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Yet Another vanilla upgrade and duplication tutorial.

peregrineperegrine MVP
edited September 2013 in Tutorials

Yet another example of upgrading that

Here is my experiment for duplicating a forum with a new version of software (tested and worked).
My example uses original forum - and duplicated in vanilla
end result : new forum with new version had all discussions as old one and worked.

Original forum
 in folder /vanilla  
 database name :  vanilla.


New Forum 
 in folder /newvanilla
 database name :  newvanilla.

My steps

write down the
b)host and
c) password
from your config.php in your original version of vanilla (in this case it was from on a piece of paper.

install of new version with pristine database

  • 1) make a new folder /newvanilla
  • 2) download version of vanilla zip and put source files in /newvanilla
    run the standard install process in the newvanilla

    • when asked for user, host, and password (get your piece of paper and type them in correctly matching upper and lower case correctly).

    • when asked for database name (enter newvanilla (NOT the same as the one in original config.php).

    • 3) installation successful - pristine database. login was successful.

now for import - export process

  • 4) go into phpmyadmin. select the newvanilla database and "drop" it (pay attention this means delete).
  • 5) export the original live vanilla database into vanilla1.sql
  • 6) select Create new database - give it the name newvanilla (matches what you deleted in step 4)
  • 7) select newvanilla database (still empty but created).
  • 8) import vanilla1.sql into newvanilla database
  • 9) import successful (but you can't sign in).
  • 10) run http://localhost/newvanilla/index.php?p=/utility/update
    (substitute your actual web address) and after update you will be able to sign in.
  • 11) successful update. (you can view and test a bit)

finishing up.

  • 12) get your uploads directory moved over from the old version (for getting user uploaded pics and thumbnails).
  • 13) download new versions of your plugins and theme as appropriate for your version and enable.
  • 14) set locale if necessary.
  • 15) go through dashboard settings to adjust paging, number of comments, if need be.

That's it. (At no time was an old config.php copied into the new one (so as not to confuse things but you can look and compare the two afterwards to see if you missed a setting or two for plugins, notifications etc., cookies, that you want to add.)

Obviously, there are many ways to do things. This is one way. If you've got another way. Write Yet another tutorial.

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


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    peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited March 2014

    the above was used as an example.

    use for the most current stable version.
    or use 2.1b2 at this date (it is the most stable of the beta versions.)

    assuming you have done the above correctly.....

    the final step if you want this duplicated forum to replace your old forum.

    just go into filezilla or whatever.

    if your oldforum was in /forum rename the old forum to /oldforum.
    (or if your oldforum was in /vanilla rename the old forum to /oldvanila).

    rename the /newforum to /forum
    (or rename /newvanilla to /vanilla)

    only you know where the folders are located - so whatever naming you use needs to match).

    double check your .htaccess file to make sure rewritebase


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

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    This is a great tutorial, Peregrine. Thank you.

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    chanhchanh OngETC.com - CMS Researcher ✭✭

    That is good! Thanks

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    This is wow!

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    Awesome, this worked great for > 2.1 -- many thanks :)

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    Hrm, unfortunately the 3 admins on the forum I'm upgrading are appearing as "Applicants". When they are approved, they are given a role with the ID of '8' -- this is a 'banned' role, and they are then unable to log in. Manually switching their roles back to admin works, but then they are added to the 'Applicants' list again... Very strange.

    It's worth noting that the DB the forum sits on went through a 1.x > 2.0.18.x port and then a > 2.1 upgrade.

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    The 'solution' for this fringe-happenstance appears to be:

    1. Create a new 'admin' role.
    2. Approve the admin 'applicants'.
    3. Edit each approved admin, assign them the new role.
    4. Delete the old 'admin' role.
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    The below is safer than the above:

    1. Create a new 'admin' role.
    2. Delete the old 'admin' role.
    3. Vanilla will prompt for replacement role, choose role created in step 1.

    Users magically disappear from the 'applicants' list, all is good.

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    edited September 2015

    @peregrine I believe I followed your steps above correctly. However, I was getting the following message. "Something has gone wrong. We've run into a problem and are unable to handle this request right now. Please check back in a little while."

    Thus, I turned on debugging and I see the following error: "Table 'vanilla2.GDN_User' doesn't exist."

    I was wondering if you knew what I could do to fix this. One problem with what I'm doing is that the old version is actually, and I am upgrading to 2.1.11. So that could well be the problem right there.

    Thanks in advance.

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    Here's a screenshot of the debugging message:

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    I found one way to see some improvements. I'm manually re-naming all of the tables in my database to match what the error is telling me.

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    edited September 2015

    And that seemed to do the trick. Done! Thanks again @peregrine because the other upgrade tutorial I had spent hours trying to implement didn't work!

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