How to perform dist-upgrade procedure on server with Plesk


2016-11-16 13:20:13 UTC


2017-08-16 15:56:19 UTC


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How to perform dist-upgrade procedure on server with Plesk

Applicable to:

  • Plesk 12.5 for Linux
  • Plesk Onyx for Linux

According to Plesk 12.5 release notes dist-upgrade procedure on Debian 6, Debian 7 and Ubuntu 12 is supported.
How to perform dist-upgrade?
Note: dist-upgrade from Ubuntu 14 to Ubuntu 16 is supported by Plesk Onyx only.

Table of contents

General information

Dist-upgrade is not a simple process. To go through it you must have considerable experience in the system administration, the knowledge of the system and its components.
If you have never performed dist-upgrade before it is recommended to do the following first:

Note: According to Debian dist-upgrade documentation it is not recommended to use aptitude during upgrade from Debian 7 to Debian 8.
Preferred way to perform dist-upgrade on Ubuntu is using do-release-upgrade tool.

Ubuntu 12 to Ubuntu 14 - Repeat the process on the test server, but with Plesk 12.5 installed using OS documentation and instructions from this article.

  • Solve all potential problems and make sure that Plesk is working after the upgrade. Only after that run the upgrade on the production server.

Ubuntu 14 to Ubuntu 16 (Ubuntu 16 is not supported by Plesk 12.5)

During an upgrade from Ubuntu 14 to Ubuntu 16, system PHP 5.x shipped by OS vendor will be upgraded to PHP 7.x. So to avoid any PHP compatibility issues, before an upgrade, it is highly recommended to switch all sites having PHP handler 5x by OS vendor to corresponding custom PHP handlers. Please refer to these KB articles for details: KB #213382129 KB #213933525 .

Note: Most of APS application will not work with PHP 7.x

Performing the dist-upgrade from Ubuntu 14 to to Ubuntu 16

  1. Run below script and follow the wizard:

    # /opt/psa/bin/

    The script logs all its actions in /var/log/plesk/install/plesk-distupgrade.log .

  2. During the script execution you will be asked to reboot the server. Reboot the server.

  3. After the server reboot, run the script once again.

Performing the dist-upgrade from Debian 6,7 and Ubuntu 12

Preparing server for upgrade

  1. Create a full server backup. Before you begin the upgrade, make a full server backup. Also notify your customers about upcoming downtime of one to three hours.

  2. Consider to remove sources list backup files which might be left from previous dist-upgrade:

  3. /etc/apt/sources.list.saved_by_plesk_distupgrade
  4. /etc/apt/sources.list.d/50sw_autoinstaller.list.saved_by_plesk_distupgrade

  5. Run pre-upgrade helper script (in this case dist-upgrade from Debian 7 to Debian 8) and prepare Plesk and the system for the upgrade:

    # /opt/psa/bin/

    The script logs all its actions in /var/log/plesk/install/plesk-distupgrade.log .

  6. Disable switching to systemd during OS upgrade. Create file /etc/apt/preferences.d/local-pin-init with the following content:

    # cat /etc/apt/preferences.d/local-pin-init 
    Package: systemd-sysv
    Pin: release o=Debian
    Pin-Priority: -1

Performing the dist-upgrade

  1. Update information about system packages:

    # apt-get update
  2. Upgrade the system:

    On Debian:

        # apt-get dist-upgrade

    On Ubuntu:

        # do-release-upgrade

    This command will perform a complete upgrade of the system, install the newest available versions of all packages and resolve all possible dependency changes between packages in different releases.

    During the upgrade the system might produce prompts like:

    Configuration file `/etc/mysql/my.cnf' 
    ==> Modified (by you or by a script) since installation.
    ==> Package distributor has shipped an updated version.
    What would you like to do about it ? Your options are:
    Y or I : install the package maintainer's version
    N or O : keep your currently-installed version
    D : show the differences between the versions
    Z : start a shell to examine the situation
    The default action is to keep your current version.
    *** my.cnf (Y/I/N/O/D/Z) [default=N] ?

    Choose to replace configuration files with a new one (answer Y ).

Finalizing the upgrade

  1. Run post-upgrade helper script:

    # /opt/psa/bin/

    The script logs all its actions in /var/log/plesk/install/plesk-distupgrade.log .

  2. Remove file /etc/apt/preferences.d/local-pin-init and install systemd-sysv package:

    # rm -f /etc/apt/preferences.d/local-pin-init
    # apt-get install systemd-sysv
  3. Reboot your server.

  4. Check that Plesk and all its services are working.

Potential issues

All known issues are described in #213373289 Dist-upgrade: known issues

Have more questions? Submit a request


  • 0
    Sebastian M. Braun

    Unfortunately my vserver hosted by hosteurope does not come online again after running

    # /opt/psa/bin/

    and rebooting after. Although there were no errors.


  • 0

    @Sebastian: Same here ... I've read your comment too late :-(

  • 0
    Nikolay Voytko

    @Sebastian, @Andy it will be great if you can shed some light on the issues that you faced.

  • 0

    Only the pre-installed version and their updates are usable.
    A dist-upgrade attempt will result in a system that is no longer running after a reboot.

    I'm still waiting for the backup process of 300 gigabytes (for 6 hours) to repair this bullshit ... please put a hint right over the call.

    The virtualization software of hosteurope is probably not compatible with the updated kernel and no longer find the VM.

  • 0
    Dimitar Mustakov


    @Sebastian and @Andy are problems solved?

    I need to upgrade my debian server with plesk12.5 from wheezy to jessie this weekend. Can you share any recommendations about this upgrade?


  • 0
    Alexander Tsmokalyuk

    @Andy please tell me what virtualization type is used. You can use "virt-what" utility to check it.

  • 0
    Sebastian M. Braun

    My "Solution": I ordered a new clean ubuntu 16.04 and installed plesk by myself. Very disappointing.

    Edited by Sebastian M. Braun
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