Time to Upgrade to ownCloud 9.0!

ownCloud Server 9.0 was released yesterday, delivering new collaboration features like commenting and tags, big scalability improvements and more advanced federation capabilities. As promised, today we’ll tell you how to upgrade to the latest and greatest from the ownCloud community! As a TL;DR, the most important things to take note off: Read the release notes […]

ownCloud 9.0 round
ownCloud Server 9.0 was released yesterday, delivering new collaboration features like commenting and tags, big scalability improvements and more advanced federation capabilities. As promised, today we’ll tell you how to upgrade to the latest and greatest from the ownCloud community!

As a TL;DR, the most important things to take note off:

  • Read the release notes and follow the upgrade documentation. One important thing: you can’t skip major releases!!
  • If you’re on a pre-8.2 release, we changed repo’s. See our blog on upgrading to 8.2.
  • Check if the apps you use are compatible yet! See apps.owncloud.com.
  • Do a backup, at least of your database and config.php file – that allows you to easily roll back. You can’t downgrade, thus you can’t go back without that!
  • We made changes to the packages, offering them with and without dependency handling. We also support less platforms. Among the platforms dropped are all Fedora repo’s, openSUSE Tumbleweed and Ubuntu 15.04. Use packages from other versions instead, see below for more details.
  • If you have a big installation, think about if you want tagging or not – tags are system wide.
  • If you use the official packages from Debian, these have been abandoned and will no longer be updated. Hopefully somebody will create a upgrade script or instructions, we’re very sorry about this and would welcome any help.

Why Should I Upgrade?

Read this blog post for 5 reasons to upgrade to a newer ownCloud. A summary:

  1. ownCloud usage grew last year from 2.4 to 8 million so newer releases have far more users
  2. Testing improves, benefiting newer releases more than older, in part because
  3. Backporting is limited to security fixes for releases older than Latest-1
  4. Clients take advantage of features only in newer server versions
  5. We introduce features which improve reliability

ownCloud Server 9.0 introduces many smaller and larger improvements all over ownCloud, from tagging and commenting on files to many under-the-hood improvements and new capabilities for administrators to configure and control ownCloud. You can find out more about what is new in our announcement blog and see a full overview on the website.

If you would like the benefit of these improvements then it’s time for you to move to ownCloud 9.0!

Preparation

The ownCloud 9.0 release notes this time only contain a note for LDAP users.

If you use packages

There have been changes in packaging which we’ll describe here.

We have split code and dependencies in two separate new packages. The existing package owncloud is reduced to a simple wrapper pulling in both owncloud-files and owncloud-deps.

The owncloud-files package can be installed alone. It has only one packaging logic: obsolete and replace the 8.x owncloud packages. It requires no PHP, database, Apache webserver or other dependencies. An ownCloud server installed only from the owncloud-files package is not directly runnable, unless you made sure all dependencies are in place by hand.

The owncloud-files package is helpful in a number of scenarios:

  • We better support the typical enterprise or distributed scenarios.
  • Provide a clean migration path whenever running into dependency issues.
  • We cover actually more platforms (probably more than listed below).
  • You can use it with NGNIX, PHP7 and other non-standard dependencies.

Our main repositories have both types of packages. Most distributions will make upgrading easy – openSUSE, for example, will give you owncloud-deps and owncloud-files upon a zypper dup unless you have PHP7 forcefully installed, in which case it will automatically offer only owncloud-files.

We reduced the number of fully supported platforms — Especially the complicated ones with
many alternate PHP variants were hard to get right. Use the owncloud-files packages or tarballs on other platforms.

