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Share your upgrade process tips/tricks

So I am a bit new to upgrading our Jira Service Desk instance and I struggle immensely with getting Jira to boot back up successfully. Below are the steps I follow, please let me know it can be improved and please share your tips/tricks in where to look/what to look for when troubleshooting Jira not starting back up after the upgrade.


  1. Take snapshot of VM
  2. Run update check
  3. Update all apps
  4. Clean up Temp/Log folder
  5. Run upgrade installer
  6. Delete hidden plugin cache folders(.bundled-plugin and .osgi-plugin) folders
  7. I normally make a copy of the original file and and add an underscore at the end of the name, then copy over the modified file so I know which files were modified easily. I use FarManager to browse the backup archive/main Jira folders. Normally the files that are modified (FOR ME) are:
    1. Server.xml
    2. Web.xml
    3. Robots.txt
    4. email-template-id-mappings.xml

    5. Outlook-email.translations



Looks like a good process to me.

One trick on item 7 though - before stopping Jira to run the installer over it, visit the system information page, there is a section in there for "modified files" which will list all the files the installer is going to overwrite.

For troubleshooting after upgrade, your cleaning of the log directory is great because you know the logs in there are being generated by the upgrade and restart.  As with any troubleshooting in Jira, the application log in there is the immediate starting point! 

Remember that the installer upgrade replaces files, but the upgrade process will need to do the data when the new version starts.  You'll find it throws lots of "upgrading X" messages into the log as it runs, but worryingly appears to pause in some places (usually database changes to large tables), while the disk, cpu and memory don't seem to be being used much and some people get concerned and stop and restart it.  Avoid doing that - if it's going to fail the upgrade, it will chuck a message into the log when it goes wrong.

You can also improve the speed of the upgrade by disabling the automatic re-index - this is most useful if you are upgrading apps because you are going to want to re-index after updating (or possibly reconfiguring) apps, so there's no point doing it part way through the upgrade as well.   Add "upgrade.reindex.allowed=false" to the file <jira home> (you may have to create that file, a default install of Jira doesn't have it)

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Yea, I saw the section for modified files there. It also showed right before you click Next to proceed with upgrading when it scans for modified files so I just take a screenshot of it. I just upgraded from 8.7.1 to 8.9.1 last night and Jira eventually booted up but it just take a VERY long time and eventually it kept timing out. Tomcat shows the error: java.lang.OutOfMemoryError: GC overhead limit exceeded, some Googling just referred to not having enough memory or need to set the Xm parameters higher but I never had a problem not enough memory.. I feel like every time I do an upgrade, I have issues getting it to start successfully when I follow the same exact process...

One trick I've done on occasion. After you run the upgrade start jira up the first time in "safe mode" with Addons disabled. Let jira do its own work and come up without having to deal with the addons. Particularly with the ones that you will need to upgrade after you do the jira upgrade. You can do so in a more controlled manner, and avoid some scary looking errors.

Like Stephen Garber likes this


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