Am I going the correct route in using Docker to run very old Joomla/PHP?

I’ve been having a hell of a time trying to get a client’s old Joomla website up and running on a different server while I finish developing the updated version of the site as their webmaster is retiring. He is running Joomla 1.5.23 and using PHP 5.4.13 with MariaDB and Apache all managed by an old version of Plesk. Unfortunately there are no official images I can snag from and it seems I need to build from ground 0.

I’m no PHP dev and never used Apache. I’m a JS dev that uses Nginx. So, I decided to try and run a Plesk droplet on DO and see if I could get the old version of PHP working on it for an easy copy paste of the static files and import of the DB. Unfortunately, I can’t get PHP 5.4 to be a selectable option on Plesk and have wasted weeks on this now.

I’ve read that getting this stack working on Ubuntu 18.04 isn’t viable. So, I was thinking of grabbing an old Ubuntu 12.04 image and trying to set it up that way. Install an old archived version of Xampp that runs PHP 5.4.13 and install the old archived version of Joomla 1.5.23. Then use Nginx to proxy the container on a newer Ubuntu server.

I’m just worried about running down another rabbit hole as I don’t have much time left before the old webmaster shuts things down. Any advice would be wonderful.

Is it a requirement that it needs to be ubuntu?

Because there is a php apache image running 5.4.32-apache and an example on how to use the apache variant on: Docker Hub

There is also an ubuntu:12.04 image, but i think you will use alot of time getting that working with everything.