It is highly recommended to perform a test update on a separate testing machine first.

Updating from an earlier version of OTRS 8
You can update directly from any previous to the latest available patch level release.
Updating from OTRS 7
You can update from any OTRS 7 patch level release to the latest available OTRS 8 patch level release.
Updating from OTRS 6 or earlier

You cannot update from OTRS 6 or earlier directly to OTRS 8. Full updates to all available minor versions have to be made sequentially instead. For example, if you come from OTRS 5, you first have to perform a full update to OTRS 6, then to OTRS 7 and finally to OTRS 8.

See also

See the admin manual of the previous versions of OTRS for the update instructions.

Step 1: Stop All Relevant Services and the OTRS Daemon

Please make sure there are no more running services or cron jobs that try to access OTRS. This will depend on your service configuration and OTRS version.

root> systemctl stop postfix
root> systemctl stop apache2
root> systemctl stop otrs-daemon
root> systemctl stop otrs-webserver

Step 2: Backup Files and Database

Create a backup of the following files and folders:

  • Kernel/Config.pm
  • Kernel/Config/Files/User/*.pm
  • Kernel/WebApp.conf
  • var/*
  • as well as the database


Don’t proceed without a complete backup of your system. Use the Backup script for this.

Step 3: Install the New Release

You can obtain either otrs-x.y.z.tar.gz or otrs-x.y.z.tar.bz2. Unpack the source archive (for example, using tar) into the directory /opt, and create a symbolic link /opt/otrs that points to /opt/otrs-x.y.z. Do not forget to replace the version numbers!


Package bzip2 is not installed in some systems by default. Make sure, that bzip2 is installed before unpacking otrs-x.y.z.tar.bz2.

Unpack command for otrs-x.y.z.tar.gz:

root> tar -xzf otrs-x.y.z.tar.gz -C /opt

Unpack command for otrs-x.y.z.tar.bz2:

root> tar -xjf otrs-x.y.z.tar.bz2 -C /opt

It is recommended to create a symbolic link named /opt/otrs that always points to the latest OTRS version. Using symbolic link makes easy to manage the OTRS updates, because you can leave untouched the directory of the previous version, only the symbolic link needs to change. If you need to revert the update, you can change the target of the symbolic link back.

Execute this command to create a symbolic link:

root> ln -fns /opt/otrs-x.y.z /opt/otrs

Restore Old Configuration Files

  • Kernel/Config.pm
  • Kernel/Config/Files/User/*.pm
  • Kernel/WebApp.conf

Restore Article Data

If you configured OTRS to store article data in the file system you have to restore the article folder to /opt/otrs/var/ or the folder specified in the system configuration.

Restore Already Installed Default Statistics

If you have additional packages with default statistics you have to restore the stats XML files with the suffix *.installed to /opt/otrs/var/stats.

root> cd OTRS-BACKUP/var/stats
root> cp *.installed /opt/otrs/var/stats

Set File Permissions

Please execute the following command to set the file and directory permissions for OTRS. It will try to detect the correct user and group settings needed for your setup.

root> /opt/otrs/bin/otrs.SetPermissions.pl

Install Required Programs and Perl Modules

Use the following script to get an overview of all installed and required CPAN modules and other external dependencies.

root> perl /opt/otrs/bin/otrs.CheckEnvironment.pl
Checking for Perl Modules:
  o Archive::Tar.....................ok (v1.90)
  o Archive::Zip.....................ok (v1.37)
  o Crypt::Eksblowfish::Bcrypt.......ok (v0.009)


Please note that OTRS requires a working Perl installation with all core modules such as the module version. These modules are not explicitly checked by the script. You may need to install a perl-core package on some systems like RHEL that do not install the Perl core packages by default.

To install the required and optional packages, you can use either CPAN or the package manager of your Linux distribution.

Execute this command to get an install command to install the missing dependencies:

root> /opt/otrs/bin/otrs.CheckEnvironment.pl --list

OTRS requires a supported stable version of Node.js to be installed. Please refer to the Node.js installation instructions.

Setup Elasticsearch Cluster

OTRS requires an active cluster of Elasticsearch (only versions between 6.5.x and 6.8.x are supported, newer versions are not supported). The easiest way is to setup Elasticsearch on the same host as OTRS and binding it to its default port. With that, no further configuration in OTRS is needed. For more information read the Set up Elasticsearch chapter in the official documentation.

Additionally, OTRS requires plugins to be installed into Elasticsearch:

root> /usr/share/elasticsearch/bin/elasticsearch-plugin install --batch ingest-attachment
root> /usr/share/elasticsearch/bin/elasticsearch-plugin install --batch analysis-icu


Restart Elasticsearch afterwards, or indexes will not be built.

To verify the Elasticsearch installation, you can use the following command:

otrs> /opt/otrs/bin/otrs.Console.pl Maint::DocumentSearch::Check
Trying to connect to cluster...
  Connection successful.

