Upgrading From Online Manual

Revision as of 19:08, 11 February 2011 by Joquanpro (talk | contribs) (I fixed some serious grammatical errors and spelling errors.)
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Upgrading an SMF forum is easy! It can be done in six quick and simple steps:

Download the Upgrade Archive

The latest SMF upgrade package can be found on the "Download" page of our website.

First, you should download the latest version of SMF. Most of the time, .zip files are the preferred download type by forum administrators. Most operating systems have the tools available to extract .zip archives already installed.

Extract and Upload the Install Archive

Once the upgrade archive has been downloaded, it will need to be uploaded and extracted before the upgrading tool can be used. There are two methods you can use. The method you use will depend on the tools available with your control panel provided by your host. Please ensure you upload files using binary if you are using an FTP client.

Uploading Before Extracting

Some control panels have the ability to extract an archive, such as cPanel. This allows for hassle free uploading and extraction of the archive. Once the archive is uploaded, select the extract option to extract the archive to the desired location. Ensure that overwrite files is selected to have the newer files replace the old ones.

Extracting Before Uploading

If extracting abilities are not available inside the control panel, the archive can be extracted before uploading. Generally, right-clicking the archive and selecting the "Extract All" option will work. The directory structure should be retained when the upgrade archive is extracted, so all files and directories should be in the correct places.

Set File Permissions

After the upgrade archive has been uploaded and extracted, you must set the files' permissions. This option is commonly called CHMOD. The correct CHMOD setting for SMF files is either 777, 775 or 755, depending on your hosting service. There are two methods for this step, the method used depends on the hosting service you are using.

Setting File Permissions With the Upgrading Tool

The SMF upgrading tool can set file permissions simply and easily. If you navigate to the directory where SMF is located, it should redirect you to the upgrade.php file and prompt the upgrade tool. In example: www.yourdomain.com/forum/upgrade.php. If the upgrade detects files that need their permissions adjusted, it will prompt for FTP details so it can set CHMOD for the install. This may not work on some servers.

Setting File Permissions With FTP

Using a control panel or FTP client, file permissions can be changed quickly and easily. Usually, FTP programs will allow permissions to be changed by right-clicking files/directories and selecting "Properties", "Attributes" or "Permissions". The desired numerical value can be entered, or if provided, check boxes can be changed.

The following files and directories should have CHMOD values of 777, 775 or 755:

  • /attachments
  • /avatars
  • /Packages
  • /Packages/installed.list
  • /Smileys
  • /Themes
  • /Themes/default/languages/Install.english.php
  • agreement.txt
  • Settings.php
  • Settings_bak.php
  • upgrade.php

Back up the Database

Before starting the upgrade process, a backup of the live database should be taken. This protects the forum from accidental damage and any issues from upgrading. Although all steps are taken, and extensive testing carried out, sometimes issues develop. Therefore, having a backup is crucial. The upgrading tool can backup all database tables before it runs, however the best practice is to have a full backup available.

Back up a database using SMF

From SMF, navigate to Forum Maintenance. (Administration Center -> Maintenance -> Forum Maintenance) On the database section, save the data and the structure. Then, compress the file. Select "Download" and wait for the database to complete the download completely.

Back up a database using PHPMyAdmin

PHPMyAdmin gives the option to export a database, from the initial page, select the "Export" option and follow the instructions. Select your SMF database. These are different based on host.

Back up a database using a control panel

If your hosting service provides a control panel interface, this can be used to back up a database. Selecting the "Backups" or "Backups Wizard" options should take you to a page, prompting you to back up your database. With different hosts, these options may have different titles.

Run the Upgrading Tool

The final step in upgrading SMF, is to run the upgrading tool. Navigate to the directory where SMF is located. It should redirect you to the upgrade.php file and prompt you to run the upgrade. In example: www.yourdomain.com/forum/upgrade.php.

Upgrade Settings

Backup database with the prefix "backup_"
Selecting this option will get the upgrade tool to copy all data in the database before upgrading within the original database.
Maintenance Mode
Selecting this option will place the forum into maintenance mode while upgrading rather than showing errors, this is highly recommended.
Output extra debugging information.
The upgrade tool can give detailed information while performing an upgrade by selecting this option, it will aid the support team to solve any errors if they occur while upgrading.

Finishing the Upgrade Process

Once all parts of the upgrade have completed, check the box to remove the upgrade files from the server. If this does not work, they will need to be deleted via FTP. All upgrade files should be removed from the server once the upgrade process is complete. They are a major security risk if they are left on a server unattended. Once SMF has been upgraded, they are no longer needed. The upgrade.php file will be the only file that needs to be removed.