Upgrading XF 2.1.x to 2.2.x


Active member
I'm sure this is a very easy question for you experienced XF folks.:)

When it comes to upgrading XF 2.1.x to 2.2.x (a more involved upgrade than usual)...plus XF add-on's & non-XF add-on's...what's the best procedure:

  • Option 1: Upgrade XF first...then upgrade all Add-On's as necessary.
  • Option 2: Upgrade all Add-on's first...then upgrade XF.

If for example...Option 1 is the better way (upgrade XF first). How do you know if all installed add-on's are compatible/not compatible with the new version of XF? Are they "grayed out" in the AdminCP...or some other way of knowing?

I know checking compatibility of each add-on with the developer of each add-on is one way to do it. But this is a lot of messaging...and not all developers respond as quickly as others.

Unfortunately the Xenforo.com resource area (and many developer websites)...do not include compatibility info for each version of an add-on (usually compatibility info is only listed for the current version of the add-on). Thus the Xenforo.com & developer websites are not always 100% helpful when trying to determine compatability info for older versions of an add-on.

But anyways...what's the best procedure for doing an XF 2.1 to 2.2 upgrade?

Upgrade XF first...then the add-on's. Or upgrade add-on's first...then upgrade XF?

You can't do option 2 first as the core software needs to be upgraded before the add-ons can.

Create a test installation and test the procedure first.

Then take a backup and do it on the live site.
In general, most developers should list which versions of XF the add-on is compatible with.

You should see this on the resource page:

In general, most developers should list which versions of XF the add-on is compatible with.

You should see this on the resource page:

View attachment 261284
I did a lot of looking (and assuming I was looking at things properly)...what I was seeing was the XF compatible versions are listed for the most recent version of an add-on. But for previous add-on versions (if "History" or "Updates" is clicked on)...the versions of XF that each older version of an add-on are compatible with is not usually listed.

Thus if someone (like myself)...wants to upgrade from XF 2.1 to XF 2.2 (and the XF 2.1 install contains a lot of add-on's)...looking up XF compatibility for those older add-ons is difficult.

Of course in some situations if the most recent version of an add-on is compatible with both XF 2.1 & 2.2...then someone is usually pretty good to go at that point. But if the newest version of an add-on is v3.1...and someone running XF 2.1 that has v2.8 installed of this add-on...finding out if v2.8 is compatible with XF 2.2 can be difficult (without contacting the developer).
In general, you should always be on the latest (compatible) version of software for the core, official add-ons, and third party add-ons.
That's of course good advice. I think in some cases the newest version of an add-on for XF 2.1 might be only compatible with XF 2.2...thus I'm not able to run the newest version of that add-on since it wouldn't work with and older version of XF (2.1).

If all add-on's I have installed were compatible with both XF 2.1 & 2.2...then all would be good. Simply upgrade XF to 2.2...then upgrade all add-on's. The difficulty results when you don't know if some older versions of an add-on are compatible with XF 2.2 (because this info may not be listed in the add-on's History or Update sections in the Xenforo.com resource area...or on the developers website).

Some of the current installed add-on's may not all need upgrading to work with XF 2.2. The goal is to upgrade what's necessary...since each add-on upgrade may have $$$ associated with it.

If someone had 15 add-on's installed...and all 15 needed a new license...that can add-up to some serious cash for sites that don't generate a lot of revenue. Thus the idea is to only pay for new licenses for the add-on's that need a newer version for XF 2.2 compatibility now...and renew the license's for all other add-on's (that may already be XF 2.2. compatible)...at a later time when more $$$ is available.

If the "pot of gold" were bottomless...then of course buy new licenses for everything at once...and install all the latest add-on versions!:)
Did the upgrade to 2.2.5 last night...upgrade seemed to mostly go ok. Got the following messages in the AdminCP after the upgrade:

Screen Shot 2021-12-03 at 7.13.36 AM.webp

Here is the specific info regarding the "templates may be outdated" message (below). Not sure what to do about it...not sure if I should click on the "Merge" option or not.

Please be aware the topmost style shown is a "Parent" style...the bottom style listed is a "Child" style (but of a different Parent style).

Thanks for any help/advice.

Screen Shot 2021-12-03 at 7.04.11 AM.webp
Here is the specific info regarding the "templates may be outdated" message (below). Not sure what to do about it...not sure if I should click on the "Merge" option or not.
Are the parent styles third party or your own work? If the former, check to see if there is an updated build of the style or advice from the stylist on merging as that might resolve the issue. If the latter, then probably merge and then look it over to see if anything needs tweaking or fixing. For instance, I use one of PixelExit's styles as the parent for my board's style so I generally check for updates and advice from them before merging (in my dev, I don't take an update live until I have these things sorted).
Are the parent styles third party or your own work?
* The Parent style shown in the screenshot above...is a style I created. I believe it's a clone of the stock XF 2.1 style...and most of the modifying I did were cosmetic changes with the extra.less template (some text color changes...background color changes...highlighted text changes...etc.).

I may have made some small changes in some other templates...but they were minor.

* With the Child style shown in the screenshot above...I believe the parent style was something I got for free. I believe it's called "XF 2.1 default dark" (it's a dark style). Again...most of the changes I made to this style would have been mostly cosmetic changes...and most/all of those changes would have been in the extra.less template.

Thanks for the help:)
Wanted to post a quick update. Had about 10 outdated templates to "Merge" (5 templates each for 2 different styles). Long story short...did the "Merging" for all templates...and all went fine. Of course I did backups of all outdated templates before merging...just in case the final Merge had issues (then I would have the original template code to refer to).

Cleared all server errors after all outdated templated were merged (seemed like some server errors were being thrown prior to the merging).

Finally...ran the AdminCP > Tools > File Health Check...and all went fine.

Been 2 days now...and all going good!:)

Thanks again for all the help!:):)

p.s. This was my first time doing a big XF update like this (and experiencing all the steps). I'm sure next time it will be much easier!:)
My first big update was going from 1.3.11(?) to 1.5.something. We had been kind of neglecting things for a couple years (hadn't even paid maintenance), hence the jump in version numbers.

My biggest was, of course, the jump from 1.5 to 2.1. I was prepping to go to 2.0 but 2.1 came out before I was ready so I skipped 2.0 and went straight to 2.1. Had to get the style redone and replace one add-on (the others we had on 1.x had been replaced by core functionality in 2.x).
Top Bottom