181b17d Aug 23, 2016
@thibaultcha @thefosk
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This document guides you through the process of upgrading Kong. First, check if a section named "Upgrade to Kong x.x.x" exists (x.x.x) being the version you are planning to upgrade to. If such a section does not exist, the upgrade you want to perform does not have any particular instructions, and you can simply consult the Suggested upgrade path.

Suggested upgrade path

Unless indicated otherwise in one of the upgrade paths of this document, it is possible to upgrade Kong without downtime:

Considering that Kong is already running on your system, acquire the latest version from any of the available installation methods and proceed to installing it, overriding your previous installation. Once done, consider that this is a good time to also modify your configuration.

Then, run any new migration to upgrade your database schema:

$ kong migrations up [-c configuration_file]
[OK] Schema up to date

If you see the "Schema up to date" message, you only have to reload Kong:

$ kong reload [-c configuration_file]

Reminder: kong reload leverages the Nginx reload signal and seamlessly starts new workers taking over the old ones until they all have been terminated. This will guarantee you no drop in your current incoming traffic.

Upgrade to 0.9.x

PostgreSQL is the new default datastore for Kong. If you were using Cassandra and you are upgrading, you must explicitly set cassandra as your database.

This release introduces a new CLI, which uses the lua-resty-cli interpreter. As such, the resty executable (shipped in the OpenResty bundle) must be available in your $PATH. Additionally, the bin/kong executable is not installed through Luarocks anymore, and must be placed in your $PATH as well. This change of behavior is taken care of if you are using one of the official Kong packages.

Once Kong updated, familiarize yourself with its new configuration format, and consider setting some of its properties via environment variables, if the need arises. This behavior as well as all available settings are documented in the kong.conf.default file shipped with this version.

Once your nodes configured, we recommend that you seamingly redirect your traffic through the new Kong 0.9 nodes before decomissioning your old nodes.

Upgrade to 0.8.x

No important breaking changes for this release, just be careful to not use the long deprecated routes /consumers/:consumer/keyauth/ and /consumers/:consumer/basicauth/ as instructed in the Changelog. As always, also make sure to check the configuration file for new properties (this release allows you to configure the read/write consistency of Cassandra).

Let's talk about PostgreSQL. To use it instead of Cassandra, follow those steps:

  • Get your hands on a 9.4+ server (being compatible with Postgres 9.4 allows you to use Amazon RDS)
  • Create a database, (maybe a user too?), let's say kong
  • Update your Kong configuration:
# as always, be careful about your YAML formatting
database: postgres
  host: ""
  port: 5432
  user: kong
  password: kong
  database: kong

As usual, migrations should run from kong start, but as a reminder and just in case, here are some tips:

Reset the database with (careful, you'll lose all data):

$ kong migrations reset --config kong.yml

Run the migrations manually with:

$ kong migrations up --config kong.yml

If needed, list your migrations for debug purposes with:

$ kong migrations list --config kong.yml

Note: This release does not provide a mean to migrate from Cassandra to PostgreSQL. Additionally, we recommend that you do not use kong reload if you switch your cluster from Cassandra to PostgreSQL. Instead, we recommend that you migrate by spawning a new cluster and gradually redirect your traffic before decomissioning your old nodes.

Upgrade to 0.7.x

If you are running a source installation, you will need to upgrade OpenResty to its 1.9.7.* version. The good news is that this family of releases does not need to patch the NGINX core anymore to enable SSL support. If you install Kong from one of the distribution packages, they already include the appropriate OpenResty, simply download and install the appropriate package for your platform.

As described in the Changelog, this upgrade has benefits, such as the SSL support and fixes for critical NGINX vulnerabilities, but also requires that you upgrade the nginx property of your Kong config, because it is not backwards compatible.

  • We advise that you retrieve the nginx property from the 0.7.x configuration file, and use it in yours with the changes you feel are appropriate.

  • Finally, you can reload Kong as usual:

$ kong reload [-c configuration_file]

Note: We expose the underlying NGINX configuration as a way for Kong to be as flexible as possible and allow you to bend your NGINX instance to your needs. We are aware that many of you do not need to customize it and such changes should not affect you. Plans are to embed the NGINX configuration in Kong, while still allowing customization for the most demanding users. #217 is the place to discuss this and share thoughts/needs.

Upgrade to 0.6.x

Note: if you are using Kong 0.4.x or earlier, you must first upgrade to Kong 0.5.x.

The configuration file changed in this release. Make sure to check out the new default one and update it to your needs. In particular, make sure that:

  - key-auth
  - ...
  - custom-plugin
proxy_port: ...
proxy_ssl_port: ...
admin_api_port: ...
        - ...


  - only-custom-plugins
proxy_listen: ...
proxy_listen_ssl: ...
admin_api_listen: ...
    - ...

