I administer an instance of Confluence 4.2.8 at my work... I've had no formal training with the product, and it's running on a Cent OS box configured by the previous guy (Linux is not my native tongue). I am fairly adapt at these applications, but I'm just looking for some advice.
I did previously do an update from 4.0.0 to 4.2.8, I did a test update after cloning the VM and I successfully updated the version. On the live update, I updated all the plugins, then Confluence to 4.2.8.
However, when going from 4.2.8, can I just go straight from 4.2.8 to 5.1.3, or should I go 4.2.8 to 5.0.0, then 5.1.3, or even include the 4.3.x update?
As Harry said, refer to the upgrade notes.
Here's a few more details:
4.3 was a pretty significant release - so take a look at this to see if anything is relevant to your 4.2 release.
Also - get familiar with the 15 sets of release notes SINCE your current release - valuable reading:
Here's the 4.3 Upgrade notes, and there's some changes to Java and Tomcat supported versions for 5.X - headsup.
Also - take an inventory of your plugins (System Info page in Admin console) and make sure compatible 5.X releases are available - BEFORE the upgrade.
There is nothing more painful for a plugin developer to get the panicked mail from a customer that upgraded without an updated plugin, which they should have checked beforehand!
On path, I would go to 4.3, then perhaps try straight-away to 5.1.3.
Back up your production system and TRY it *first* on staging system - perfect your process, with side notes - then do on production (on a weekend!).
That is proper "best practices" - since finding time-consuming issues in upgrades on production systems straight-away is usually too late. End users are not that compassionate for your woes of a bad upgrade. ;) So mitigate risk all you can with proper planning imho.
(If want help, happy to help you too - firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thanks Ellen, your advice was a little bit more helpful than Harry's (I'd already looked at that document, I was looking for more detailed advice).
In regards to the plugins, I fully understand they need to be updated as well, like I said I have once done a successful update from 4.0 to 4.2.3, during which I updated the plugins.
Out of curiosity regarding the plugins, should I only be updating these out of hours as well, or can I update the plugins on the live server before testing? I will of course update them individually after carefully checking their version support.
I guess it depends on which plugins. I would categorize them on how mature they are maybe? You have been using them a while, and likely have had other updates, so maybe you know?
These days, reliability on the plugins are better - but its always a little unknown on an upgrade if running a number of them.
Get your server upgrade first stable without the plugin complication, imho. Then update them, one by one. If you update all at once, hard to figure out which caused a problem, if any. (Well - then you need to disable one by one - harder to figure out).
Don't mean to over dramatize this part - you might have no challenges with the plugins - just depends - is all.
Ellen has hit the nail exactly on the head with her awesome post.
I just wanted to take a moment to reinforce the message se is giving abotu plugins.
It is best, if possible, to run an update of your plugin in a test environment. Doing any updates on production could result in an outage. While this is unlikely I have seen it in a handful of support cases where a simple plugin update can cause unintended downstream consequences.
A test environment is cheap insurance against any such outages or unintended consequences.
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