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Upgrading NodeBB

NodeBB's periodic releases are located in the Releases. These releases contain what is usually considered the most bug-free code, and is designed to be used on production-level instances of NodeBB.

You can utilise git to install a specific version of NodeBB, and upgrade periodically as new releases are made.

To obtain the latest fixes and features, you can also git clone the latest version directly from the repository (master branch), although its stability cannot be guaranteed. Core developers will attempt to ensure that every commit results in a working client, even if individual features may not be 100% complete.

As always, the NodeBB team is not responsible for any misadventures, loss of data, data corruption, or any other bad things that may arise due to a botched upgrade - so please don't forget to back up before beginning!

Upgrade Path

NodeBB's upgrade path is designed so that upgrading between versions is straightforward.

Upgrade Steps

1. Shut down your forum

While it is possible to upgrade NodeBB while it is running, it is definitely not recommended, particularly if it is an active forum:

cd /path/to/nodebb
./nodebb stop

2. Back up your data

Backing up Redis

As with all upgrades, the first step is to back up your data! Nobody likes database corruption/misplacement.

All of the textual data stored in NodeBB is found in a .rdb file. On typical installs of Redis, the main database is found at /var/lib/redis/dump.rdb.

Store this file somewhere safe.

Backing up MongoDB

To run a backup of your complete MongoDB you can simply run


which will create a directory structure that can be restored with the mongorestore command.

It is recommended that you first shut down your database. On Debian / Ubuntu it's likely to be: sudo service mongodb stop

Store this file somewhere safe.


Uploaded images and files are stored in /public/uploads. Feel free to back up this folder too:

cd /path/to/nodebb/public
tar -czf ~/nodebb_assets.tar.gz ./uploads

3. Grab the latest and greatest code

Before upgrading NodeBB make sure you have the required nodejs version. NodeBB supports the latest stable versions of nodejs. (v18, etc.) To upgrade nodejs run

curl -sL | sudo -E bash -
sudo apt-get install -y nodejs

Navigate to your NodeBB: cd /path/to/nodebb.

There are multiple ways NodeBB can be installed. You could either be on the main branch (master), a release branch (e.g. v2.x), or using archived downloads from releases of NodeBB repo.

Don't know what branch you are on? Execute git rev-parse --abbrev-ref HEAD to find out.

via main branch

git fetch    # Grab the latest code from the NodeBB repository
git reset --hard v2.2.5    # Replace this with the version you want to upgrade to

This should retrieve the latest (and greatest) version of NodeBB from the repository.

via release branches

If you are upgrading from a lower branch to a higher branch, switch branches as necessary. Make sure you are completely up-to-date on your current branch!.

For example, if upgrading from v1.19.8 to v2.2.5:

git fetch    # Grab the latest code from the NodeBB repository
git checkout v2.x    # Switch to the v2.x branch since we are now upgrading to NodeBB version 2
git reset --hard origin/v2.x

If not upgrading between branches (e.g. v2.2.4 to v2.2.5), just run the following commands:

git fetch
git reset --hard origin/v2.x

This should retrieve the latest (and greatest) version of NodeBB from the repository.

via archived release

Alternatively, download and extract the latest versioned copy of the code from the Releases Page. Overwrite any files as necessary. This method is not supported.

4. Run the NodeBB upgrade script

This script will install any missing dependencies, upgrade any plugins or themes (if an upgrade is available), and migrate the database if necessary.

./nodebb upgrade

5. Start up NodeBB & Test!

./nodebb start -l

You should now be running the latest version of NodeBB.