Jira 6 is coming!

Sys admins: this one is for you! As many of you know we at Atlassian are really excited about Jira 6. To help prepare your organization for the update, you can install the new Jira on a test system to ensure all your plugins and integrations continue to run smoothy. If anything doesn’t work as it should you can send us feedback to make the final release even better. Also, you’ll be able to share what’s coming with the rest of your organization

Once you have your test system up, installation will likely take 2-3 hours of hands on time. This does not include the time for Jira to import and re-index your data. That will vary with the size of your Jira instance.


This article covers updating from Jira 5. If you are running an instance of Jira 4.x, you will need to update to Jira 5.2 first. Please remember, the beta version of Jira 6 should not be used for production servers. It is pre-relase software. Also, Atlassian only supports upgrades from the current released version of Jira. Interim engineering builds will not have an official upgrade path to 6.0-final.  Check out our tips and tricks guide for creating a staging server for a more detailed explanation of the process.

Building a new server


1. Retrieve an XML backup of your instance

The first thing you will want to do is to create a backup of your current Jira installation.  Jira backs up it’s data into an XML format we can then import later.  The backup feature can be found under System->Import and Export or at https://www.example.com/jira/secure/admin/XmlBackup!default.jspa.


Once the backup completes, it will be located at the directory listed on the backup screen with the file name you gave it in the wizard.

2. Prepare the target system for installation

Jira’s XML backup can take some time.  While the export is running, start preparing the development system for Jira installation.  It’s best to mirror as many things in your development system as are in your production system.

  • Database: We recommend using the same database type as you have on your production system.  Ensure you create a brand new database however.  You don’t want the update overwriting your production data.  In a pinch, you can use Jira’s internal HSQL database.  Performance characteristics may be very different however.
  • Installation Type: Jira comes in two major flavors: Standalone and as a WAR file.  Choose the same type as you have on your production system.
  • Java: You may want to update to the lastest version of Java.  Atlassian includes a pre approved JRE in the standard version.  If you are running the WAR version, you will need to self supply a version of the JRE.

3. Install Jira

Now you are ready to install Jira!  You can get the latest EAP (early access preview) on our download site. Since there are a number of configurations of Jira that our customers use, please consult the installation guide.  The Jira 6.0 install experience is similar to prior versions of Jira.

If you have Jira installed in a virtual machine, you may be able to clone your Jira 5.2 instance and use our upgrade guide.  Keep in mind, you’ll need to update the base url as well as ensure the cloned instance of Jira is talking to a separate instance of the database.  If Jira is running under an SSL configuration in the production environment, do consider this in the test environment.  For application links to work correctly, you will need to import those certificates into the Java keystore.

4. Plugins, Data and More

After the installation is complete, ensure that you can login to Jira by accessing the server and logging in with the account created during installation.  Once Jira is running on your test server it’s time to populate it with your data, plugins, and customizations.

Importing Data

To get your data back into Jira, we can import the XML file we exported in step 1.  Jira has an XML importer at  http://example.com/jira/secure/admin/XmlRestore!default.jspa.  Your backup file must be located at JIRA_HOME/import/.  Keep in mind the XML import will overwrite everything in your test installation.  Jira will import:

  • Issue Data: issues, workflows, issue types, screens, fields, etc.
  • User Data: users or the connection to your external directory server.

NOTE: Do ensure that the new server has access to your external directory server.  If not, you will not be able to log in afterwards.

The import may take a while.  Jira will import all your data and perform a reindex. Now is a good time to see what’s cool in Jira 6.0.

Also,  the import process does not include attachments.  You will need to migrate those manually from JIRA_HOME/data/.

Enabling Plugins

By default the XML restore does not copy the plugin binaries to the new install of Jira.  Those will need to be enabled through the Universal Plugin Manager (UPM) inside of Jira.  Not all plugins will be enabled for install into the beta version of Jira 6.  If they do not show up for installation in the UPM, they can be installed manually.  Go to http://marketplace.atlassian.com/ to download the plugin and install it into Jira.  If a plugin does not work as intended, please reach out to the plugin vendor first before contacting Atlassian.  We’ve made some changes in the API for this release.  Not all plugins will work in Jira 6.0.

Other Customizations

If you’ve made changes to Jira assets like CSS files, Velocity templates, or core code you’ll need to manually port those over to your new install of Jira.

5. Test, Explore, and Share!

Jira 6.0 has a lot of new features in it.  We’d love feedback on your experience, but in particular the new features.

Meet the new Jira: Modern, fast, mobile, simple!

We have a new detail view in the Issue Navigator so that your teams can work faster than they ever could before.  We love it and think your teams will too as well.  Also, log into Jira from your mobile device.  We have a customized experience for mobile devices to keep you productive on the go.

Jira now supports the Atlassian Design Guidelines (ADG) so it has the same look and feel as Confluence and Stash.


Workflow Sharing Made Easy!

It’s easier than ever to create and share workflows in Jira!  Installing best practices in Jira is now easy. You are able to share workflows between Jira installations and from the Atlassian Marketplace



Now is the time to push Jira in your environment.  We’d love to know what works and what doesn’t.  We can’t continue to make Jira great without feedback from our customers.

6. Hang onto this Installation

Once we release 6.0-final, you’ll want to use this setup to upgrade to the final version to ensure there are no kinks in the process.  Doing so will give you more confidence when running the official upgrade.  Once this server has 6.0-final on it, keep it running as http://jira-dev.company.com.  Having a test system is invaluable to trying out new changes before deploying them to production.  Also, if an issue arises in production, you can reproduce it on the test server and use it for troubleshooting.  Dev servers provide an excellent sandbox experience for new plugins.

Atlassian Thanks You!

Congrats on getting this far!  Thank you for taking the time to download our Jira 6.0 beta.  You are one of our key partners in ensuring that the 6.0 release of Jira is our best yet.  If you have feedback, please let us know inside of Jira.  There is a “Got Feedback?” link at the bottom of the screen.

Jira 6 Beta Details

6 steps to prepare for Jira 6!...