This page contains the information you should be aware of when upgrading to Magnolia 5.6.x from any previous and currently supported version, see the End-of-Life policy.

Before starting the upgrade, please read the release notes for the version you are updating to and all intermediate versions, the general upgrade procedure and the specific aspects. If migrating from Magnolia 4.4/4.5, please read migration documentation first. You can also contact us for migration support. 

General procedure

Depending on the number of versions you have in the version workspace, the upgrade to 5.6.x from any version below may take from 20 to 30 minutes since all of the versions have to migrate to a new structure.

  1. Stop the application server.
  2. Extract the new Magnolia bundle.
  3. Replace JAR files in the WEB-INF/lib folder of your old Magnolia instances with new JARs from the bundle.
  4. Remove any module JARs you had previously removed from your instances. Add any modules you might have added.
  5. Optional: Delete all indexes to give them a little boost. Delete the index folder under each workspace directory: repositories/magnolia/workspaces/<workspace>/index. Indexes are recreated on startup, which might take a while depending on the size of your repository.
  6. If you customized files, compare the changes to the file in the new bundle. Properties may have been added and removed.
  7. Read release notes for all intermediary versions for any additional update tasks.
  8. Restart the application server.
  9. Using your browser, go to the Magnolia instances and run the Web update.


  1. Update to your latest minor release version first before upgrade to recent major release. A May 2017 example: a customer was considering an upgrade from 5.4.1 to 5.5.4 (latest release at that time). The correct sequence would have been: 5.4.1 → 5.4.12 → 5.5.4 instead of  5.4.1 → 5.5 → 5.5.4 .

    Why we go that way?

    Because when a customer reports issues when migrating from 5.4.6 to 5.5, for instance, then we will support a workaround/patch and later release the fix also in 5.4.7. The fix of the issue in 5.4.6 when migrating is usually located in version handlers. Then at some point, we drop 5.4.x because of an outdated technology stack (such as Java versions and security support from third-party libraries), upgrade to 5.5.x, and the process repeats. So going with the latest release of each major release will free you from the issues and bring you the improvements.

  2. Update all external libraries required by the Magnolia release to which you intend to upgrade.
  3. Carefully look for "change" or "changes for ..." sections in the release notes since.
  4. Because the upgrade process takes time and is vulnerable to incidents, please minimize the risk by cleaning up your system, removing unused data, reindexing everything and doing a full backup first.

Specific aspects

Default JCR persistency layer in Magnolia 5.6

The default JCR persistency layer in Magnolia 5.6 is the H2 database, which is reflected in the following setting of the magnolia.repositories.jackrabbit.config property in the file:

If you used a different database before upgrading to Magnolia 5.6, make sure you keep your magnolia.repositories.jackrabbit.config setting. For Apache Derby, for example this would be: 
magnolia.repositories.jackrabbit.config=WEB-INF/config/repo-conf/jackrabbit-bundle-derby-search.xml n your file.  

Old Content API removal

With Magnolia 5.6 we have removed the old content API in some of our modules. For more details see the Removal of old Content API subpage.

Vaadin 8 and custom modules

If you are upgrading from a pre-5.6 branch to the 5.6 branch, please follow the steps below to make sure that your custom modules are compatible with the UI in the 5.6 branch. The first Magnolia release in this branch uses Vaadin 8.1.5 (see Vaadin 8.1.5 release notes and API docs).

  1. Check if your modules contain Vaadin implementations.
  2. If they do:
    1. Get the Migration Tool for Converting Vaadin Framework 7 Projects to Vaadin Framework 8 from .
    2. While on the README at the URL, read how to install and use the tool and run it.
    3. The tool automatically changes the imports of the affected classes and thus – in the majority of cases – will make your module(s) compatible with Vaadin 8.
  3. As stated in Migrating to Vaadin 8, some dependencies need to be added in order to use the compatible classes from Vaadin 7 (such as TextField).

    Change the vaadin-server dependency from




    The full list of compatibility packages available for Framework 8:

    • vaadin-compatibility-server
    • vaadin-compatibility-client
    • vaadin-compatibility-client-compiled
    • vaadin-compatibility-shared
    • vaadin-compatibility-themes

    (lightbulb) To be able to use the new Vaadin 8 features, add also the following dependency:


Please see also the links in the Further reading section for additional information on upgrading from Vaadin 7 to Vaadin 8.

Vaadin widget sets


If you have your own widgetset, then you need to inherit the Vaadin7WidgetSet :

  • Either annotate the UI class as such with @Widgetset("com.vaadin.v7.Vaadin7WidgetSet") ,
  • Or do it in your GWT configuration file by adding <inherits name="com.vaadin.v7.Vaadin7WidgetSet" /> .

