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How to upgrade SPIP

November 2003 — updated on : 13 November

All the versions of this article:

Upgrading SPIP to a newer version is very simple. Nonetheless, we offer the procedure below as a way to ensure that you avoid any obvious errors.

The following procedure may seem overly complicated, but we have deliberately used as much detail as possible to help you avoid any errors. In practice, upgrading SPIP is quite simple and can be carried out in a few minutes.

Understand the version numbering

A version number of SPIP is always written in the form X.Y.Z. For example, 3.0.11. Three types of updates may be distinguished:

  1. A major update where the X changes (for example from SPIP 2.1.28 to 3.0.0)
  2. A minor update where the Y changes (for example from SPIP 3.0.11 to SPIP 3.1.0) ;
  3. A maintenance update (or micro update) where only the Z changes.

When a new version is published every user will see a message at the bottom of the backend pages informing him of the availability of this version. This announcement depends on the type of update:

  • major or minor version: the message "A new version SPIP X.Y.Z is available" is displayed;
  • maintenance update: the message "the update X.Y.Z of SPIP is available" is displayed.

The major updates of SPIP are documented in dedicated articles:

Proceed to a maintenance update ( for example from SPIP3.0.19 to SPIP 3.0.20) is very simple and you are advised to proceed regurlarly to these updates.

1. Backup your database.

Before doing any significant modification to an information processing system, you should always make a backup as a precaution.

Note: this is only a precaution, but still a wise one. You are not obliged to do it, and the backup file will probably not be used for anything since the upgrade proceeds is most likely to complete without any problems at all!

The procedure is explained fully in this article: "Backing up your data".

2. Update your plugins

Go to the page "Plugins management" (under the menu "Configuration") and below the list of plugins select "tick the updates" then click on "Apply".

3. Install the new version of SPIP

The easiest method is to use "spip_loader" which installs automatically the files. This article shows you the steps to follow :Utiliser le spip_loader (not translated) The other method consists to download the last SPIP version, unzip it in your local hard disk and then to send all the files via FTP to your host. Downloading SPIP

The actual upgrade starts here.

4. Start the update of your database

Once all the new files have been installed (by FTP, or automatically with "spip_loader"), return to the private area of your site.

Note: make sure you wait until all the files are completely installed. If you try to intervene on your site during the file transfer, you will obtain incoherent results.

In your private area, you will see a message (which varies depending on the version jump you are performing) of the type: "Technical Message: the upgrade procedure should be run to adapt the database to the new version of SPIP. If you are a site administrator, please click on this link".

As an administrator, follow the link to begin the update of the SPIP database. An FTP authentication screen will be displayed, similar to the backup procedure referred to above. This is intended to safeguard the database.

As for the backup, copy the name indicated by this screen and, using your FTP client, create a new directory or file in the tmp directory, unless you have a special configuration (prior to SPIP 1.9 this was the "ecrire/data" directory) with the name you have just copied. Your new folder will be of the form "admin_xxxxx".

Click on the "reload this page" button and the database will be updated, after which you will be returned to the private area.

That’s it, the upgrade is complete.

Allow us to repeat our warning, because it is a classic error: Do not restore the database from the backup made earlier. This backup now corresponds to an old database structure, so it is now unusable with your current system. If the operation proceeded correctly, you may even destroy this old backup.

In the event of snags!

-  In certain places of the private area (and sometimes on the public site), I obtain error messages such as "file not found", "file missing", or other messages indicating an incomplete or missing file.

There may have been problems transferring your files via FTP. Using your FTP client, check the sizes of the affected files; in particular, if a file has a size of 0 KB, reinstall the file.

-  I obtain many error messages.

Again reinstall all of the files via FTP - some of them may have been omitted in the transfer process.

-  My site almost functions correctly, but certain functions do not work, the authors encounter problems whereas administrators do not, etc.

Check the SPIP user’s mailing list. First off, consult the list archives to see whether your problem has been encountered already.

If not, send precise details of your problem to the list, including the following details: which host, version upgraded from/to; do not forget to mention if this problem existed in the previous version. If your problem is a new bug, the developers will work quickly to try to resolve it.

Some additional useful links (in French):
-  Updating your SPIP site


Remember to also check the compatibility of the other contributions and plugins that you use to make sure they work with the new version of SPIP. Where necessary, get the new versions of those plugins and update them too when necessary.

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