XF 1.4 Extracting zip file on server via SSH when upgrading


Well-known member
The official XenForo upgrade instructions always seem to have us uncompress the zip file before uploading it via FTP. This can make the uploading process excruciatingly slow. Apparently, this isn't the only way, though:
If you use SSH or even cPanel, uploading the .zip and then extracting the files on the server is perfectly valid, much, much quicker and less prone to error due to missing/corrupt files.
I love this idea.

Are there any gotchas or things to keep in mind when using this approach?
  • Are there any hidden gotchas with this approach? I have to wonder why the manual doesn't mention it given how it is so much faster.
  • Do we have to worry about setting file permissions (chmod)?
I had a lot of trouble finding information on this and wasted a lot of time on it, so I've written a keyword laden post and am going to archive links to the best step-by-step instructions I was able to find:

Answers to my questions would still be appreciated, though.


Well-known member
Thanks, Brogan.

Is XenForo aware of any hidden dangers or things to be aware of with this approach? Will file permissions need to be reset? Testing this is time consuming, so there should be some public documentation for such a basic function.

I appreciate your help and don't want to be negative, but I'd like to relay a story. I tried uploading the unzipped files via FTP on my test server for a simple update from 1.3.3 to 1.3.6. It took on the order of 45 minutes. During this period, there was often a banner at the top of the forum that would confuse and possibly scare users, damaging our brand. At times, the forum was completely unavailable. As a customer, let me say that this is an issue that my organization takes seriously. I think that XenForo should provide its customers with better documentation on this basic but crucial function. As I am sure XenForo is aware, good, well organized documentation is sometimes more important than new features.


XenForo moderator
Staff member
There are no known risks associated with upgrading via SSH.
You don't need to do anything with file permissions.
I use that method every time I upgrade.

Uploading the files individually via FTP is always going to be much slower than extracting the .zip on the server and overwriting directly.

Alternatively, you can FTP them to a temp directory and then move them.
The 'downtime' in that case will be just as long as it takes to move the files and perform the upgrade.


Active member
There are no known risks associated with upgrading via SSH.
You don't need to do anything with file permissions.
I use that method every time I upgrade.
thanks @Brogan for this method, before iam always uploading it via filezilla after uncompress the zip file,,that process very slow for me,,i will try this method on next xenforo release :)


Well-known member
for me using the below is a massive time saver imo, the only thing I need to change is the owner of the files, as they unpack as root.
yes |cp -fRp upload/* /public_html/forum