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Use this document to UPGRADE CiviCRM installations on Joomla from versions 2.2.x, 3.x.x, 4.x.x to 4.4

IMPORTANT: CiviCRM 4.4 requires Joomla  2.5.x or 3.0.x

Version 4.4 Requirements

Before beginning this upgrade, verify that your server meets the requirements for CiviCRM 4.4.

  • Joomla Version. : CiviCRM 4.4 has been built to run under Joomla 2.5.x or 3.0.x. 4.4 is not compatible with Joomla 1.0.x and Joomla 1.5.x sites.
  • PHP 5.3.3+  (more info...).
  • MySQL 5.1.x or higher with INNODB support : CiviCRM is compatible the current generally available MySQL release. Note that MySQL 5.1 is recommended for new installations and as sites are upgraded as CiviCRM is beginning to use Triggers more (eg to support multi-lingual installations), which require SUPER privileges in MySQL 5.0.
  • PCRE with Unicode properties support (more info).
Upgrade a Copy of Your Site First and Make a Complete Backup

We strongly recommend that you create a copy of your existing site (directories and database) - and upgrade that copy first in order to make sure you can complete the upgrade successfully. In any case, you should create a full backup of the installed civicrm directory tree and civicrm database before beginning the upgrade process. Note that not all versions of mysql or phpmyadmin export triggers or stored procedures by default.

System Administrators Alert

 All Cron Jobs Must be Re-configured

  • Upgrades from 4.1.x and prior: All CiviCRM-related cron jobs will stop working as soon as any site is upgraded from 4.1.x and below. If you are upgrading from a version prior to 4.2, cron jobs will need to be reconfigured using the new Scheduled Jobs method.

  • Upgrades from 4.2.x: If you are running scheduled jobs using CLI.php, you will need to reconfigure cron to include a password. Scheduled jobs will no longer run if the password is not provided (learn more).

The steps below assume you are already running Joomla 2.5 or 3.0. If you have not yet upgraded to Joomla 2.5 or 3.0, you must do that before installing CiviCRM v4.x. Also note that if you used the jUpgrade extension to manage your Joomla upgrade, it would have created your upgraded site in a subdirectory (jupgrade/ by default). If you use that subdirectory site to upgrade CiviCRM you will need to alter your civicrm.settings.php file prior to the upgrade (to reflect the subdirectory) and after you complete the upgrade and move your site to a root directory (to again reflect the correct directory location).

1. Download and Un-tar CiviCRM Code

All CiviCRM code and packages used by CiviCRM (such as PEAR libraries) are included in the compressed CiviCRM distribution files ('tarballs'). Follow these steps to download and install the codebase:

  • Download the appropriate archive file with your browser. Archive file-names include the CiviCRM version. For example,
  • You may notice a file on the named something like the -alt version DOES NOT require .zip functions compiled into PHP by your hosting company.  If you get errors like "Your PHP version is missing zip functionality. Please ask your system administrator / hosting provider to recompile PHP with zip support." - Try the -alt version.
  • Upload this file to your JOOMLA_ROOT/tmp/ .  Unzipping will create a directory called: com_civicrm.

2. Backup your CiviCRM database and settings file

Refer to the MySQLDump documentation or phpMyAdmin documentation if you need information on backing up your database. Note that not all versions of mysql or phpmyadmin export triggers or stored procedures by default.

Also make a backup/copy of civicrm settings files:

  1. <joomla_root>/components/com_civicrm/civicrm.settings.php and
  2. <joomla_root>/administrator/components/com_civicrm/civicrm.settings.php


If you have customized CiviCRM through PHP/template (tpl)/css overrides or hooks, you will need to update the code to the upgraded version. Depending on the extent and function-critical nature of your customizations, you may want to upgrade your installation in a development environment first where you can review each modified file, bring it current to the new codebase, and thoroughly test before implementing in a live environment.

If you have created CSS changes in the extras.css to override the standard CiviCRM CSS settings, back up this file from <Joomla-root>/administrator/components/com_civicrm/civicrm/css as it does get overwritten during the upgrade installation.

If you modified any core files, also be prepared to backup and update them to the new release you are implementing.

3. Install the Extension

  • Login to your Joomla Administrator site.
  • Go to Extensions » Extension Manager » Install
  • Use the Install from Directory option and enter the full path to the un-zipped com_civicrm directory, which should be something like  JOOMLA.x_ROOT/tmp/com_civicrm. If your temp directory is configured correctly you should only need to add "com_civicrm" to the prepopulated path.
  • You should see "CiviCRM successfully installed" message.

