field

  7. leave the Host field empty and enter /webtop inside the Path field

  8. repeat steps from 4 to 7 for all other WebTop routes:

    • /Microsoft-Server-ActiveSync

    • /.well-known

    • /webtop-dav

Configurations excluded from migration#

The following configurations will not be migrated:

  • Custom templates.

  • Account provider password policy settings (see Account provider).

  • System smart host, if the NS7 Email app is not installed or is not migrated.

  • In NS7 Email app, the setting Forward a copy of all messages, formerly known as Always send a copy (Bcc), is not migrated.