Alternate method for upgrading to 3.4 or next

Our last upgrade attempt in October '23 has failed, and it was beyond the hosting service’s scope to make code changes. However, they are agreeable to take a different route: by installing 3.4 on a separate server and move folders an files over to the new site.

I saw these instructions for backing up specific folders, files, and databases: Will copying these files into the 3.4 installation work? Has this approach worked for anyone? What kinds of changes are necessary in the config.php file (email settings)? Thank you in advance for any pointers!



Supposing you’re using OJS 3.3 and it has no custom changes:

  1. Backup your database, files dir and public folder.

  2. Make a clean OJS 3.4 install. The server must meet the following requirements:

  1. Create a new database and import your OJS 3.3 database into it, update OJS 3.4 settings in with the new DB settings.

  2. Copy your files dir to the OJS 3.4 install.

  3. Copy your public folder to the OJS 3.4 install.

  4. Upgrade the database, hopefully you’ll have no errors at this point.

Best regards,
Josh Noronha

Thank you very much, Josh.

Did you have to change email settings in the file? Although we had not used PHPMailer at all; the main cause of the upgrade failure pointed to the PHPMailer in the error log. Back in 2019, our IT communications expert (no longer at the university) used a method other than PHPMailer or smtp to get authentication going. Will 3.4 require smtp for email settings?

Best regards!

Dear @asabhar,

You can choose what to use in; I’d suggest not touching email settings in this test install, the point is to check if the upgrade will occur without incidents; once everything is working you can check email settings and everything else in

; Default method to send emails
; Available options: sendmail, smtp, log, phpmailer
default = sendmail

Best regards,

Thanks for the suggestion Josh. Yes, we want to make sure that the new install looks right first, then customize as necessary. Best wishes!