    *If you get the following error when installing or upgrading CiviCRM for Joomla!,* download and use the package.
    Your PHP version is missing zip functionality. Please ask your system administrator/hosting provider to recompile PHP with zip support.

The steps above will install CiviCRM directly on top of your existing installation. If you run into any issues, such as the component not appearing to reflect the new version, you may need to first uninstall the existing version and then install the new version. Uninstalling CiviCRM will remove the component files, but will not impact your database in any way.

4. Run the Database Upgrade script

MySQL 4.0 and 4.1 are Not Supported

Support for MySQL versions 4.0 and 4.1 has been discontinued. This means that you may encounter various issues and/or unexpected behavior if you atempt to run CiviCRM under these versions, and the CiviCRM engineering team will not provide support for debugging or resolving these issues. You are strongly encouraged to upgrade to the current generally available release of MySQL.

After the component installation completes you will be given a link to initiate the database upgrade script. You may also point your web browser to the following URL (you should already be logged in to Joomla with administrator-level permissions):

You should see an Upgrade successful message when the upgrade completes.

  • If you receive any errors during the process, please note the exact error message and check for solutions on the community support forum.
  • Now click the Return to CiviCRM home page link.
  • You should be up and running with the latest CiviCRM version. Confirm by checking the version and revision in the page footer. Note that you may need to refresh the browser screen a couple times to clear out your local cache and ensure the layout loads correctly.
  • Take some time to browse the CiviCRM features that your organization uses. If you notice unexpected behaviors or error messages, refer to the trouble-shooting section below.

5. Verify and Update Configuration Settings

If you are running this installation in a different directory from your old site you may need to update the CiviCRM Resource URL setting (missing icons and images, as well as problems with javascript functions and stylesheets are all symptoms that this setting needs to be updated).

  • Go to Administer » System Settings » Resource URLs
  • Refer to the field help on that screen for instructions.

With each new release of CiviCRM there may be new sub-components and configuration settings available. Visit Administer » System Settings and review each section to make sure your system is configured as desired. If you uninstalled CiviCRM before installing the new version please be sure to review each setting carefully as it's possible some of your settings were reset to the default options.

6. Restore settings file changes

Review the backup versions of the files below and compare them with the new versions just installed. In particular, make sure your site key value was retained and any of the configuration options found in those files are still intact.

  1. <joomla_root>/components/com_civicrm/civicrm.settings.php
  2. <joomla_root>/administrator/components/com_civicrm/civicrm.settings.php


Reset Session

If you are seeing unexpected behavior after completing the upgrade, you may need to reset your session. First log-out of your Administrator session and log back in. This may resolve the issues. If this doesn't help, use this procedure to force a session reset:

  1. Temporarily enable CiviCRM debug features:
    • Go to Administer » System Settings » Debugging and Error Handling
    • Set Enable Debugging to Yes and click Save.
  2. Click the Administer CiviCRM menu (or any other CiviCRM menu item). After the page is loaded, add an additional query string value (&sessionReset=2) to the URL in your browser's location bar, and reload the page.

  3. Clear template cache by adding an additional query string value (&directoryCleanupReset=1)

  4. Now set Enable Debuggingto No and click Save.

    Do Not Leave Debug Features Enabled for a Public Site

    Debugging should be disabled for publicly available sites as it may allow browsers to view system configuration information.

Upgrade script fails with fatal database-related errors OR reports "Database check failed"

Download and run the Database Troubleshooting Tools to test the current state of the database and provides a diagnosis. The tools suite also includes a repair facility.
(Note ... the troubleshooting tools do not work with version 4.4 - this item should be deleted shortly)

Remove cached copies of old templates

It may be that the install did not clear out the template cache. Try removing the cache contents. For example, with Linux, use with a command like:

This will force CiviCRM to load the new templates rather than cached copies of the old ones.

Need More Help?

If you have any problems with these procedures, try searching the community forums and this wiki for solutions. If you've gotten an error message, use that message in your search. If you can not resolve the problem, then post your problem to the forum. Be sure to include the CiviCRM version and revision you are upgrading FROM and TO; your Joomla version; your PHP and MySQL versions; the steps you've taken and a the exact error message or problem that resulted.