Upcoming Kibana releases to run Node.js 18


Kibana® is built on top of the Node.js framework. To ensure stability and longevity of each Kibana release, we always keep the bundled Node.js binary up to date with the latest Long Term Support (LTS) version.

When Node.js version 18 got elevated to LTS, we started the work of upgrading Kibana to this major version.

The challenge

We quickly discovered that Node.js 18 dropped support for certain older Linux distributions that are still part of the Kibana support matrix — most notably, Ubuntu 16, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7, and CentOS 7.

The technical reason is that Node.js 18 is now compiled against a newer version of the GNU C Library (glibc) — specifically, version 2.28 — which these older distributions do not support.

To ensure continued support of those Linux distributions, we needed to build a custom version of Node.js for Linux against the older 2.17 version of glibc. This has unfortunately delayed Kibana’s upgrade to Node.js 18. In addition, the Node.js project announced that it would bring forward the End-of-Life (EoL) date for Node.js 16 — the LTS version of Node.js on which Kibana currently runs — to September 11, 2023. The EoL date comes 7 months earlier than the original date, after which it will no longer receive any bug fixes or security patches.

The solution

Here’s the good news: we have finalized our work on the custom build of Node.js and the upcoming Kibana 8.10.0 and 7.17.13 will both ship with Node.js 18. Similar to our previous Node.js upgrades, this will be completely transparent to users and those running and deploying Kibana in production.

Additionally, we are working on making our custom build of Node.js available to be used by any project via the nodejs/unofficial-builds repository on GitHub. Stay tuned for details.

Operating system support

If you have an extended support contract with your operating system vendor, this does not apply to the non-proprietary software that is required to run on it. We advise customers running on the following Linux distributions to plan to migrate to a newer version that supports glibc v2.28+, move to Elastic Cloud, or run Kibana using a Docker image:

  • CentOS/RHEL 7
  • Oracle Enterprise Linux 7
  • Ubuntu 16.04
  • SLES 12
  • Debian 8
  • Debian 9

We advise customers running on the following Linux distributions to apply a minor upgrade to achieve glibc v2.28+ support:

  • Ubuntu 18.04 — Upgrade to Ubuntu 18.10
  • Ubuntu 20.04 — Upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04.5
  • OpenSUSE 15 — Upgrade to OpenSUSE 15.4
  • Amazon Linux 2 — Upgrade to Amazon Linux 2022

And finally, remember to keep your Elastic® cluster up to date with new releases to ensure you get the benefit of the latest bug fixes and security updates.

The release and timing of any features or functionality described in this post remain at Elastic's sole discretion. Any features or functionality not currently available may not be delivered on time or at all.