Upgrade MODX Revolution

Upgrade MODX Revolution

How to upgrade your existing MODX Revolution to a new version

Last updated:

linux modx


MODX Revolution is regularly updated with new features and security patches. But the process of updating can be rather fiddly. Here is a straight forward way of updating MODX to the current version on your Linux web server using SSH.

You should copy your MODX site to a subdomain and upgrade it there. That way you can test that everything works before copying the upgraded site back to make it live.

Prepare source MODX

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/config.inc.php.

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

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.

Install latest MODX

Download latest version

Find the version of MODX you would like to upgrade to and download it directly onto your server. Make sure you replace the version below with your actual version.

wget https://modx.com/download/direct?id=modx-2.7.3-pl.zip --no-check-certificate --content-disposition

Unzip the file.

unzip modx-2.7.3-pl.zip

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

mv modx-2.7.3-pl modx

Update files

Copy the newly downloaded version over your current one. If rsync is new to you, take a look at this useful rsync guide and consider using the --dry-run option.

rsync -avP modx/connectors/ connectors*/
rsync -avP modx/core/ core*/
rsync -avP modx/manager/ manager*/
rsync -avP modx/setup/ setup/

Check config files

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

nano core*/config/config.inc.php

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

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 - yourdomain.com/setup

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.


Missing items in Manager

Sometimes items will be missing or unresponsive in the Manager. This can be because some js files are not running due to the wrong permissions. You can try the following

chmod 755 manager*
chmod 755 manager*/index.php
chmod 755 connectors*
chmod 755 connectors*/index.php
chmod 755 connectors*/modx.config.js.php
chmod 755 connectors*/lang.js.php


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

rm modx-2.7.3-pl.zip
rm backup.tar.gz
rm database_name.sql
rm -rf setup
rm -rf modx

Further information

MODX, like all CMS's, could be exploited by unscrupulous individuals. We can show you how to harden your MODX installation. Also, it can sometimes be useful to move MODX from one location to another.