Secondly, if you installed Kong from source or maintain a development installation, you will need to have Serf installed on your system and available in your $PATH. Serf is included with all the distribution packages and images available at

The same way, this should already be the case but make sure that LuaJIT is in your $PATH too as the CLI interpreter switched from Lua 5.1 to LuaJIT. Distribution packages also include LuaJIT.

In order to start Kong with its new clustering and cache invalidation capabilities, you will need to restart your node(s) (and not reload):

$ kong restart [-c configuration_file]

Read more about the new clustering capabilities of Kong 0.6.0 and its configurations in the Clustering documentation.

Upgrade to 0.5.x

Migrating to 0.5.x can be done without downtime by following those instructions. It is important that you be running Kong 0.4.2 and have the latest release of Python 2.7 on your system when executing those steps.

Several changes were introduced in this version: some plugins and properties were renamed and the database schema slightly changed to introduce "plugins migrations". Now, each plugin can have its own migration if it needs to store data in your cluster. This is not a regular migration since the schema of the table handling the migrations itself changed.

1. Configuration file

You will need to update your configuration file. Replace the plugins_available values with:

  - ssl
  - jwt
  - acl
  - cors
  - oauth2
  - tcp-log
  - udp-log
  - file-log
  - http-log
  - key-auth
  - hmac-auth
  - basic-auth
  - ip-restriction
  - mashape-analytics
  - request-transformer
  - response-transformer
  - request-size-limiting
  - rate-limiting
  - response-ratelimiting

You can still remove plugins you don't use for a lighter Kong.

Also replace the Cassandra hosts property with contact_points:

    - "..."
    - "..."
  timeout: 1000
  keyspace: kong
  keepalive: 60000
2. Migration script

This Python script will take care of migrating your database schema should you execute the following instructions:

# First, make sure you are already running Kong 0.4.2

# Clone the Kong git repository if you don't already have it:
$ git clone

# Go to the 'scripts/' folder:
$ cd kong/scripts

# Install the Python script dependencies:
$ pip install cassandra-driver==2.7.2 pyyaml

# The script will use the first Cassandra contact point in your Kong configuration file
# (the first of the 'contact_points' property) so make sure it is valid and has the format 'host:port'.

# Run the migration script:
$ python -c /path/to/kong/config

If everything went well the script should print a success message. At this point, your database is compatible with both Kong 0.4.2 and 0.5.x. If you are running more than one Kong node, you simply have to follow step 3. for each one of them now.

3. Upgrade without downtime

You can now upgrade Kong to 0.5.x. Proceed as a regular upgrade and follow the suggested upgrade path, in particular the kong reload command.

4. Purge your Cassandra cluster

Finally, once Kong has restarted in 0.5.x, run the migration script again, with the --purge flag:

$ python -c /path/to/kong/config --purge

Your cluster is now fully migrated to 0.5.x.

Other changes to acknowledge

Some entities and properties were renamed to avoid confusion:

  • Properties belonging to APIs entities have been renamed for clarity:
    • public_dns -> request_host
    • path -> request_path
    • strip_path -> strip_request_path
    • target_url -> upstream_url
  • plugins_configurations have been renamed to plugins, and their value property has been renamed to config to avoid confusions.
  • The Key authentication and Basic authentication plugins routes have changed:
Old route                             New route
/consumers/:consumer/keyauth       -> /consumers/:consumer/key-auth
/consumers/:consumer/keyauth/:id   -> /consumers/:consumer/key-auth/:id
/consumers/:consumer/basicauth     -> /consumers/:consumer/basic-auth
/consumers/:consumer/basicauth/:id -> /consumers/:consumer/basic-auth/:id

The old routes are still maintained but will be removed in upcoming versions. Consider them deprecated.

  • Admin API:
    • The route to retrieve enabled plugins is now under /plugins/enabled.
    • The route to retrieve a plugin's configuration schema is now under /plugins/schema/{plugin name}.

Upgrade to Kong 0.4.2

The configuration format for specifying the port of your Cassandra instance changed. Replace:

    hosts: "localhost"
    port: 9042


      - "localhost:9042"

Upgrade to 0.3.x

Kong now requires a patch on OpenResty for SSL support. On Homebrew you will need to reinstall OpenResty.


$ brew update
$ brew reinstall mashape/kong/ngx_openresty
$ brew upgrade kong


If you are seeing a similar error on kong start:

nginx: [error] [lua] init_by_lua:5: Startup error: Cassandra error: Failed to prepare statement: "SELECT id FROM apis WHERE path = ?;". Cassandra returned error (Invalid): "Undefined name path in where clause ('path = ?')"

You can run the following command to update your schema:

$ kong migrations up

Please consider updating to 0.3.1 or greater which automatically handles the schema migration.