The Basic Meeting List Toolbox

Updating Your Root Server

Updating the Root Server is very easy and very safe, if you use the method described here.

It’s very important to read this whole page before beginning (It’s not very long).

Also, we now have an awesome iPhone/iPad (Sorry, not Android) app for editing the meeting list!

GIVEN:

First of all, we need to establish a couple of prerequisites for the operation:

  1. You need to have file-system access to the server you are upgrading. This is usually through FTP or FTP over SSH (Often called “SFTP,” but not to be confused with SFTP). It can also be through your Control Panel File Manager. Basically, you need to be able to upload directories to the directory on your server where your current Root Server resides. You also need to be able to rename directories there.
  2. You’ll need authorization and whatever passwords or SSH keys are necessary for the operation.

Additionally, you can rename the “main_server” directory to anything that you like. For the purposes of this page, we’ll assume that the directory has not been renamed, and that the Root Server directory is called “main_server”.

The screenshots given here are for a Macintosh, using an FTP client. Your mileage may vary; depending on your computer and toolset.

STEP ONE: GET THE CURRENT RELEASE

We always have a directly downloadable zip file of the current stable Root Server on this page (https://bitbucket.org/bmlt/bmlt-root-server/downloads).

Do not follow the “Download Repository” link. Use the “BMLT-root-server.zip” link.

This will download a zip file to your computer. It is less than 2MB in size, so it’s a quick operation.

01-Download

Fig. 1: The Download Site

Expand this file. It will expand into a directory named “main_server”.

02-ExpandFile

Fig. 2: The Expanded Directory

STEP TWO: RENAME THE DOWNLOADED DIRECTORY

On your computer, rename this to “new_main_server” (remember that we are assuming the current directory is called “main_server”).

03-RnameFolder

Fig. 3: Rename the Expanded Directory

STEP THREE: UPLOAD THIS DIRECTORY TO THE SERVER

Using the file transfer method of your choice, upload this directory from your machine, into the directory that contains the current “main_server” directory, and the “auto-config.inc.php” file. DO NOT PLACE THE “new_main_server” DIRECTORY INSIDE THE CURRENT “main_server” DIRECTORY. It needs to be ALONGSIDE the “main_server” directory.

04-Upload

Fig. 4: Upload the New Directory

NOTE: It can sometimes be difficult to upload a directory to the server using the Control Panel File Manager, and it may be a good idea to re-compress (zip) the directory, upload it, then uncompress it on the Web site. It’s usually not a problem at all to upload a directory using an FTP client.

At this point, it is important to note that NOTHING HAS CHANGED on your current server. It is still at the current version, and all interactions remain stable.

STEP FOUR: TEST THE NEW SERVER

Now that “new_main_server” is in the directory on the hosting server, you can test it. This is easy. You simply change the Root Server URL to point to the “new_main_server” directory. For example, if the URL to the current directory is “http://bmlt.newyorkna.org/main_server” (The current actual Root Server for the Greater New York Region Web site), you would rename it to “http://bmlt.newyorkna.org/new_main_server” (This link won’t work, as we are not actually doing this operation on the GNY server).

You will find that you can run the Root Server, and that it will connect to your database, just like the current one.

Once you are satisfied it works, you can make it the default server.

STEP FIVE: THREE-CARD MONTY

This needs to be done fairly quickly. It’s a two-part operation. We have it in one step in order to emphasize that it needs to be done expeditiously.

During this operation, the Root Server WILL GO DOWN. If you do this right, it will be for such a short period of time that no one will notice.

You will do this with the file transfer method of your choice.

RENAME THE CURRENT ROOT SERVER DIRECTORY

First, rename “main_server” to “old_main_server”

05_RenameCurrentToOld

Fig. 5: Rename Old Server

At this point, the Root Server is down. However, that’s a very temporary condition, to be addressed immediately.

RENAME THE NEW ROOT SERVER DIRECTORY

Next, rename “new_main_server” to “main_server”.

06)-RenameOldToNew

Fig. 6: Rename New Server

At this point, you are up and running with the new Root Server. You also have the advantage of having the old server around if there are any issues. Simply reverse Step Five, and you will be back to the old server.

Once you are satisfied that the new server is fine, you can get rid of “old_main_server” at your convenience.

Here are the instructions for administering your new Root Server.