Upgrading Jira (manual)

You've chosen to upgrade Jira Server or Data Center (non-clustered) manually by using the archive.

Looking for a different upgrade method? See Upgrading Jira applications.

Avoid using this upgrade method if you initially installed Jira using the binary installer (.exe on Windows or .bin on Linux). Upgrading binary installations manually is not supported and is known to cause problems on startup.

Before you begin

Locate the Jira home directory to determine the initial installation method

We recommend upgrading Jira using the same method that was used to install it for the first time. If you’re unsure which method that was, find the location of your Jira home directory. That’s usually a good indicator of whether Jira was installed manually or from a binary installer. For more information, see Jira application home directory.

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.

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

Extract the files

Extract the archive you've downloaded, and start the upgrade.

  1. Extract (unzip) the files to a directory (this is your new installation directory, and must be different to your existing installation directory). 
  2. Point Jira to your existing Jira home directory.

    We recommend that you do it by setting the JIRA_HOME environment variable. For more info on how to do this, see Setting Jira home directory.

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.

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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 and increase max-pool-size

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.

Some of the files we usually modify:

  • server.xml
  • dbconfig.xml
  • jira-config.properties
  • web.xml
  • setenv.sh / setenv.bat (memory allocation and other JVM arguments)

For more information, see Important files in Jira.

In addition to these files, if your Jira is running over SSL, you need to reimport certificates into the trust store. For details on how to do this, see How to import a public SSL certificate into a JVM.

We'll make another check on Jira startup and will show you all the files you might have skipped that still contain changes that have not been copied over. Then you'll be able to click to automatically copy the changes over.

Note that the check will only be run on the following configuration files:

- <jira-home-directory>/atlassian-jira/ directory
- <jira-home-directory>/conf/server.xml
- <jira-home-directory>/bin/setenv.sh

and the automatic transfer will only be supported for plugin 1.20.0 and later.

To automatically transfer the changes, the installer copy of the modified file needs to be the same as in the version you're upgrading to.

tip/resting Created with Sketch.

Tomcat started to use double-quotes as of version 8.5.48 as a result of Expansion of JAVA_OPTS in catalina.sh containing '*' stops startup on linux bug. That's why when you upgrade and set parameters in setenv.sh or setenv.bat, make sure that you:

  • Don't remove the double-quotes in the catalina.sh
  • Set all your parameters in one line without any new line in setenv.sh or setenv.bat

Otherwise you might experience issues starting up Jira. 


If you're upgrading from Jira 7.x to Jira 8.x we recommend changing the pool-max-size parameter to 40 in your dbconfig.xml before the upgrade. Leaving the default of 20 can sometimes lead to “ResultSet Closed” errors during re-indexing on 8.x. For information on implementing the change, see Tuning database connections.

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:

  2. Add the following line, and save the file:


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. If you've missed any file with custom changes that have not been copied over, you can automatically copy the changes over now. 

    Note that the check for file changes is only be run on the following configuration files:

    - atlassian-jira/ directory
    - conf/server.xml
    - bin/setenv.sh

    and the automatic transfer is only be supported for ATST plugin 1.20.0 and later.

    To automatically transfer the changes, the installer copy of the modified file needs to be the same as in the version you're upgrading to.

    After the changes have been copied over, you'll be prompted to restart Jira.

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.

Post-upgrade landing page with annotations described below the image.

  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 Jira Service Management, if you have it, and how to upgrade your apps.

(Optional) Update Jira Service Management

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

  1. Go to Administration (> Applications > Versions and licenses.
  2. Update Jira Service Management. This will automatically update Jira Service Management 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 Administration (> 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 Administration (> Indexing, and run Full re-index.

Well done!

You've upgraded Jira to a new version.

Last modified on Apr 25, 2022

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