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Updating Mastodon

This guide is for updating a non-Docker style Mastodon instance, as outlined in the Production Guide. For instructions on updating a Docker style Mastodon instance, see the 'Updating' section in Docker-Guide.md.

Read the release notes

Please read the release notes first.

The release notes may contain special instructions that you may need to run for any given new Mastodon release.

Update the git repository

After you are done reading the release notes, you will want to log in as the mastodon user and update the git repository.

This is how you do that:

su - mastodon
cd ~/live
git fetch --tags
git checkout $(git tag -l | grep -v 'rc[0-9]*$' | sort -V | tail -n 1)

The above commands will update your copy of your git repository to the latest available tagged release.

Always run tagged releases on production Mastodon instances. Never run the master branch on your production instance.

You can always use git status to verify what tagged release your local repository copy is at, for example:

mastodon@mastodon:~/live$ git status
HEAD detached at v1.4.7
nothing to commit, working directory clean

The above output indicates that my local repository copy is using the tagged release 'v1.4.7' of Mastodon.

Ruby and node.js dependency updates

You may need to update Ruby and node.js upon updating to a new Mastodon release. The aforementioned release notes will mention if you need to do the rest of this section.

This is how you update Ruby dependencies:

cd ~/live
bundle install --deployment --without development test

This is how you update node.js dependencies:

cd ~/live
yarn install --pure-lockfile

Database schema updates

Run a database schema every time you update to a new Mastodon release. It is safe to run this every time as it is a no-op if there are no database schema updates.

This is how you run a database migration:

cd ~/live
RAILS_ENV=production bundle exec rails db:migrate

Pre-compiling updated assets

You may need to pre-compile updated assets upon updating to a new Mastodon release. The aforementioned release notes will mention if you need to do the rest of this section.

This is how you pre-compile assets:

cd ~/live
RAILS_ENV=production bundle exec rails assets:precompile

A caveat:

The assets pre-compiler (Webpacker) can take up a non-trivial amount of resources, particularly RAM. If you find that your server is running out of RAM when running the pre-compile, I recommend stopping the Mastodon services before starting the pre-compile.

This is how you stop the Mastodon services (as root):

systemctl stop mastodon-*

Restarting Mastodon services

Mastodon runs in memory so you will need to restart it for any of the previous updates to take effect.

This is how you restart Mastodon services (as root):

systemctl restart mastodon-*.service

If you stopped the Mastodon services earlier as part of the assets pre-compile, replace the 'restart' with a 'start'.

You now have an updated Mastodon instance. Keep up the good work!