Ubuntu update causes server downtime on Microsoft Azure

Ubuntu developers released a patch for a core component, systemd, morning that caused problems for servers hosted in Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform on Tuesday morning.

The issue was reported by South African Ubuntu user “Pieter” (a.k.a. “diepes”) just before 07:00 on Tuesday.

According to the report, the systemd’s update to version 237–3ubuntu10.54 broke Domain Name System (DNS) functionality, causing connectivity problems for Azure virtual machines.

Microsoft confirmed the issue, stating that reports are confined to Ubuntu 18.04 servers.

Although Ubuntu 18.04 is an older version of the popular Linux-based operating system, it enjoys Long Term Support (LTS) status.

Canonical’s standard support window for Ubuntu 18.04 ends in April 2023. It reaches end-of-life in April 2028.

“If you are not experiencing impact on your Ubuntu 18.04 images, but you have unattended security updates enabled, we recommend you review this setting until the Ubuntu issue is mitigated,” Microsoft advised.

The Ubuntu community has posted several suggested fixes to the problem on the operating system’s bug tracker.

At 13:15, Ubuntu Core Developer Iain Lane posted that he removed the update and restored the versions that were previously in there.

“This won’t help anyone that has already received the broken update — I think the advice there is to restart, or there is a workaround in the [original post] here — but it should prevent any further occurrences,” Lane said.

“Note that there will be a delay of up to an hour or so for mirrors to receive the deletion.”

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Ubuntu update causes server downtime on Microsoft Azure