Upgrading to Liferay Portal 6.1 EE

With the release of Liferay 6.1 EE GA1, Liferay introduced the Seamless Upgrade feature. Seamless upgrades allow users to upgrade to the latest version of Liferay by simply pointing the latest version of Liferay to the database of the older version. This does not diminish the fact that there are many factors to take into account when performing an upgrade. Before upgrading, take all precautions to ensure that your environment is ready for upgrade.


These instructions should be used if you have customized the portal in any way. Each component needs to be updated to complete the upgrade process.

Main Upgrade Instructions:

  1. Test Environment

    Test the upgrade in a non-production environment first.

  2. Activation Key

    For versions 6.0.x and below, a new key is necessary to upgrade to version 6.1 EE. Please refer to Requesting a Liferay Portal Activation Key for details.

  3. Backup

    Ensure every component that is mentioned in the following instructions is backed up before proceeding.

  4. Permissions Algorithm

    Follow the instructions in the Portal 6.1 User Guide to upgrade permissions algorithm before the upgrade.

  5. Liferay Portal

    Download the latest released EE Portal WAR, EE Portal Dependencies, and EE Plugins. Remove the old EE Portal WAR, EE Portal Dependencies, and EE Plugins. Deploy the latest released EE Portal WAR, EE Portal Dependencies, and EE Plugins.

  6. Fix Packs

    Install all the fix packs on the latest released EE Portal using the Patching Tool to eliminate known issues.

  7. Portal-ext.properties

    Copy the old portal-ext.properties settings to the new version. If performing a major upgrade, also review the settings from legacy.x.x.properties. Copy only the legacy.x.x.properties settings that are desirable for backward compatibility.

  8. Document Library / Image Gallery

    Make sure the portal is using the same hook and pointing to the old location that files are being stored (image.hook.impl, image.hook.file.system.root.dir, dl.hook.impl, dl.hook.file.system.root.dir).

  9. Database

    The application server should be pointing to the same data source. The Liferay database schema will automatically be updated to sync with the new version once you restart the server.

  10. Checkpoint

    Stop here and make sure the above components have been upgraded successfully.

  11. Customizations

    Download and use the latest released Plugins SDK. Copy code (Customizations, portlets, hooks, themes, layout templates, etc) to Plugins SDK environments and compile. Deploy customizations when all errors and API changes have been reconciled. (6.0EE+ does not support the old EXT environment. See Extension Environment Migration Tips for how to migrate to the new ext-plugin)

  12. Portal Behaviour Changes

    Major portal upgrades may include some changes in the way it is used. Please, verify if anyone of the points below affect to your portal:

    1. Access to Control Panel

      In 6.1 a new mechanism for viewing control panel was introduced. This is achieved through a new permission. It could not be added automatically during the upgrade process as it may break some of your previous access policies. The easiest way to allow users to access control panel is to add to whatever role is suitable for you (in new 6.1 deployments it is assigned to User role) the VIEW_CONTROL_PANEL permission. You can do that by editing the role from the control panel and selecting the Portal > General > Go to Control Panel permission.

Best Practices

  • Don't attempt upgrades when there are already obvious issues with your current environment. The current issues will snowball into larger problems if you attempt to ugrade. Fix all problems first.
  • If you fail an upgrade attempt, do not continue to attempt upgrades on the same database. Fix the upgrade problems, then attempt a fresh upgrade with a database that you have never attempted an upgrade with yet.

Use Cases

  • Upgrading from any version of 5.2 EE and 6.1 EE to 6.1 EE
  • Upgrading from 6.0 EE, 6.0 EE SP1, or 6.0 EE SP2 to 6.1 EE
    • If there is data in *quartz_ tables, use the Quartz Portlet and instructions to migrate scheduled jobs to the upgrade version.
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