Upgrading Jira Server (installer)

You've chosen to upgrade Jira Server by using the installer.

Before you begin

Prepare for the upgrade

Make sure you have completed the steps in Preparing for the upgrade. These are mandatory pre-requisites, and are essential for a smooth upgrade.

Choose your version

If you need help choosing the right version for you, head to the upgrade matrix to get a quick run down of features, supported platforms, and technical upgrade notes for all Jira versions.

Download Jira

  1. Download one of the Jira applications from our website. Choose the Windows or Linux installer.

If you're upgrading both Jira Core/Software and Jira Service Desk, upgrade Jira Core/Software only. You'll later upgrade Service Desk directly in Jira, without a separate installer.

Start the installation wizard

The installation wizard will guide you through the upgrade process.

  1. Run the installer you've downloaded.

    I'm using Windows...

    a) Run the .exe file. We recommend using a Windows administrator account.

    b) If prompted to allow the upgrade wizard to make changes to your computer, choose Yes. If you do not, the installation wizard will have restricted access to your operating system and any subsequent installation options will be limited.

    I'm using Linux...

    a) Change to the directory where you downloaded Jira, then execute this command to make the installer executable:

    $ chmod a+x atlassian-jira-X.X.X-x64.bin

    Where X.X.X is the Jira version you downloaded.

    b) Run the installer – we recommend using sudo to run the installer:

    $ sudo ./atlassian-jira-X.X.X-x64.bin

    You can also choose to run the installer with root user privileges.

  2. Follow the prompts in the wizard: 

    1. When prompted, choose Upgrade an existing Jira installation.

    2. Make sure the Existing Jira installation directory suggested by the wizard is correct (especially important if you have multiple Jira installations on the same machine.)

    3. If you have already backed up the Jira home directory, clear the Back up the Jira home directory check box to avoid creating an extra backup. 

    4. The wizard notifies you of customizations in the Jira installation directory. Make a note of these as you'll need to reapply them later. 

      Your current customizations will be overwritten, but you can later copy them from your backups.

  3. In the last screen, the upgrade wizard will ask you to start the Jira instance and complete the upgrade. We recommend that you stop at this step, and complete the remaining steps from this page, up until Start Jira for the first time.

    Starting Jira here won't affect your upgrade in any way, but Jira needs to be shut down to complete the remaining steps. Once you complete them, you can go back to the wizard and start Jira.

  4. (Optional) If you use Crowd for user management, complete these extra steps:

    Click here to expand...

    If you are using Crowd for user management, reapply the modifications from the following files from your existing installation directory to the new files. Do not copy the files as they may be different in the new version of Jira.

    • <Installation-Directory>/atlassian-jira/WEB-INF/classes/crowd.properties
    • <Installation-Directory>/atlassian-jira/WEB-INF/classes/seraph-config.xml

Install the database driver

If you're using an Oracle or MySQL database, download a new JDBC driver. For other databases, you can omit this step.

tip/resting Created with Sketch.

If the driver is up to date, you can also copy it from your previous version.


  1. Download one of the following drivers:

  2. Place it in <installation-directory>/lib.

Re-apply any modifications

While using Jira, you’ve probably added some custom modifications to Jira files. These may include connection details, settings related to memory allocation, or other JVM arguments. In this step, you need to re-apply the same modifications to the new files by copying them from your backups.

Make sure you don't just copy over the old files, as the 'native' settings they contain might have changed between the Jira versions.


Migrated modifications

During the upgrade, the wizard migrated the following from your existing Jira installation:

  • TCP values in the server.xml file.
  • Location of your Jira home directory in the jira-application.properties file.
  • The following values in the setenv.sh / setenv.bat file:
    • JVM_SUPPORT_RECOMMENDED_ARGS
    • JVM_MINIMUM_MEMORY
    • JVM_MAXIMUM_MEMORY
    • JIRA_MAX_PERM_SIZE 

Other modifications 

Apart from the above, you need to re-apply all other modifications. Here are the most important files: 

  • server.xml
  • dbconfig.xml
  • jira-config.properties
  • setenv.sh / setenv.bat (memory allocation and other JVM arguments)
  • for more, see Important files in Jira

Disable automatic reindex

This step is recommended for the platform upgrade, that is when upgrading from 7.x to 8.x.

Because of the changes to indexes that we've introduced in Jira 8.0, your old index is incompatible with the new version. To create a new one, Jira will trigger an automatic reindex right after you start it. To avoid reindexing twice (after startup and after upgrading your apps), you can disable the automatic reindex, and run the second one later, whenever you’re ready.

  1. Edit or create the following file:

    <jira-home-directory>/jira-config.properties
  2. Add the following line, and save the file:

    upgrade.reindex.allowed=false

Start Jira for the first time

Start your new Jira version.

  1. Go back to your upgrade wizard and complete the upgrade to start Jira. 

    You can also start Jira by going to <installation-directory>/bin, and running one of the following files:

    • Windows:  start-jira.bat
    • Linux:  start-jira.sh 

  2. Open Jira in your browser.

  3. Follow instructions on the screen to complete the setup.

Post-upgrade landing page

After a successful upgrade, you should see the post-upgrade landing page. It has some useful information about the new version, as shown below.

  1. Need to know: A list of new features that might affect your work as an admin.
  2. User apps: Status of your apps after the upgrade.
  3. Application links: Status of your application links.
  4. Release notes: Link to release notes where you can see more detailed information about the version you've upgraded to.

Almost there!

Your Jira instance has been upgraded. Below you can learn how to upgrade Service Desk, if you have it, and how to upgrade your apps.

(Optional) Update Jira Service Desk

If you're using Jira Service Desk, you can update it directly in the UI, without downloading a separate installer.

  1. Go to  > Applications > Versions and licenses.
  2. Update Jira Service Desk. This will automatically update Service Desk to a compatible version.

Upgrade apps (add-ons)

Now you can upgrade apps that had the Compatible once both are updated status. If you need more information about the statuses and apps in general, see Preparing for the upgrade.

  1. Go to  > Manage apps > Manage apps.
  2. Upgrade your apps to the supported versions.
  3. Once the apps are upgraded, you can enable them.

Rebuild index

Since your old index is incompatible, reindex Jira to rebuild it. This step might take some time, depending on how many issues and apps you have.

  1. Go to  > Indexing, and run Lock Jira and rebuild reindex.

Well done!

You've upgraded Jira to a new version.

Last modified on May 10, 2019

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