Jira Service Desk 3.16.x upgrade notes

Release notes for earlier versions of Jira Service Management

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Here are some important notes on upgrading to Jira Service Desk 3.16. For details of the new features and improvements in this release, see the Jira Service Desk 3.16 release notes. As Jira Service Desk runs on the Jira platform, you should also view the Jira platform 7.13 upgrade notes.

Jira Service Desk 3.16 is a Long Term Support release
This means we'll provide bug fix releases until 3.16 reaches end of life, to address critical security, stability, data integrity, and performance issues. 

Ready to upgrade? Check out the Jira Service Desk 3.16 Long Term Support release change log for a roll-up of changes since 3.9.

Upgrade notes


Reduced logging to the catalina.out file

Available from Jira Service Desk 3.16.1

Jira applications used to mirror the application log output (atlassian-jira.log) in the Tomcat log file, catalina.out. Since the catalina.out file couldn’t be rotated by Jira using the Log4j configuration (like it happens with the application log), the file grew significantly and didn’t contain any unique or useful events from Jira. Jira admins could work around this issue by using log-rotation scripts at the OS level, but that complicated the setup.

To fix this issue, we’ve removed mirroring the log output to catalina.out (process Stdout), leaving only the following basic events that are useful for our support teams:


We’ll keep logging all events into the atlassian-jira.log file, like it was before. Also, we’ve increased the number of atlassian-jira.log rotated files from 5 to 10.

Running Jira Service Desk on AdoptOpenJDK

You can run Jira on AdoptOpenJDK 8. There are no special requirements you have to meet, just make sure you switch JAVA_HOME to your new OpenJDK after you install it. Here's a little guide on Installing Java.

Apache Tomcat upgrade

We've upgraded Apache Tomcat to version 8.5.32, which requires you to make changes to the server.xml file.

What's the problem?

The Apache Tomcat server is filtering out requests that contain special characters, making them fail. That's because Tomcat is using a different encoding and URI standard than most browsers. Learn more 

The problem is most visible when searching with JQL, as you’d use a number of special characters when doing it (e.g. []<>), but it can also affect other pages in Jira. 

Steps to take:

To solve the problem, edit the server.xml file, and add properties that make Tomcat accept special characters in the requests.

  1. Go to <Jira-installation-directory>/conf, and edit the server.xml file.
  2. Find all connectors your application is using. Just search for Connector in the file, or look at the example below.
  3. Add relaxedPathChars="[]|" relaxedQueryChars="[]|{}^\`"<>" to the connector properties in server.xml. For example:

    <Connector port="8080" relaxedPathChars="[]|" relaxedQueryChars="[]|{}^&#x5c;&#x60;&quot;&lt;&gt;" maxThreads="150" minSpareThreads="25" connectionTimeout="20000" enableLookups="false" maxHttpHeaderSize="8192" protocol="HTTP/1.1" useBodyEncodingForURI="true" redirectPort="8443" acceptCount="100" disableUploadTimeout="true" bindOnInit="false"/>
  4. Restart Jira.
  5. If you have Jira Service Desk Data Center, repeat these steps on each node.

New diagnostics info coming soon

After upgrading to Jira Service Desk 3.16, you may see some new messages in your application log, and a new atlassian-diagnostics.log file, which is also included in support zips.

This is related to new diagnostic information we're working on. As a first step, we'll be introducing additional information about JQLs. Complex, heavy, or just slow JQLs are among the top contributors towards Jira instability. It will help us quickly detect the problematic JQL and avoid any downtime. This is just a heads up, and you don't have to take any action.

We plan to fine tune the thresholds, and provide a UI for this information in future Jira releases.

Com.atlassian.fugue deprecated

Jira Service Desk 3.15 and 3.16 have deprecated the use of com.atlassian.fugue. In Jira Service Desk 4.0, we'll be permanently removing it and updating our APIs to use Core Java Data types and Exceptions instead. 

What this means for you

You'll need to update any scripts, integrations or apps that make requests to endpoints returning com.atlassian.fugue, to use Core Java Data types and Exceptions.

You can download and start testing these changes in Jira Service Desk's 4.0 EAP. You can track all breaking changes and monitor EAP milestones from the Preparing for Jira 8.0 page.

PostgreSQL 9.3 deprecated

Jira 7.12 and 7.13 have deprecated the use of PostgreSQL 9.3. In Jira 8.0, we'll be permanently removing the support for PostgreSQL 9.3. For more info, see End of support announcements.

New properties for configuring the JVM code cache

We've added properties for configuring the JVM code cache to the setenv.sh /.bat file. No actions are required, as the default configuration should be optimal for most Jira instances. We've made these changes to solve problems with the code cache (used by Jira to load installed apps) getting full. Learn more

This is what it looks like in the setenv.sh/.bat file:


Plugin developers

See Preparing for Jira 7.13 for any important changes regarding plugins.

Upgrade procedure

(warning) Upgrade to a test environment first, before rolling them into production.

If you're already running a version of Jira Service Desk, please follow these instructions to upgrade to the latest version:

  1. Before you upgrade, back up your installation directory, home directory, and database.
  2. Read the release notes and upgrade notes for all releases between your version and the latest version.
  3. Download the latest version of Jira Service Desk.
  4. Follow the instructions in the Upgrading Jira applications.

Upgrading from earlier versions?

Check the Jira application compatibility matrix to ensure you have the most up to date, compatible versions. 

  • 3.1, or later 
    There are no known issues.
  • 3.0 
    There is a known issue regarding gadgets, and there is a workaround described in the Jira Service Desk 3.1.x upgrade notes.
  • Earlier than 3.0 
    Please consult the Migration hub as it contains information on important user management, application access and log in changes. You must upgrade to Jira Service Desk 3.0, before upgrading to Jira Service Desk 3.16.
Last modified on Jun 26, 2020

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