This is the current list of platforms:

  • CenOS 7 (CentOS 6: Files only)
  • Debian 8 (Debian 7: Files only)
  • RHEL 7 (RHEL 6: Files only)
  • SLES 12 (openSUSE 13.2, Leap: Files only)
  • Ubuntu 14.04, 15.10 (12.04 + 14.10: Files only)

If you use Fedora, the CentOS 7 packages will most likely work (the owncloud-files one at least). openSUSE users similarly can rely on LEAP packages for Tumbleweed and and Ubuntu 15.04 users can use owncloud-files for 15.10.

ownCloud updater app

ownCloud updater app in action

Be sure that you have the base requirements for ownCloud 9.0:

  • A Linux or BSD server (Mac OS X is possible but less tested)
  • MySQL 5.5 + / MariaDB 10.x
  • PHP 5.4 + or 7 (!)
  • Apache 2.2 +

There are other web servers (like Ngnix) and databases (like PostgreSQL) supported as well. You’ll have to use the owncloud-files packages with those.

Usually, newer versions mean better performance with ownCloud. This is especially true for PHP, and especially PHP 7. If you use ownCloud with other web servers like Ngnix or on platforms like a NAS, be sure to have an extra careful look at the documentation and check out the forums!

Not all ownCloud apps developed for and on earlier releases are yet modified to work with ownCloud 9.0, so we urge you to check if your favorite apps are already compatible with ownCloud 9.0. You can usually check on the online ownCloud app overview.

Screenshot_20160308_233356

When it comes to stability and potential upgrade issues, we always urge users to test ownCloud Betas before of the release and to report any bugs you come across. Only a test on your specific circumstances can tell you if a piece of software will work for you. However, ownCloud 9.0 has seen significant testing, including by using our automated Smashbox testing. We could no longer find issues in our testing – we wouldn’t release otherwise. If you have an unusual setup, we strongly recommend doing a test upgrade first, though!

We still strongly recommend to make a backup of your database and data. You can find instructions on how to do that here.

Tips in the admin settings

Tips in the admin settings

The Upgrade Itself

We have written a great guide on upgrading ownCloud in our documentation. Carefully read the document, make the appropriate choices about how you will upgrade (with packages, manually or the updater app), and proceed with the steps described.

Note that if you wish to use the updater app, we usually release a new major ownCloud version for the updater app within a week after the release, provided no big problems are found, so this is currently not yet available. If we notice serious upgrade issues we will delay the automatic update until we released the first maintenance update.

Known issues

  • A few people (but not all) have bumped into issues with PHP 7 on openSUSE 13.2 after upgrading, perhaps hold off a bit on your update until these are resolved. There’s a temporary fix here.
  • It seems upgrading on Debian can get you in trouble: due to a interaction between packaging and core, a rewrite rule breaks the ownCloud installation. As a workaround one can add RewriteBase /owncloud after RewriteEngine on in .htaccess or disable mod_rewrite like this: a2dismod rewrite and /etc/init.d/apache2 restart. Find more info here.
  • If you have a performance issue and external storage, check this out. You can use info in this blog on how to apply patches.

These and more are documented on the forums as well.

Troubleshooting

While we strive to keep managing ownCloud as easy as possible (including the upgrade procedure!) and test as many upgrade scenarios, the documentation contains a troubleshooting section with instruction on how to recover from the most typical problems.

If this does not help you, there is a support page on owncloud.org which links to the various resources available to you. Home users should check out the forums, which have a special section devoted to ownCloud 9.0 upgrades with excellent and up to date information.

Professional users can find resources on owncloud.com and are strongly urged to wait with the upgrade until the availability of the ownCloud support subscriptions. These will become available next month. It is, as usual, recommended to test this release of ownCloud Server to ensure compatibility with your infrastructure and see if the features fulfill your needs.

Fresh installations

If you currently don’t have ownCloud, there is a new and easy way to get up and running! In the Appliance tab on our download page we offer a fully pre-configured virtual machine image which you can easily run in a tool like VirtualBox. Thanks to the built in ownCloud Proxy app you can have a stable url and an easy way through firewalls blocking you from accessing your ownCloud!

Note that the VM’s have not been extensively tested yet – your feedback in the comments is greatly appreciated.

Once your brand new ownCloud 9.0 is up and humming nicely, we’d appreciate it if you would let us know what you think over Twitter and other social media, see owncloud.org/promote for more. You can stay up to date with ownCloud news by subscribing to our newsletter.

Enjoy ownCloud Server 9!

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