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How to update to the latest version of phpBB3

Description: Information on the various ways to update your board.

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[url=https://www.phpbb.com/support/docs/en/3.0/kb/article/how-to-update-to-the-latest-version-of-phpbb3/]Knowledge Base - How to update to the latest version of phpBB3[/url]

How do you update phpBB3 to the latest version?
It's very important to stay up to date. Not only do you get bugs fixed, but most importantly you get any necessary security fixes. Even though phpBB3 has had a proper paid security audit performed during the development, there are still possibilities that security breaches can be found and exploited. These are always fixed as quickly as possible and an update released. Furthermore, strictly speaking, we can only support the current version. This article explains the various options open to you for updating your board.

It should be noted that your users, posts, PMs etc will all be safe. They are in the database and you are primarily updating the files.

You should also back up your files and database before you begin. Download the forum folder to your computer and use the backup function in the administration control panel>maintenance tab to get the database.

I have a beta development version. Can I update it?
No.
When the beta versions were released it was made quite clear that they should not be used on live boards and that they may not be able to be updated to the later RC (Release Candidate) or full release versions. This turned out to be so. Even if you could update it, there would be no support for your board either. You should cut your losses and start a brand new installation with the current version and start afresh.

I am still running an RC development version. Can I update to the latest?
Yes.
Your best option is to go for completely new files. This will remove any MODs you have installed but as there have been a lot of code changes during development of the RC versions you should update your MODs too anyway.

Due to a change in the way the database was updated later in development, you will have to go to 3.0.0 first before updating to the latest version.

First, update to 3.0.0 by doing this:

  • Upload all new files from a download of the full 3.0.0 ( http://sourceforge.net/projects/phpbb/f ... p/download ) version, except for config.php, the /images and /files folders.
  • Go to yoursite.com/forumfolder/install/database_update.php
  • Let that run and then delete the install folder.

Then:

  • Upload all new files from a download of the full 3.0.6 version, except for config.php, the /images and /files folders.
  • Go to yoursite.com/forumfolder/install/database_update.php
  • Let that run and then delete the install folder.
  • You now have a new up to date board containing all your users and posts but without any MODs that you might have had installed.

NB: If you're using a non default style you will have to look for updates for that too or apply them yourself. Style code changes are here.


I am on 3.0.x and I want to update to the latest stable version.
The first question you need to ask is, do I have any modifications (MODs) installed?

No, I do not have MODs.
Your update is very easy.
  • From the download page go to the stable release section and get the changed files version.
  • Decompress that file.
  • Inside it you will see a folder called install and zip files for several of the previous versions to the current version. eg (at the time of writing) phpBB-3.0.9_to_3.0.10.zip
  • Decompress the zip file relating to the version you want to update from.
  • Upload those files to your phpBB folder, overwriting the files on the server.
  • Upload the install folder from the original download you got.
  • Go to yoursite.com/forumfolder/install/database_update.php
  • Let that run and then delete the install folder.
  • You are now up to date.

Alternatively, you can just get the full version and upload those files instead.

  • Upload all new files from a download of the full version, EXCEPT for config.php, the /images and /files folders.
  • Go to yoursite.com/forumfolder/install/database_update.php
  • Let that run and then delete the install folder.
  • You now have a new up to date board containing all your users and posts but without any MODs that you might have had installed.

Yes, I do have MODs.
In this instance you can use the Automatic Update packages. This compares your files to the new ones and tries to merge them and allows you to see how they will affect the resulting code.

Download the package that applies to your version from this page.

  • Download and decompress the zip file.
  • Inside you will find an install folder which needs to be uploaded to your forum folder on the server.
  • Go to your Administration Control Panel and choose the System tab.
  • Follow the on screen prompts which will run the database update script and then check the files to find any differences.

    You will now be given a list of files which have a change.
    You can select an option to see the differences for yourself and accept the merged file, reject the merge and accept the new file only or reject the merge and keep your original file. Typically you will choose to merge.

    Once you have decided on which files to use you will have two options at the bottom of the screen on what to do next.

    You can choose to connect via FTP and have the files uploaded automatically or you can choose to download them in a separate file and then upload them yourself.
    Either way, you need to end up with all the changed files on the server.

  • Connect via FTP to the server and open the /cache folder. Delete all the files in it except for index.html and .htaccess.
  • Delete the install folder from the server.
  • You are now up to date.

    NB: If you are running a non-default style you will also need to look for updates to that either from the style author or you can apply the changes yourself using the code changes here.

What is the patch file update for?
This is a way to update using a unix command line input. It should only be used if you are familiar with that kind of interface. Information on how to use it is here.

What do I do if I really mess up changing the files?
Don't panic.
Your users and posts are safe in the database. If you have messed up changing the files, you can recover the board by doing the following:
  • Upload all new files from a download of the full version, except for config.php, the /images and /files folders.
  • Go to yoursite.com/forumfolder/install/database_update.php
  • Let that run and then delete the install folder.
  • You now have a new up to date board containing all your users and posts but without any MODs that you might have had installed.