[HOW TO] Upgrading from FreePBX 13 to FreePBX 14

FreePBX 14 is now the default version we are deploying for new hosted instances, and is available for existing instances to install via the VPS Control Panel.

If you are looking to upgrade FreePBX from version 13 to version 14, please keep in mind that this is a major upgrade. We do not recommend attempting to use the upgrade tool in the web interface. Instead we recommend carefully reviewing Sangoma’s documentation on running the distro-upgrade tool from the Linux command line.

Requirements

Your server needs to meet some prerequisites prior to upgrading:

  • Be sure you have a recent FULL BACKUP of your system before starting.
  • Your firmware must be 10.13.66-22. (Check this via Admin > System Admin)
  • You must have 10GB of disk space available
  • Your hosting package should have at least 2GB of RAM.
  • You must not be running FreePBX HA (High Availability)

Other Considerations

  • You should make sure you know how to access your server via SSH and VNC
  • You should plan on sticking around for a couple hours.
  • Don’t rush yourself, this is a major upgrade.

The distro upgrade tool will check these things, and you can do that part any time. However once you proceed to the next step and reboot the machine your system will be inaccessible for quite some time while the first portion of the upgrade runs.

Running the Upgrade

Fire up the VNC console for your PBX so you can monitor progress. You will need to reconnect VNC each time the system reboots, so save your connection details if possible to speed this up. (if you’ve got a Mac and use Finder, it auto reconnects if you save the password!)

Once connected, you can proceed as directed by Sangoma’s SNG7 Upgrade Guide.

After the first reboot, the core operating system is upgraded. How long this first stage takes depends on the speed of your server. (If you’d like to upgrade your server, you can contact us or log into the Client Portal to place an upgrade order.)

The machine will reboot a second time and begin upgrading FreePBX components. During this time you may be able to access your machine but be careful not to reboot or interrupt the upgrade process.

Checking Progress

You should see progress on the VNC console after both reboots. Additionally, two log files contain information about the upgrade status. If the upgrade doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, it can be helpful to check these to see where your upgrade is at:

/var/log/sngupdate
/var/log/post_sngupdate

If you check the timestamp on these files and/or use `tail -f` to watch the file, you can get a sense of the current status/progress. Do not assume that just because these files appear stagnant for a few minutes that the upgrade is done or hung up. Be patient and allow yourself enough time not to be rushed. If things don’t progress after an hour, then you might want to start troubleshooting.

Once the VNC console shows a login prompt, the upgrade should be finished and you should be able to log into your system. If you see a bunch of errors on the dashboard, don’t panic. Do an “Apply Changes” or ‘fwconsole reload’ and most if not all of these should clear up. (at least ones that weren’t there before the upgrade.)

Next Steps After Upgrading

Once you finish upgrading, obviously you’ll want to test your system thoroughly. You may also want to archive/remove any old backups and immediately run a new backup as your FreePBX 13 backups will no longer be valid to recover your FreePBX 14 system. (they will of course still work if you reinstall FreePBX 13.)

Updates for modules and the operating system have been combined and are now in Admin > Updates. If you go to the “Scheduler and Alerts” tab you will notice that by default “Automatic Module Updates” is set to “Enabled”. We prefer to set this to “Email Only” as we do not like to be caught off guard on the slight chance an update may cause a problem. Instead we prefer to schedule these to be done manually.

Troubleshooting / Recovery

If things go wrong you have (at least) two options. You can try to re-run the second stage of the upgrade to attempt to finish things up, OR you can reinstall FreePBX 13 and restore your backup.

To try and re-run the second stage (assuming you’ve cleared the second automatic reboot), refer to the instructions on the FreePBX Wiki.

If you need to reinstall and restore your backup, first make sure your backup has been moved safely off your server, then you can use these instructions to reinstall the operating system, re-upload the backup, and run the restore process. If your server is a Dedicated Server, you will need to open a support ticket to have one of our engineers reinstall FreePBX for you.

Managed Upgrade Option

Does this sound exactly like your ideal Saturday afternoon, or would you rather leave this to someone else? If the latter is true, we offer a Managed Upgrade service that, depending on your current FreePBX version, starts as low as $199. Not only does this liberate you from the task of performing the upgrade, but we also do the bulk of the work on a staging copy of your server to minimize downtime.

Once we have an upgraded clone of your PBX server ready, we’ll arrange 30-60 minutes to sync up some data and swap the new server in place of the old one. Additionally if you find a bug you weren’t expecting and need to switch back, we can do that as well for as long as you keep your old server active.

Contact us to learn more about this option.