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Upgrading to JIRA 5.2 from JIRA 5.1.x

In this section:

Please follow the instructions in the general Upgrading JIRA guide, as well as the JIRA 5.2-specific instructions in the sections below. The general 'Upgrading JIRA' guide contains important tasks that are essential for getting your upgraded JIRA installation to work correctly and if necessary, migrating existing configurations.

Application links can now be configured by administrators

In previous versions of JIRA, only system administrators could configure application links (e.g. link JIRA to Confluence). In this release, JIRA administrators also have access to application links configuration. JIRA administrators will be able to add, modify and remove application links and entity links. However, JIRA administrators will be restricted to using OAuth authentication for application links.

Default notification scheme associated with new projects

The Default Notification Scheme (shipped with JIRA) is now associated with all new projects by default. This means that if you have an outgoing (SMTP) mail server set up, email notifications will be sent as soon as there is any activity (e.g. issues created) in the new project. Existing projects are not affected.

Important information for Japanese customers

Incomplete translations for some JIRA functionality

Translations will be incomplete for a small set of JIRA functionality in this release. This mainly affects text for the new JIRA admin helper feature. Functionality that does not have translated text available will revert to English. 

Only the German translations will be 100% complete. We are aiming to provide full French and Spanish translations in JIRA 5.2.1.

JQL history has been removed from the new issue navigator

The new issue navigator no longer has a 'History' section when advanced searching. This section showed the JQL of advanced searches that had been run previously.

JQL History was not part of the new Issue Navigator scope of work, as we felt a lot of users would now be saving their filters which lessened the need for this functionality.

JQL "contains" operator (~) now relates multiple words by AND rather than OR

Previously, if you specified multiple words as the parameter for the "contains" operator (~) in JQL, the words would be logically related by an OR. This has been changed in this release, so that multiple words for a "contains" operator are related by an AND.

For example, if you enter summary ~ "issue collector" in an advanced search, it is now equivalent to entering summary ~ "issue" AND summary ~ "collector".

Known issue using Windows installer to upgrade

(JIRA 5.2.5 and earlier only) A known issue exists with the JIRA Windows installer where it will incorrectly use Tomcat 6 instead of Tomcat 7. This means that the JIRA service will not start after the upgrade. Please see this Knowledge Base article for details of the problem and workarounds.

MySQL driver no longer bundled with JIRA

The MySQL driver is no longer bundled with JIRA. In prior versions of JIRA, we shipped the MySQL driver under a commercial license from MySQL Americas, Inc.  MySQL Americas, Inc. was acquired by Oracle Corporation as part of Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems.  Oracle no longer offers a commercial license for the MySQL driver on a standalone basis as part of a partner program.

Please note the following if you use JIRA with MySQL:

  • Upgrade — If you are upgrading JIRA and you are not using the recommended MySQL driver (JDBC Connector/J 5.1), you must back up the driver from your existing JIRA installation before the upgrade. You will need to copy it into the lib folder of your JIRA installation after it has been upgraded, as described in Connecting JIRA to MySQL. If you try to upgrade JIRA without doing this, JIRA will fail to start up after the upgrade (you will be able to see MySQL driver-related errors in the logs).
    If you are using the recommended MySQL driver (JDBC Connector/J 5.1), you do not need to do this. The driver will be automatically copied over during the upgrade process.

New 'lastViewed' JQL field

The new 'lastViewed' field in JQL (see documentation) lets you search for issues based on the date that they were last viewed/edited. This field is only available for Advanced Search, not Simple Search.

Please note, if you have currently configured your issue navigator to show a column named 'lastViewed' (i.e. you have custom field named 'lastViewed' that you are displaying in the issue navigator), you must rename it before upgrading. If not, the conflict in column names will cause problems with the issue navigator.

Supported platforms changes

Webhooks JQL filtering may not always match

When an issue is updated, two things are triggered — the issue is reindexed (to ensure the indexes are up to date) and a webhook is fired. If you are using a JQL-based webhook, it will need to confirm whether the issue that has just been updated meets the JQL criteria. The problem is that the reindex may occur after the webhook.

For example, if an issue currently meets the JQL criteria, but you update it so that it does not meet the criteria, the webhook may incorrectly fire anyway. This is because the webhook JQL matching may occur before the issue index is updated.

We are working to resolve this issue in a 5.2.x bugfix release and you can track the progress of the issue here.

Filters that are longer than 2000 characters are not supported

Filters that are longer than 2000 characters – criteria plus value – do not work in the JIRA 5.2.x Issue Navigator.

Information for JIRA developers

Please be aware of the following changes in JIRA 5.2, which are covered in more detail on the Preparing for JIRA 5.2 page:

  • Changes to handling Message-IDs on notification emails
  • Changes to rendering of block macros
  • Newlines in issue Summary no longer allowed
  • Easy way to re-use an existing Custom Field Searcher

Upgrading to JIRA 5.2 from JIRA 5.0.7 or earlier

In addition to the points listed above, please read the Important Version-Specific Upgrade Notes for every version of JIRA you are skipping.

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  1. Why was the JQL history removed?  I found it quicker to use to find my queries that I do not use very often but need to run when requested.

  2. What happens to the JQL history once the upgrade is done?

  3. Hi Norman, thanks for the question. JQL History was not part of the new Issue Navigator scope of work as we felt a lot of users would now be saving their filters which lessened the need for this functionality.


    JIRA PM Team



    1. Anonymous

      Mairead O'Donovan [Atlassian]: JQL history is immensely useful. I'm often looking at issues and just wish to perform transient searches...searches that I do not want to save. The JQL history serves as a convenient place that automatically saves these drafts.

      Another use case, when I'm fine tuning searches, I need to jump back and forth between statements to see what they produced.

      Ironically, Favorite Filters are the ones I use the least because like browser bookmarks, you eventually accumulate so much that the old stuff has no meaningful purpose to you anymore, and you don't have time to unfavorite them.

    2. I totally agree with the feedback given by Anonymous on November 14th:  the JQL History is (was) incredibly useful when developing a good query...  and that fiddling comes before it is saved as a Filter.  I do not want to have to save my experiments as Filters.  That would cause problems in itself...  many of the experiments would be failures and thus just create clutter that needs to be cleaned up manually later.

    3. I'm in complete agreement with Anonymous and Mark.  I would like to vote for this to be included in an upcoming release.  I didn't see a ticket for it – does anyone know if a ticket exists?

      1. Hi,

        Thanks for your feedback on the new issue navigator and JQL history. No ticket currently exists for this. Please create one in

        Kind Regards,

      2. I created this issue for requesting back the JQL history.

        JRA-30607 - Restore JQL History Open

        1. Thank you, Norman.  I've voted for and am watching the ticket.  I also added the following comment to the ticket, in case it's helpful to include a rationale for the product manager when he/she is prioritizing their backlog.

          I'm a manager for a software development team and this change is causing an impact to the team. We've recently been moving to Scrum and using the Rapid Board, and are working hard to set up appropriate filters for use with the various sub-teams' backlogs, views that are appropriate for our client support managers, views for the executive management team, etc. At first glance, it might appear that easier access to saved filters from the left navigation would be a boon, but these filters are being used "behind the scenes" via the Rapid Board or dashboard gadgets. When a user is on the Advanced Search screen, what he/she is typically doing is trying to get precisely what is needed out of JIRA, and this involves fine tuning statements.

          To fine tune JQL, we sometimes go down a path, realize we're not getting what we expected, jump back to a previous point in our work history, and try something else. Or we need to compare two statements and make sure they are both returning the same number of tickets. As the "JIRA Guru" for my company, I can't express how often I worked with the history on the Advanced Search screen. I'm now copying and pasting my JQL into a text file that I keep up all day. It's a low-tech Band-Aid that makes my work manageable, but I would sure like to see this feature return.

          1. Anonymous

            Thank you!

  4. KY

    Some gotcha moments.

    One of it was: JIRA 5.2 x64 Windows Installer does not update ImagePath of tomcat6.exe to use tomcat7.exe for its existing Windows service during upgrade from 5.1.x.

    Workaround: Edit registry and change to tomcat7.exe at HKLM > System > CurrentControlSet > services > JIRAXXXXX > ImagePath.

    1. I had this gotcha moment too on Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise 64bit, upgrading from 5.1.2.

      Changing the registry key to include 'tomcat7.exe' instead of 'tomcat6.exe' worked like a charm! Thanks KY!

