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Upgrading a forum for the nervous or doubtful...

whu606whu606 I'm not a SuperHero; I just like wearing tights... Moderator

I’ve posted this in response to a PM from @Smitty

Of course, if anyone notices glaring errors, or quicker steps I’ve missed, do please say.

So you want to upgrade Vanilla, but either:

you tried and something went wrong
you are just too worried about breaking your forum

The following suggestions assume:

you can access phpMyAdmin
can backup your forum database
you can ftp files to your server

Always backup your live database before you try to make any changes.

Option A

Copy your forum folder
Copy your forum database (in PHPMyadmin, go to your forum database, and choose Operations)

In config.php in your copied forum folder, change the name of the database to your copied database name.
Delete  the ini files in the folder cache (don’t delete the Smarty folder)

This should give you a working copy of your forum.

Log in and make some dummy entries just to make sure.

In your copied forum folder, follow the upgrade instructions.

Once that is complete, check that it is working by logging in and making some dummy entries.

Use a plugin like http://vanillaforums.org/addon/maintenance-plugin to let your forum users know it will be offline for a bit.

Change the database name in the config.php file of your copied forum to the name of your live forum database, and clear the cache files.

Rename your active forum folder, and give your copied forum folder the name of the original active forum folder.

Your updated forum should now be your live forum, with the original database.

Option B

Download the version of Vanilla you want to use, extract it, and ftp it to a folder on your server.
Follow the installation instructions.
Check it is working; create a test user, make a test post etc.
Add in any plugins you use, and any customised themes.

Once it looks just like you want,

change the database in config.php to match your live database.
Delete the ini files in your cache folder.

Check that it shows your live forum properly.

Rename your active forum folder, and give your new forum folder the name of the original active forum folder.

Bam. You’re done.

Tagged:
hgtonightChanuxphreakperegrinevrijvlinderaeryUnderDogAdrianmarthajane77

Comments

  • phreakphreak Vanilla*APP (White Label) & Vanilla*Skins Shop MVP

    @whu606: Thanx a lot for this great step through.

    I guess some people who are nervous about updating have used Vanilla versions before 2.0.18.8 with a lot of language (and other) hacks. Language hacks are very common in the past as some phrases were inside the core code and not accessible through the local.php files. This makes upgrading quite painful if you didn't document it (you usually don't ;) ).

    For this case i recommend using a DIFF tool like http://www.kaleidoscopeapp.com/. It's not a cheap one but a very good one. There are several other free tools on the web. Just drop your current folder to your desktop and also the folder of the Vanilla Version you'd like to upgrade too. Sounds like it takes time, yes but mostly it will save you a lot of time and you do yourself a favour in upgrading a hacked code base.

    • VanillaAPP | iOS & Android App for Vanilla - White label app for Vanilla Forums OS
    • VanillaSkins | Plugins, Themes, Graphics and Custom Development for Vanilla
  • aeryaery Gtricks Forum in 2.2 :) ✭✭✭

    I am officially running 2.1 and testing 2.2 internally. Upgrade and you will surely enjoy.

    @whu606 has done marvelous job in telling the steps. Kudos to him.

    Backup people. Its for your sake.

    UnderDog
  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited July 2013

    @whu606 said:

    Option A

    Copy your forum folder
    Copy your forum database (in PHPMyadmin, go to your forum database, and choose Operations)
    In config.php in your copied forum folder, change the name of the database to your copied database name.
    Delete the ini files in the folder cache (don’t delete the Smarty folder)


    and change the cookie in config.php of the copied folder (so you can view test forum and view old forum at same time on the same browser in different tabs without automatically getting signed out). If you don't change the cookie and view both forums simultaneously you will be fraught with mysterious sign outs.

    $Configuration['Garden']['Cookie']['Name'] = 'mynewforum';

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

  • Thanks for posting. I will follow your steps.

  • @whu606

    Thanks again. Quick question, when you speak of these steps:

    This should give you a working copy of your forum.