MagnoliaProWidgetSet vs MagnoliaWidgetSet

Magnolia Enterprise Edition Pro

If you had Enterprise Edition Pro 5.4.x or previous and are installing Enterprise Edition Pro 5.6.x, you have to replace the widget set in the file due to component personalization bringing in new features to the page editor. Either replace or add (depending on the update path):


Enterprise Edition Standard and Community Edition

Both the Enterprise Edition Standard and the Community Edition use the MagnoliaWidgetSet :


Centralized Dependency Management for third-party modules (BOM)

In Magnolia 5.6.x you can – optionally – define third-party dependencies in a different way. Previously, dependency management information about third-party modules was defined in the parent poms of magnolia.main and magnolia.ui. You may now use a software BOM (Bill of materials) project instead. The project can then be imported in all modules. This ensures that the versions of the third-party modules are the same.

The BOM feature was made available for the first time in Magnolia 5.5.7. For further information on how to use a BOM in your project, please see the BOM for third-party modules page.

Using the Standard Templating Kit (STK)?

The Standard Templating Kit (STK) was deprecated on September 15, 2017, reaching the end of life on December 31, 2018. The replacement for STK is the Magnolia Templating Kit (MTK), first released with Magnolia 5.4 on July 3, 2015. MTK is quicker to learn than STK and requires fewer skills.

MTK is aimed at the increasing number of front-end developers who looked for something leaner and less time-consuming. It is front-end framework agnostic, which means that you can integrate it with any modern framework such as Bootstrap or Foundation.

Since the release of Magnolia 5.6 we no longer produce preconfigured bundles and webapps with the STK based demo. If you still rely on the STK, see how to add STK to your bundle.

Publishing vs Activation and custom commands

The 5.6 branch brings the Publishing module pack (see  publishing on Git) which replaces the Activation module ( /modules/activation ) and the Transactional Activation module/modules/exchange-transactional ). Besides giving a more logical ordering to the publishing functions in Magnolia, the new module pack also sets all workspaces as publishable by default. For an overview and comparison please see Publishing and activation.

(warning) The publishing and activation modules cannot be used side-by-side in Magnolia.

Upgrading to publishing

If you used activation before the upgrade and wish to use the new publishing module pack, you have to:

  • Remove both the activation modules.
  • If you do not currently use transactional activation, add all modules from the magnolia-publishing-parent (See Publishing module) to your bundle, either manually as pre-built jars or as dependencies.
  • If you currently use transactional activation to manage multiple public instances, add the modules from the magnolia-publishing-transactional-parent (See Publishing Transactional module) reactor. 
  • Check that after the upgrade the subscribers were correctly migrated from /server/activation to /modules/publishing-core/config/receivers.
  • (warning) Rewrite your custom activation commands to be compatible with the modules of the new publishing module pack.

For further information about configuring the new publishing-core module see the Publishing module page.  

Continue using activation

Using activation in the 5.6 branch is still possible, but only after replacing the bundled Publishing and Publishing Transactional modules with the Activation module and the Transactional Activation module, respectively. You can do this in two ways:

  • Remove all the publishing JARs from the ../WEB-INF/lib folders of your author and public instances. Add the activation JAR files in their place.
  • Exclude the publishing dependencies from the POM and add the old activation dependencies.

    exclusion example....
        <!-- declare the exclusions here -->

See also Publishing and activation.

Tags vs marketing tags

The introduction of content tagging in Magnolia 5.6 has had an effect on node type and workspace names:

  • Any marketing tag, used by the Marketing Tags app, is a marketing-tag node type and is stored in the marketing-tags workspace.
  • Any content tag, used by the Tags app, is a tag node type and is stored in the tags workspace.

The file

Check your file for the presence of the following lines which configure a directory for loading file system resources and the file types Magnolia should observe in the classpath and reload on-change:


Jackrabbit configuration

In order to enable getting an HTML excerpt in a query result, you should update the configuration files of your Jackrabbit instances. Add the two <param/> directives within your <SearchIndex> block.

  <!-- more params here -->

  <!-- needed to highlight the searched term -->
  <param name="supportHighlighting" value="true"/>
  <!-- custom provider for getting an HTML excerpt in a query result with rep:excerpt() -->
  <param name="excerptProviderClass" value="info.magnolia.jackrabbit.lucene.SearchHTMLExcerpt"/>

log4j2.xml update

Apache Log4j 2 is an upgrade to Log4j that brings in significant improvements for logging configurations. If you currently have a customized log4j config you must migrate your log4j configuration.

  1. Choose an approach for migration.
    • Start with the new log4j2.xml that Magnolia provides and customize it to your needs.
    • Or take you current configuration file and follow the official guide.
  2. Update your (log4j.config) to point to the new file.

    We recommend the new file be called log4j2.xml to avoid confusion.

  3. Do a basic library check:

    • Make sure you don't have log4j-1.2.17.jar or similar in WEB-INF/lib anymore.
    • There should be only:
      • log4j-api-2.8.2.jar
      • log4j-core-2.8.2.jar
      • log4j-slf4j-impl-2.8.2.jar (the slf4j implementation is now provided by Log4j 2)

        Make sure you don't have slf4j-log4j12-1.7.7.jar. Having both installed leads to unpredictable behavior.

  4. If in doubt about your config, you may set the level of Log4j's status-logger to debug as follows:

    <Configuration status="DEBUG">

ClientErrorInterceptor not available

Since ClientErrorInterceptor does not exist in RESTeasy 3, its capabilities were removed from our client implementation, the REST client module. If you have been relying on such objects, you have to handle it in a different way.

Refine parent pom - when updating to Magnolia 5.6.3 or higher

Please be aware that the version numbers for the Magnolia main and UI projects are not in sync with the version number of the bundles starting with release 5.6.3.

If you are updating from an earlier version:
Projects based on an older maven archetype may not build correctly starting with Magnolia 5.6.3 - because the version of the Magnolia main modules is not the same as the Magnolia bundle anymore. If you experience a problem, please update your project parent pom.

Known issues

H2 does not accept more than one connection

Our default configuration does not use server mode. Therefore, if you try to initiate a backup call using CLI or REST, it fails because H2 does not allow more than one connection at a time. This is a new issue in Magnolia (most likely due to H2 or Jackrabbit updates).

A temporary workaround is to make H2 run in server mode and adding AUTO_SERVER=TRUE in the URL parameters: 

<param name="url" value="jdbc:h2:${wsp.home}/db;AUTO_SERVER=TRUE" />

<param name="url" value="jdbc:h2:${rep.home}/version/db;AUTO_SERVER=TRUE" />

Green screen applauncher

If after upgrade or installation you experience a "green-screen" upon login (i.e. all apps are missing from the launcher) then most likely you have a module in your classpath which has not been migrated as part of the Vaadin 8 upgrade. In the log you will see "Definition not found" warnings due to the UI Framework not being able to start normally. This can be an issue when using third-party or add-on modules. Please read Vaadin 8 and custom modules.

Cannot access

If you get the following error,

Cannot access ( and the artifact info.magnolia.boms:magnolia-external-dependencies:pom:5.6-SNAPSHOT has not been downloaded from it before. -> [Help 1]

please do the following, which will remove the snapshot artifacts from your local maven directory:

mvn dependency:purge-local-repository -DmanualInclude="info.magnolia:magnolia-module-content-dependencies,info.magnolia.javascript-models:magnolia-module-javascript-models,info.magnolia:magnolia-module-forum,info.magnolia:magnolia-module-rssaggregator,info.magnolia.definitions:magnolia-definitions-app,info.magnolia.restclient:magnolia-rest-client-parent,info.magnolia.restclient:magnolia-rest-client-app,info.magnolia.restclient:magnolia-rest-client,info.magnolia.restclient:magnolia-resteasy-client,info.magnolia.publishing:magnolia-publishing-parent,info.magnolia.publishing:magnolia-publishing-app,info.magnolia.publishing:magnolia-publishing-core,info.magnolia.publishing:magnolia-publishing-receiver,info.magnolia.publishing:magnolia-publishing-sender"

Now, you have to fetch the dependencies from Nexus. The easiest way would be to do:

mvn dependency:resolve

Allocate more JVM memory

Magnolia 5.6 ee-bundle may require you to allocate more memory the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). If you see a java.lang.OutOfMemoryError in the startup log or the system stops responding during installation, increase the Java heap size. The default maximum heap size is 512M. Try a higher amount such as 1024M. We are working on uncovering the root cause for the increased memory need.

See: Java out of memory

The Show action in the Configuration app doesn't open the correct location

When selecting properties in a definition that are actually extended from another node in the config workspace, opening the definition in the Configuration app will not work correctly, as the underlying node/property doesn't exist. For example,

points to config:/modules/site-app/apps/site/subApps/browser/actions/addFolder/icon .
but all the actions are inherited from /modules/ui-admincentral/apps/configuration/subApps/browser via extends.

XML exports open directly in the browser instead of offering a download

When you click the Export button in a content app or from the JCR Tools app, the XML opens directly in the browser, replacing the AdminCentral instead of showing the usual Download dialog from the browser. (warning) This issue only affects the upgrades to Magnolia 5.6.6.

See  MAGNOLIA-7310 - Getting issue details... STATUS

Other issues

For other known issues please see the Known issues page.

Further reading

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  1. Upgrading to 5.6 will introduce some deprecations which is predictable and intentionally warning from Magnolia CMS to encourage customers to change current API usage follow our Deprecation policy.

    Also when customers upgrade from earlier version of Magnolia which is using Apache Tomcat 6 or below to Apache Tomcat 7 or 8, you might encounter some slowness when starting up Magnolia instance due to Tomcat 7+ SecureRandom issue which is described here: Tomcat Faster Start Up - Entropy Source. Setting this system property can increase startup speed: