Updating Flow Enterprise Server

Tags: Flow on-prem

Flow Enterprise Server does not automatically update to the latest version. There are some steps you must follow to get the most recent version installed. Check out recent Flow Enterprise Server release notes .


Before you begin

Tip: Depending on how active you are in Flow, check for updates monthly or quarterly. For most customers, checking for updates quarterly will work well.

  1. For new Flow versions and updates, check our release notes.
  2. Check the Flow Enterprise Server system requirements. System requirements are often updated.
  3. If you’re using the airgapped installation method, begin downloading the update. You can do this at any time prior to the update.
  4. Ensure there is at least 25% free disk space available in the /var/lib/docker, /var/lib/kubelet, and /var/log/pods directories, If desired, previous pod logs can be cleaned up from the /var/log/pods directory.
  5. Take Flow offline using the flowctl.sh shutdown command or just use the native kubectl scale command to shut down all running Flow pods to take a consistent database backup.
  6. Before updating, back up your Postgres database using your company's approved backup technologies and procedures. Ensure it is a fully consistent copy. You cannot currently back up the configuration settings, so be sure that before you begin the update procedures, you have all your settings, certificates, and credentials stored in a secure location where you can access them if recovery is needed.
  7. Take an export of the current configuration settings from the KOTS admin console. This is done to ensure current settings and encryption keys are saved in case a restore is required. A typical update should retain all current settings.
    • Utilize the flow-tools.sh export command to create a backup of the kotsadm configuration.
  8. Take snapshots of all nodes of the cluster using appropriate virtual instance backup methods available for the underlying platform or hypervisor management tools.
  9. Use the flowctl.sh restore -i [app state file] command to restart the Flow application. This is required if Flow was shut down to take a consistent database backup. The app state file is created in your current directory when you use the flowctl.sh shutdown  command to take Flow offline and take a database backup.

  10. Check your general system health, and make sure all pods are running across your system.

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Updates for non-airgapped installations

If you used the non-airgapped installation method, updating Flow Enterprise Server is a simple process.

To get started, log in to the KOTS Admin Console and go to the dashboard. This is typically found at port 8800 of your base Flow URL, which should look like https://flow.yourcompany.com:8800.

In the center tile of the dashboard, find information about your Flow Enterprise installation. To check for new updates, click Check for update. For information about available updates and previous update history, click Version History. The Version History page shows you changes between deployments as well as the history of when each previous version or configuration change was deployed.

If an update is available, you will see Show Update.

At this point, either click Show Update or click on the Version History tab at the top of the page. From the Version History page, deploy the latest version by clicking Deploy.

After clicking Deploy, this page will display the various stages of the update process, including downloading, deploying images, and copying files. When that process is complete, Flow will be updated.

Once deployment is completed, all Flow pods should be in the running state. You can use the watch kubectl get pods command to view the status of the pods. Once they are all running or in a completed state, navigate to your Flow application URL and log in using your existing credentials.

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Updates for airgapped installations

The airgapped upgrade process requires a few additional steps. Since the server cannot contact the required software registries and APIs for the update, we need to get the update file to the server.

Download the update

Note: Download the update when completing our Before you begin steps. Once you've completed those steps, proceed to upload the update to the server.

You will receive a download link from Pluralsight support or your Pluralsight installation engineer as well as a download code for downloading the airgapped update package. Follow the link and enter the password you were provided on the login screen.

Once you log in to the Download Portal, you will see a list of packages to download. Always choose the latest Flow Enterprise release, unless you have been told by Pluralsight support to do otherwise.

Upload the Update to the Server

Log in to the KOTS Admin Console and go to the dashboard in your Flow Enterprise Server instance. This is typically located at port 8800 on your Flow URL, and looks something like https://flow.yourcompany.com:8800. Here you will see your currently installed version of the application and a button to Upload new version.

When you click Upload new version you'll see a dialog box. Select the airgap package you downloaded before.

After selecting the airgap package, the application will begin to upload the file. this will take some time, depending on your connection speeds.

After the upload is complete, the application will begin to extract the images and prepare them for deployment. This phase of the update will take approximately ten to fifteen minutes. Once complete, navigate to the Version History tab to deploy the newly created version of Flow.

During the airgapped Installation process, you should have created a directory to hold update files.  Transfer the file you just downloaded to the server and place it in that directory.

Once deployment is completed, all Flow pods should be in the running state. You can use the watch kubectl get pods command to view the status of the pods. Once they are all running or in a completed state, navigate to your Flow application URL and log in using your existing credentials.

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If you need help, please email support@pluralsight.com for 24/7 assistance.