    Log in and make some dummy entries just to make sure.
    In your copied forum folder, follow the upgrade instructions.

    You are referring to creating a new folder on my site and running essentially a second forum, one no one else will obviously log into or even know about. For example, my real forum is located at 'site.com/forums/' ... so your "make a copy" example above would be to:

    1) create a copy of my entire '/forums' folder (backed up as well of course)
    2) and rename that copy to let's say '/test/'
    3) upload that '/test/' folder to my site, this way you could go to either /forums/ or /test/ to view my forums, obviously /test/ being the total copy to test on?

    Is all this correct? I just wanna make sure creating a copy won't screw up the live version (which i would eventually hope to upgrade using the same steps I'd use on the /test/ copy.

  • @peregrine

    So, just open up the config.php file and change:

    $Configuration['Garden']['Cookie']['Name'] = 'whatever-i-name-my-test-forum';

    And that's it?

  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited July 2013

    @Smitty

    @peregrine

    So, just open up the config.php file and change:

    $Configuration['Garden']['Cookie']['Name'] = 'whatever-i-name-my-test-forum';

    And that's it?

    Yes. As far as changing the cookie. It just allows you to view both forums in the same browser at the same time. That's all it does, so the cookies from one forum don't interfere with the other.

    @whu606 can finish off your other questions.

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

  • whu606whu606 I'm not a SuperHero; I just like wearing tights... Moderator

    @smitty

    Yes, with option A you should end up with a 'parallel' of your current site, using a copy of your forum's database.

    Only you, or anyone you give the address to, would be able to access it, and none of the comments on your live site posted after you set the copy up would go over there.

    It allows you to run your forum as normal, whilst working through the upgrade procedure.

    Good luck.

  • Great thanks. I'll report back.

  • SmittySmitty New
    edited July 2013

    I tried to do the parallel forum approach up above, so that I could run them side by side, but couldn't get it to work. I had issues uploading my database, it would time out.

    1) Aside from "change your hosting company", any advice? I just accessed my phpadmin area when trying to upload it to my 'parallel' forum I dropped in a new test folder on my site. So, no status updates here... for now.

    2) In the mean time, i keep getting this error, what does this mean and does this clue anyone in on why my forum continues to have small tiny "error" popups (nothing listed, just a 'X' to close the small empty pop up box that's like 75x75 pix large)?

    Error: Server timeout waiting for the HTTP request from the client.
    Apache Server at virtualhost.###.###.###.# Port ##

    Note: It didn't show the #s, i just replaced the numbers with #s

    Thanks!

    UnderDog
  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited July 2013

    Aside from "change your hosting company", any advice?

    how about ask your hosting company? why you get database timeouts, I assumed you used phpmyadmin to import?

    this would be a non-vanilla question, if you can't import a database.

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

    UnderDog
  • whu606whu606 I'm not a SuperHero; I just like wearing tights... Moderator

    @smitty

    Why are you trying to upload your database?

    If you use phpMyAdmin on your webserver, you can simply make a copy of your current database, which you can then use to test your upgrade.

    peregrineUnderDog
  • UnderDogUnderDog Moderator

    @Smitty said:
    I tried to do the parallel forum approach up above, so that I could run them side by side, but couldn't get it to work. I had issues uploading my database, it would time out.

    1) Aside from "change your hosting company", any advice? I just accessed my phpadmin area when trying to upload it to my 'parallel' forum I dropped in a new test folder on my site. So, no status updates here... for now.

    When you restore the backup of your database and it times out, that backup is too big, split it in smaller files and restore those files.

    You could have copied your database in phpmyadmin, but that depends on maximum databases set by your host

    2) In the mean time, i keep getting this error, what does this mean and does this clue anyone in on why my forum continues to have small tiny "error" popups (nothing listed, just a 'X' to close the small empty pop up box that's like 75x75 pix large)?

    Right click on those popups and check what FireBug says (or Chrome equivalent)

    hgtonightperegrine
  • Thanks UnderDog and whu606 and peregrine.

    UnderDogperegrine
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