Upgrade from an old Gitea

Table of Contents

To update Gitea, download a newer version, stop the old one, perform a backup, and run the new one. Every time a Gitea instance starts up, it checks whether a database migration should be run. If a database migration is required, Gitea will take some time to complete the upgrade and then serve.

Backup for downgrade

Gitea keeps compatibility for patch versions whose first two fields are the same (a.b.x -> a.b.y), these patch versions can be upgraded and downgraded with the same database structure. Otherwise (a.b.? -> a.c.?), a newer Gitea version will upgrade the old database to a new structure that may differ from the old version.

For example:

From To Result
1.4.0 1.4.1
1.4.1 1.4.0 ⚠️ Not recommended, take your own risk! Although it may work if the database structure doesn’t change, it’s highly recommended to use a backup to downgrade.
1.4.x 1.5.y ✅ Database gets upgraded. You can upgrade from 1.4.x to the latest 1.5.y directly.
1.5.y 1.4.x ❌ Database already got upgraded and can not be used for an old Gitea, use a backup to downgrade.

Since you can not run an old Gitea with an upgraded database, a backup should always be made before a database upgrade.

If you use Gitea in production, it’s always highly recommended to make a backup before upgrade, even if the upgrade is between patch versions.

Backup steps:

  • Stop Gitea instance
  • Backup database
  • Backup Gitea config
  • Backup Gitea data files in APP_DATA_PATH
  • Backup Gitea external storage (eg: S3/MinIO or other storages if used)

If you are using cloud services or filesystems with snapshot feature, a snapshot for the Gitea data volume and related object storage is more convenient.

Upgrade with Docker

  • docker pull the latest Gitea release.
  • Stop the running instance, backup data.
  • Use docker or docker-compose to start the newer Gitea Docker container.

Upgrade from package

  • Stop the running instance, backup data.
  • Use your package manager to upgrade Gitea to the latest version.
  • Start the Gitea instance.

Upgrade from binary

  • Download the latest Gitea binary to a temporary directory.
  • Stop the running instance, backup data.
  • Replace the installed Gitea binary with the downloaded one.
  • Start the Gitea instance.

Take care about customized templates

Gitea’s template structure and variables may change between releases, if you are using customized templates, do pay attention if your templates are compatible with the Gitea you are using.

If the customized templates don’t match Gitea version, you may experience: 50x server error, page components missing or malfunctioning, strange page layout, … Remove or update the incompatible templates and Gitea web will work again.