Step 4: Run the Migration Script

The migration script will perform many checks on your system and give you advice on how to install missing Perl modules etc., if that is required. If all checks succeeded, the necessary migration steps will be performed. Please also run this script in case of patch level updates.

Run the migration script:

otrs> /opt/otrs/scripts/DBUpdate-to-8.pl


Do not continue the upgrading process if this script did not work properly for you. Otherwise malfunction or data loss may occur.

The migration script also checks if ACLs and system configuration settings are correct. In case of an invalid system configuration setting, script will offer you an opportunity to fix it by choosing from a list of possible values. In case the script runs in a non-interactive mode, it will try to automatically fix invalid settings. If this fails, you will be asked to manually update the setting after the migration.

If there are outdated ACLs, the system will not be able to fix them automatically, and they need to be corrected by the administrator. Please see the last step for manual changes for details.

Step 5: Update Installed Packages


Packages for OTRS 7 are not compatible with OTRS 8 and have to be updated.

You can use the command below to update all installed packages. This works for all packages that are available from online repositories. You can update other packages later via the package manager (this requires a running OTRS daemon).

otrs> /opt/otrs/bin/otrs.Console.pl Admin::Package::UpgradeAll

Step 6: Start your Services

Now the services can be started. This will depend on your service configuration, here is an example:

root> systemctl start postfix
root> systemctl start apache2


The OTRS daemon is required for correct operation of OTRS such as sending emails. Please activate it as described in the next step.

Step 7: Start the OTRS Daemon and Web Server

OTRS comes with example systemd configuration files that can be used to make sure that the OTRS daemon and web server are started automatically after the system starts.

root> cd /opt/otrs/scripts/systemd
root> for UNIT in *.service; do cp -vf $UNIT /usr/lib/systemd/system/; systemctl enable $UNIT; done
root> systemctl start otrs-daemon
root> systemctl start otrs-webserver

Now you can log into your system.

Step 8: Manual Migration Tasks and Changes


This step is required only for major update from OTRS 7.

With OTRS 8 a new default password policy for agents and customer users is in effect. The password policy rules can be changed in the system configuration (PreferencesGroups###Password and CustomerPersonalPreference###Password).

Password Policy Rule Default
PasswordMinSize 8
PasswordMin2Lower2UpperCharacters Yes
PasswordNeedDigit Yes
PasswordHistory 10
PasswordTTL 30 days
PasswordWarnBeforeExpiry 5 days
PasswordChangeAfterFirstLogin Yes

It is also possible to add some password policy exceptions for agents or customer users. Please check the following configuration options for details:

  • PasswordPolicy::ExceptAgentPasswordComplexity
  • PasswordPolicy::ExceptAgentPasswordTTL
  • PasswordPolicy::ExceptAgentPasswordHistory
  • PasswordPolicy::ExceptAgentPasswordChangeAfterFirstLogin
  • PasswordPolicy::ExceptCustomerPasswordComplexity
  • PasswordPolicy::ExceptCustomerPasswordTTL
  • PasswordPolicy::ExceptCustomerPasswordHistory
  • PasswordPolicy::ExceptCustomerPasswordChangeAfterFirstLogin

Since the old agent interface screens are no longer present, some ACLs need to be corrected manually by the administrator. The migration script already informed you if this is the case.

Affected ACLs are those that refer to a non-existing agent interface screen in their Action setting. This front end Action rule needs to be replaced with a corresponding Endpoint rule. A table with possible mapping is included below.

Action Endpoint
AgentTicketSearch No replacement (feature dropped)
AgentTicketEmailResend No replacement (feature dropped)
AgentTicketZoom AgentFrontend::TicketDetailView
AgentTicketProcess AgentFrontend::TicketCreateProcess or AgentFrontend::ProcessTicketNextStep
AgentTicketEmail AgentFrontend::TicketCreate::Email

Recommendation: Convert Your MySQL Database

OTRS 7 and previous versions only supported the utf8 MySQL database character set, which is not able to store all Unicode characters. Since OTRS 8 the utf8mb4 character set is also supported, which removes this limitation. It is recommended to convert your database at your convenience with the built-in migration script.

Running the migration script without options will display only if something needs to be converted.

otrs> /opt/otrs/bin/otrs.Console.pl Maint::Database::MySQL::UTF8MB4Migration
The following tasks need to be done:
  - 1 table(s) need to be converted to 'DYNAMIC' row format
  - the database needs to be converted to 'utf8mb4'
  - 411 column(s) need to be converted to 'utf8mb4'
  - 156 table(s) need to be converted to 'utf8mb4'

Use the --force option to perform the actual migration.

otrs> /opt/otrs/bin/otrs.Console.pl Maint::Database::MySQL::UTF8MB4Migration --force

After the migration is done, you need to add a new switch to file Kernel/Config.pm to activate the utf8mb4 support.

$Self->{'Database::mysql::utf8mb4'} = 1;


OTRS 8 can be operated in the utf8 character set, without this migration. But OTRS 9 will only support the utf8mb4 character set. Therefore this migration needs to be done during the life cycle of OTRS 8 at some point.