Upgrading Jira my way

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Upgrading Jira my way

Upgrading Jira is a pleasant activity, but it can also surprise you. Atlassian documentation includes a framework upgrade plan, but it`s worth preparing your own checklist of activities that must be performed before and after the upgrade. In today’s post, I will share with you my list, specific for the environment I work in.

You can read the official documentation here, it is also worth reading the upgrade checklist. I will present a procedure based on my own experience with the upgrade. It was performed on the Linux environment, I hope it will help you. Don`t hesitate to share your thoughts in a comment section or at contact [at] jiraforthepeople.com.


  • set the Annoucement Banner (https://your-jira-instance/secure/admin/EditAnnouncementBanner!default.jspa) and inform employees via the corporate messenger
    • the banner should be placed in a reasonable advance
  • read the release notes and the upgrade notes for the target version of Jira
  • preparing release notes for users
  • making a backup
    • xml: https://your-jira-instance/secure/admin/XmlBackup!default.jspa
    • database backup
  • disable cron jobs running on the server
  • mute monitoring
    • Jira will be temporarily unavailable, if your company is monitored for its operation, mute it for this time
  • download appropriate Jira version
  • perform pre upgrade checks using the native tool in Jira: https://your-jira-instance/plugins/servlet/troubleshooting/pre-upgrade/
    • the tool checks, among others whether the application licenses allow you to upgrade to a specific version
  • perform Jira update check https://your-jira-instance/plugins/servlet/upm?source=side_nav_manage_addons
    • check if the add-ons will be compatible with the target version of Jira
    • some of them can be updated immediately, others only after Jira upgrade
  • make sure that your licenses allow you to upgrade add-ons to the required versions
  • read the release and upgrade notes for add-ons
    • check if the new version of the add-on doesn`t become paid or doesn`t contain breaking changes
  • disable incompatible add-ons
  • upgrade add-ons
    • depending on your needs, you can upgrade to the latest version of the add-on or another version you need
    • with each upgrade, I always have the server log tracking enabled in the second window:
      tail -f /opt/jira-home/log/atlassian-jira.log


  • grant permission to run the installer
    chmod + x ./atlassian-jira-software-8.12.3-x64.bin
  • open the screen application
    • installation in the screen application, which will protect us against the consequences of a sudden disconnection from the server
      screen -S upgrade_jira
  • I always open two additional windows for following the logs
    tail -f /opt/jira-home/log/atlassian-jira.log
    tail -f /opt/jira-home/log/atlassian-jira.log | grep ERROR
  • launch the installer
  • copy custom changes aside
    • the installer will give you a list of files that have been modified from the original Jira configuration, you should copy them on the side

After installation

  • transfer custom changes
    • I use the vimdiff tool to compare files, e.g.
      vimdiff old_server.xml new_server.xml
  • in case of the need to transfer trusted jira certificates, I recommend my original script. I`ve described its action in a separate post
  • disable automatic reindex
    • in the jira-config.properties file, set: upgrade.reindex.allowed = false
  • remove the content of /opt/jira-home/plugins/.osgi-plugins/
    • after upgrading add-ons this catalog may contain outdated data, it will be restored according to the latest versions
  • turn on JIRA instance
  • upgrade Jira Service Desk to the appropriate version
    • https://your-jira-instance/plugins/servlet/applications/versions-licenses
  • upgrade and turn on other add-ons
  • verify Jira health checks
    • https://your-jira-instance/plugins/servlet/troubleshooting/view/
  • verify Application Links
    • https://your-jira-instance/plugins/servlet/applinks/listApplicationLinks
  • verify the synchronization of User Dictionaries
    • https://your-jira-instance/plugins/servlet/embedded-crowd/directories/list
  • perform basic Jira operations (create issue, delete issue, comment, worklog)
  • perform a full Jira reindex: https://your-jira-instance/secure/admin/IndexAdmin.jspa
    • note that during the full reindex Jira will be unavailable
  • enable cron jobs on the server
  • turn on monitoring
  • take off the Announcement Banner
  • inform users about completing the upgrade, provide Release Notes
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