Upgrade path to go from 2.12.1 to latest version including Windows to Linux migration?

We’re currently running Piwik 2.12.1 on apache 2.2, php 5.4.41 and MySQL 5.1.50, on Windows 2008 R2.

We would like to migrate to a proper Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 sever running apache 2.4, and the latest recommended PHP and MariaDB versions for Piwik.

In the administration interface, I see that the next available update for 2.12.1 is 2.17.1. I also see in the requirements for the latest version (3.x), that we’d need to have PHP 5.5.9, and it’s recommended to go with PHP 7 and MySQL 5.7 (which I believe is the equivalent to MariaDB 10), both of which are not the default versions installed by Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. Technically, the windows to Linux pat is not worrying me too much, it’s rather the change of requirements when going from version to version that does.

I suspect I will have to upgrade in stages one milestone at a time, and somewhere along the lines, upgrade my PHP and MySQL version to match the minimum requirements. If that is so, would anyone have a clear plan I could follow?

From what I have read in this topic I learned a ton of new things.So what i learned is: migrating from one os to an other os is tricky. Upgrading is a good thing to do. Migrating with servers can be difficult. So better be safe than sorry. Make a backup in case that something goes wrong.

can i migrate to a proper Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 from Windows without losing my Piwik and MySQL files ?

First thing you need to pay attention to is your data on hard disk because Linux works with different hard disk formatting than windows which mean your data will be lost during installations and versa versa and that exactly what happened to me when i had to change my computer which was powered on Linux to another PC because the old one was getting really old and slow and it has a millions of my important work data for over 10 years and i was afraid to lose them, so i had to find a way to save them all by one and i found all these services which made more confused but at last i found FriendlySinc for data backup services and advices and it showed me the best provider depends on my data size and for lowest prices. I wish i had this experience with data backup before because i lost some important data on the first Migration to Windows.