Move MODX Revolution

Move MODX Revolution

How to move a MODX Revolution installation from one location to another

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linux modx


Whilst using MODX Revolution, it is very likely that at some point you will have to copy your setup from one folder to another, or even from one server to another. Here is a straight forward way to make such a move.

Prepare MODX source

Clear the cache and sessions via Manager

On your source installation, log into Manager then do the following:-

  • Manage → Clear Cache
  • Manage → Logout All Users

Clear the cache via SSH

SSH into your source webserver. Change directory to your source MODX install.

Some cache files will still be there, we want to remove them all. Be careful of this command.

rm -rf core*/cache/*

Dump the database

We want to have a safe copy of our database.

Make sure you have the database name, user and password. These details can be found in core*/config/

Now dump the database, making sure you replace database_user and database_name with your database name and user name.

mysqldump -u database_user -p database_name > database_name.sql

Set workspace core path

Older versions have the full core path in the workspaces table. To avoid any conflicts, make sure this table contains _{corepath} instead.

Edit database_name.sql

nano database_name.sql

ctrl + v until you reach the end of the file, then ctrl + y until you find the workspaces table.

Change the path of the first record to {core_path}.

ctrl + o to save, then ctrl + x to exit nano.

Backup existing set-up

Plan for the worst by backing-up your current install

Use tar to make a safe backup of your files, just in case!

tar -cvzf backup.tar.gz .

If for some reason you have files or folders that you want to exclude from the backup, you can use --exclude

tar -cvzf backup.tar.gz . --exclude='myfolder'

You can copy or move the archive file into another directory or download it using a ftp program.

Prepare destination

SSH into destination server and change directory to the destination folder.

If there is anything your want to save, archive the contents of the folder using the above steps.

Copy archive to another folder or download it using (S)FTP.

Clean-out destination installation

Only do the following steps if you want a clean install.

Make sure you are inside your destination folder, then remove its contents.

rm -rf *
rm -rf .*

Create new database

Log-in to your server cPanel or similar, then

  • DROP the destination database (if one exists).
  • Create the destination database.
  • Add your database user to the destination database.

Copy source to destination

Copy the source archive file to your destination server or folder.

Update MODX destination

Extract source archive

tar zxvf backup.tar.gz

Update the destination database

Import database

mysql -u database_user -p database_name < database_name.sql

Check settings

After doing any kind of update it is worth checking that your config files contain the correct settings.

nano core*/config/

The following is only necessary on older versions. On newer versions, these config files will be updated automatically when you re-run setup.

nano config.core.php
nano connectors*/config.core.php
nano manager*/config.core.php

Update .htaccess

Make sure your .htaccess file contains the correct settings.

Run MODX setup

Download MODX

You will need to download the setup folder for your version of MODX. This will enable you to run the setup utility to iron out any issues with the transfer of your site.

Find the version of MODX you are using and download it directly onto your server. Make sure you replace the version below with your actual version.

wget --no-check-certificate --content-disposition

Unzip the file.


For ease of use, rename the extracted folder to something shorter, like modx.

mv modx-2.7.3-pl modx

Now copy the setup folder from the modx directory to your main directory. If rsync is new to you, take a look at this useful rsync guide and consider using the --dry-run option.

rsync -avP modx/setup/ setup/

Run setup

Depending on how your server is configured, you may need to set the permissions of the setup directory.

chmod -R 755 setup

Visit the setup url -

Follow the instructions, making sure you select Upgrade Existing Install

Once complete, log-in to the Manager to check that everything is working as it should.


Once working, remove the the unwanted files and directories that we created during this process.

rm backup.tar.gz
rm database_name.sql
rm -rf setup
rm -rf modx

Further information

Inspired by Moving your site to a new server.

Here are some of our other MODX articles.