Migrate to a new server and update 13 to 18

I am surprised not to find someone asking this problem before me. Sorry, but I did search!

I have Nextcloud 13 running on Debian Jessie. Can’t upgrade Nextcloud any further until PHP is upgraded.

The plan is to move everything off the server and update it to Buster, then move everything back again.

The question is how best to do the first step: move and update.
I guess (hope) that moving back again will be relatively straightforward.

Do I need to install Nextcloud 13 on the new server, import the data directory and database, then update Nextcloud?

Could I import a Nextcloud 13 database and data directory into a new NC 18 installation?

Or is there a better approach that I’ve not considered?

Oh - this will be very painfull… :grimacing:
It is not supported to jump over major releases - you can only go from one to another.
In your case, this means:
Nextcloud 13 -> 14 -> 15 -> 16-> 17 -> 18
Including backups to every DB step.

Backups won’t be needed, really. I could always start again!
To be honest, I’m wondering whether to not bother.
Mostly the instance is a files repository. Perhaps a simple synch to a client, then build the new instance and synch back up would do.
Or synch from one nextcloud server and another, despite being different versions?
Is there a way to move accounts between servers?

No backups?

No problem. Delete all and install Debian Buster and Nextcloud 18 directly.

Why don’t you:

  1. Update Debian
  2. Update PHP
  3. Update Nextcloud, the way hartmut001 said?

I see no reason to move everything off the server. Backups are helpful, of course.

Ok it was a joke from me.
Perhaps you can install Debian Buster and Nextcloud 18.
Then create all users new.
Then restore only the data (files with cp, …) and not the shares, calendar, …
Then rescan all.
Users must renew shares, …

If you are alone (no other users) it would be the easiest way to stop sync at client side, set up the server and start syncing from client to server with a new connection - that’s right.

There are other reasons to wipe the server and start again, unfortunately.

That’s the point: there are already daily backups, there is already a copy on the old server. No need for a third layer of backup.

There are only a few users, very few using shares. Perhaps that’s the easiest way to do it.
I’ll have to get my head round how to copy the data directory and then get it to match the data to user accounts.
Is there any documentation about this?

Just an advice: Don’t let your Nextcloud rot for that long, especially if it is connected to the Internet having a lot of security vulnerabilities on unsupported versions.

Aside from that, if you update, that is surely possible (still), but you have to check your PHP versions (Jessie had 5.6 by default) so that they are compatible with the releases of Nextcloud. If you can set it up new, that might be easier depending on the amount of users and shares.

First you need a backup of your data. I you use the same server you do not need to restore the backup. But if something fails you need a backup.

If you use a a second partition for your data you can install Debian Buster on / and leave /data (??) unchanged. After install Nextcloud you can change the data-dir in config/config.php to the second partition and make a rescan.

If you do not have a second partition you install Debian Buster with deleting all files and you must restore your nextcloud-data-files to the right directory.

Leave the data directory and do not reuse it!
In this directory there are only the files without the real names, connections (dirctory and User and permissions), but a kind of UUID. The rest is in the database. If you just copy the dirctory without the DB content (and that info is spread over several tables) - there is only unusable garbage remaining.
So in fact, without the DB information, you can delete the data dir completely!

I think only if encryption is used. On my server in the structure are normal files.

Here a file in …/nextcloud/data/username/files/folder1/folder2
Unbenannt

OK - you’re right cancel that :blush:

Just an advice: if you offer advice, get your facts straight.

Nextcloud is as up-to-date as it is possible to be on that server. All
versions after 13 need a newer version of php. That server is hosting
business-critical software that was not able to move to later versions
of php.

It is offensive to suggest that it was left to rot by anyone than the
people who developed versions of Nextcloud that won’t install on old
platforms.

Now I’m in a position to fix the problem, it has been made much too
difficult.

If this server is hosting business critical software as well, then running a Nextcloud version that got its last update almost 1,5 years ago on the same server is definitely not a good idea. PHP requirements were bumped several times now, the Nextcloud developers do this according to the PHP support schedule

Yes, you’re right: we should have dumped Nextcloud altogether when they
decided not to support the current LTS version of Debian a whole year
and a half early.