    2. Hi all,

      We are aware of this issue and are working on a fix. Please follow this ticket: JRA-30518 - JIRA 5.2 Installer Service is using Tomcat 6 instead of Tomcat 7 Resolved .

      Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

      Kind Regards,

  5. Anonymous

    KY, I updated the registry setting changing tomcat6.exe to tomcat7.exe as suggested but the service still failed to start.

    Something else needs to be updated but I haven't figured it out yet so I rolled back to 5.1.8 .

    1. Updating the image path will work in most cases but I had another issue which caused start up errors with the JIRA 5.2 service.

      I looked at the tomcat catalina log and noticed the service failed to start due to an error in the server.xml which I guess did not work with tomcat 7.

      WARNING: Catalina.start using conf/server.xml: Error at (37, 79) : org.apache.catalina.mbeans.ServerLifecycleListener

      My conf/server.xml file is customised so after each upgrade I have to copy over the previous version of the file to the new instance. So in this case, I had to remove the following line in the conf/server.xml file to get the service to start.

      1. I also encountered the same issue (java.lang.ClassNotFoundException: org.apache.catalina.mbeans.ServerLifecycleListener) and removing that listener solved it. Here is a reference that ServerLifecycleListener is no longer required in Tomcat 7.

        Tomcat 7 Changelog -
        "Remove ServerLifecycleListener. This was already removed from server.xml and with the Lifecycle re-factoring is no longer required."

  6. Anonymous

    After upgrading from 5.2-m06-2 JIRA refuses to start. We get an exception from catalina:

    2012-11-13 11:04:13,978 localhost-startStop-1 INFO [atlassian.plugin.manager.DefaultPluginManager] Initialising the plugin system
    2012-11-13 11:04:15,850 localhost-startStop-1 ERROR [atlassian.event.internal.EventPublisherImpl] There was an exception thrown trying to dispatch event '' from the invoker 'com.atlassian.event.internal.SingleParameterMethodListenerInvoker@1a620c43'.
    java.lang.RuntimeException: java.lang.ExceptionInInitializerError
    at com.atlassian.event.internal.SingleParameterMethodListenerInvoker.invoke(


    Ideas anyone?

    1. Hi,

      Unfortunately, we cannot support upgrade paths from EAP releases (e.g. 5.2-m06) to the final release (see the note on this page: EAP Releases). Please try upgrading from a JIRA server that is running one of the production versions of JIRA (e.g. JIRA 5.1.x). If this is not an option, please contact our support team for further assistance by raising a support request at

      Kind Regards,

  7. Anonymous

    I am on JIRA 5.1.8 and would like to upgrade to JIRA 5.2.  When I run the JIRA Update Check, the plugin compatibility check advises me that the following two bundled Atlassian plugins are incompatible with JIRA 5.2:

    • Atlassian Universal Plugin Manager Plugin 2.7.7
    • Support Tools Plugin 3.0.11

    I have a simliar problem when I run the FishEye Update Check for FishEye 2.9.0.

    Do Atlassian plan to update these plugins soon?  It seems a little strange to me that Atlassian would release updates to their products when the bundled plugins are incompatible.

    1. Compatible versions of both of those plugins are usually bundled with the application itself, and so you don't need to worry about upgrading them individually after the upgrade.

    2. I normally just wait until one or two minor releases come out, since it seems to take that long for everything to be updated and tested together.

    3. Hi,

      I can confirm that there is no problem with the compatibility of those two plugins in JIRA 5.2. There is an issue with the compatibility checker, which is the cause of the problem you are seeing. Our support team is looking into this.

      Kind Regards,

  8. Anonymous

    Any enhanced features to JQL?  Specifically, getting the parent of a subtask.  That would be immensely helpful.

  9. Anonymous

    I am on JIRA 4.4.4 and would like to upgrade to JIRA 5.2. Can I upgrade directly or Need to upgrade to any other version and later to 5.2?


    1. Hi,

      You should be able to upgrade from JIRA 4.4.4 directly to JIRA 5.2 (see Skipping Major Versions When Upgrading JIRA).

      Kind Regards,

  10. If you are interested in getting JQL history back, check this comment.