Beware of Softaculous for upgrades!

While Softaculous installer might work well for fresh installations, I tried to use it to upgrade from to 3.2.1 and ran into trouble. I had set it to create a new database and file area that I did not intend to actually use since I wanted to designate the ones in my current active site and didn’t want Softaculous to overwrite the good stuff. That was fine, but what I hadn’t realized that Softaculous had taken the file from the current site and installed it over the one for 3.2.1 so when I compared the two as suggested in the admin manual, there were no differences! This caused numerous errors, but once I realized the problem and created a new file and then swapped in the parameters from my working site, it worked perfectly!

Another problem that many people seem to have encountered is due to the fact that the new version requires PHP 7.2+. In order to to keep my old site running until I was ready to switch over to the new one, I used a .htaccess rule to force the old system to use php 5.6 by adding this to the .htaccess file:

AddHandler application/x-httpd-php56 .php .php5

After adding that, I switched my entire website site over to 7.2 and checked to see if the old site was still working. It was. I then had two directories, ejojs2 (old) and ejojs2_new. I could then rename the two directories to ejojs2_old and ejojs2 to try the new configuration, and if it didn’t work quickly switch it back.

The new site looks so much better, but I cringe every time I think about having to upgrade! I wish it could be like WordPress where I simply get a notification that my site has been automatically upgraded to the newest version! :slight_smile:

Thank you for all of your work to maintain and improve OJS!

1 Like

Hi @trobb49,

We unfortunately don’t know much about Softaculous’ upgrade process but there have been a couple of negative experiences mentioned on the forum! Thanks for documenting this. One of our team was talking about reaching out to them a week or two ago; I’ll check in and see if that went anywhere.

We’ve done a lot of work over the last year on the upgrade process and it’ll be much improved starting with 3.3.x (due for release in Q1 next year). It’ll be faster, simpler, and more resilient. This won’t quite bring it to the Wordpress experience – part of our challenge is that the OJS data model is much, much bigger than the Wordpress one – but that is our goal.

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team


Softaculous maintains their installation and upgrade process closed to public eyes, but reports to be very welcoming of bug reports and enhancement requests: