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Migrating your packaged OpenProject database to PostgreSQL

Note: this guide only applies if you've installed OpenProject using our DEB/RPM packages.

This guide will migrate your packaged MySQL installation to a PostgreSQL installation using pgloader.

Backing up

Before beginning the migration, please ensure you have created a backup of your current installation. Please follow our backup and restore documentation for our packaged installation.

This guide should leave you with a set of archives that you should manually move to your new environment:

  • Database: mysql-dump-<timestamp>.sql.gz
  • Attachments: attachments-<timestamp>.tar.gz
  • Custom env configuration: conf-<timestamp>.tar.gz
  • Repositories: svn- and git-<timestamp>.tar.gz

Installation of pgloader

Apt Systems

For systems with APT package managers (Debian, Ubuntu), you should already have pgloader available and can install as root with with:

[root@host] apt-get install pgloader

For other installations, please see the project page itself for steps on installing with Docker or from source.

After installation, check that pgloader is in your path and accessible:

[root@host] pgloader --version

# Should output something of the kind
pgloader version "3.5.2"
compiled with SBCL 1.4.5.debian

Optional: Install and create PostgreSQL database

If you have not yet installed and set up a PostgreSQL installation database, please set up a PostgreSQL database now.

OpenProject requires at least PostgreSQL 9.5 installed. Please check if your distributed package is too old.

[root@host] apt-get install postgresql postgresql-contrib libpq-dev

Once installed, switch to the PostgreSQL system user.

[root@host] su - postgres

Then, as the PostgreSQL user, create the system user for OpenProject. This will prompt you for a password. We are going to assume in the following guide that password were 'openproject'. Of course, please choose a strong password and replace the values in the following guide with it!

[postgres@host] createuser -W openproject

Next, create the database owned by the new user

[postgres@host] createdb -O openproject openproject

Lastly, exit the system user

[postgres@host] exit
# You will be root again now.

Remember the current database URL

Note down or copy the current MySQL DATABASE_URL. The following command exports it to the curent shell as MYSQL_DATABASE_URL:

openproject config:get DATABASE_URL

# Will output something of the kind
# mysql2://user:password@localhost:3306/dbname

# Re-export but replace mysql2 with mysql!
export MYSQL_DATABSAE_URL="mysql://user:password@localhost:3306/dbname"

Please note: Ensure that the URL starts with mysql:// , not with mysql2:// !

Configuring OpenProject to use the PostgreSQL database

Form the DATABASE_URL string to match your entered password and pass it to the openproject configuration. The following command also exports it to the current shell as POSTGRES_DATABASE_URL

openproject config:set DATABASE_URL="postgresql://openproject:<PASSWORD>@localhost/openproject"
export POSTGRES_DATABASE_URL="postgresql://openproject:<PASSWORD>@localhost/openproject"

Please note: Replace <PASSWORD> with the password you provided above. If you used any special characters, check whether they need to be percent-encoded for the database URL.

Migrating the databases

You are now ready to use pgloader. You simply point it the old and new database URL


This might take a while depending on current installation size.

Index attachments for fulltext search

One of the benefits of using PostgreSql over MySql is the support for fulltext search on attachments. The fulltext search feature relies on the existence of two additional columns for attachments that need to be added now ff the migration to PostgreSql is done for an OpenProject >= 8.0. If the OpenProject version is below 8.0 the next two commands can be skipped.

In order to add the necessary columns to the database, run

openproject run rails db:migrate:redo VERSION=20180122135443

After the columns have been added, the index has to be created for already uploaded attachments

openproject run rails attachments:extract_fulltext_where_missing

If a large set of attachments already exists, executing the command might take a while.

Optional: Uninstall MySQL

If you let the packaged installation auto-install MySQL before and no longer need it, you can remove MySQL packages.

You can check the output of dpkg - l | grep mysql to check for packages removable. Only keep libmysqlclient-dev for Ruby dependencies on the mysql adapter.

The following is an exemplary removal of an installed version MySQL 5.7.

[root@host] apt-get remove mysql-server

Note: OpenProject still depends on mysql-common and other dev libraries of MySQL to build the mysql2 gem for talking to MySQL databases. Depending on what packages you try to uninstall, openproject will be listed as a dependent package to be uninstalled if trying to uninstall mysql-common. Be careful here with the confirmation of removal, because it might just remove openproject itself due to the apt depndency management.

Running openproject reconfigure

After you restored all data and updated your installer.dat, all you need to do is run through the configuration process of the packaged installation to remove the MySQL configuration

openproject reconfigure

In the MySQL installation screen, select skip now. Keep all other values the same by simply confirming them by pressing enter .

After the configuration process has run through, your database will be running on PostgreSQL!

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