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Upgrade and Downgrade

Upgrading Digital Rebar Platform (DRP) is generally pretty straight forward. The dr-provision binary is simply replaced with a newer version. Upgrades can be performed on a running system with DRP provided tools, via the Portal, or by stopping the dr-provision service, replacing the binary, and staring it back up again.

General rules for upgrades

  • always upgrade the DRP service first
  • upgrade content packs and plugins after the DRP service upgrade


We highly suggest that you backup your existing install as a safey measure.

Upgrade Steps

Isolated or Production Installed Modes

The basic steps are the same for both Isolated and Production install modes, the only primary difference is adding the --isolated flag for the script if you are using the installer upgrade path. If you are performing in-product upgrades (CLI or Web Portal), the steps are the same.

There are a few different paths for upgrading a DRP Endpoint in. Note that how you originally installed the service may dictate how you need to upgrade. For some environments where several security measures have been taken (non-root install, for example), you may only be able to upgrade via the in-product path. Upgrades via the installer script will require root permissions due to either low port binding requirements, or setcap setup requirements.

In-product upgrade from the command line (CLI)

  1. See current versions in the catalog

    drpcli catalog item show drp
  2. Install with Catalog reference (requires Internet connection), or in multiple steps, if you need to acquire the Zip file, and then perform an air-gap (non Internet connected system) upgrade.

    • Internet Connected - Single Step Upgrade via CLI:

      # note the item name (drp) has been combined with the selected version
      # without a version, the latest 'stable' release will be used
      drpcli system upgrade catalog:drp-v4.3.0-alpha2.18
    • Air-gap (non-internet connected DRP Endpoint) - Download zip file with an internet connected host then move to air-gap (non Internet connected) DRP endpoint, then perform the upgrade.

      1. Download the DRP zip file for the version you want to upgrade to:

        drpcli catalog item download drp --version v4.3.0-alpha2.18
      2. Upgrade from the downloaded zip file:

        drpcli system upgrade
  3. Verify newly installed version

drpcli info get | jq '.version'

Upgrade via the Web Portal

  • navigate to the Catalog menu item
  • find the Digital Rebar Provision entry
  • select the version you want to Upgrade (or downgrade) to in the v.Available (short for Available Versions) column
  • click on the green Install icon to the right, or the blue button top center that says Install
  • note that the DRP version zip file has to be downloaded from the RackN hosted catalog location, then uploaded to the DRP Endpoint, it may take a few minutes

Upgrade with the script

  1. Stop dr-provision, using the system method of choice

    # systemd example
    sudo systemctl stop dr-provision
  2. Install new code - Use the same install technique as the first install, but change install to upgrade option.

    # you will want to use additional options if you specified them
    # in your original 'install' steps (eg "--universal")
    # your original install should have saved a copy of the
    # script as '/usr/local/bin/' for this purpose.
    # if an Isolated install was performed originally, add '--isolated' upgrade <Other_Options>
    # or, re-get the installer code if it's not available
    curl -s | bash -s -- upgrade <Other_Options>
  3. Start up dr-provision

    # systemd example
    systemctl start dr-provision

Container Upgrade Process

As of DRP version v4.3.0, container based installs do not support in-product upgrade path, the original container must be upgraded via the container management system. RackN releases it\'s container with a separate data volume for storing the backing write layers of the dr-provision service.

By default the DRP service container will be named drp, and the backing volume will be named drp-data. Note that you can change these with the install time flags if desired.

The upgrade process entails:

  • stop dr-provision service to flush all writable data to disk
  • kill the container on the container host
  • start a new container, re-attaching the backing data volume

The installer scripts ( supports these operations. Review the script options with the --help flag for the most up to date information on usage.


It is important that you retain a copy of the settings used from your original container install. The upgrade process does not have any awareness of previous container start settings. It may be possible to parse this from the container environment (eg \'docker inspect drp\'), but this has not been determined yet.

Example upgrade of a container based service, based on the following install command line options:

./ install --container --container-restart=always --container-netns=host --container-env="RS_METRICS_PORT=8888 RS_BINL_PORT=1104"

Based on these install options, the upgrade process is as follows:

./ upgrade --container --container-restart=always --container-netns=host --container-env="RS_METRICS_PORT=8888 RS_BINL_PORT=1104"


The only material differnece is the use of the \'upgrade\' argument to the install script for upgrades, instead of \'install\' for installation.

Downgrade Steps


Downgrading my lose settings or data. The more recent database may have fields that previous releases do not. This can lead to loss of data.

Downgrading DRP from one minor release to another requires additional steps - as the underlying database that backs the service may very well change between minor point releases (eg v4.5.x to v4.6.x). Database changes do not occur between Patch releases (eg v4.5.5 to v4.5.6).


You should always perform these downgrade steps if you are moving from one higher point release to a lower point release (eg v4.6.x to v4.5.x).

All downgrade steps and examples below are run at the shell of the server where the dr-provision service is installed and running, as the root user (generally, unless installed as a non-privileged user).


Downgrade is only supported for major release version v4.x.x to another v4.x.x version. No downgrade is supported or possible in the v3.x.x version line.

Backup DRP First

Even within a container, the system should be backed up before upgrading.


We highly suggest that you backup your existing install as a safey measure.

Stop dr-provision Service

The dr-provision service needs to be stopped for a downgrade procedure, as we must convert the database records to flat JSON text files. We call this process "humanize", as it turns the database records in to human-readable components.

# for systemd "production" install modes:
systemctl stop dr-provision
systemctl status dr-provision               # verify it's not running

# for other modes, you may need to kill it:
ps -ef | grep -v grep | grep dr-provision   # should return no process entries

"Humanize" the Database

The dr-provision binary has a special flag --humanize which converts the current database format components in to human readable JSON text files. You must run the same dr-provision version binary as the database format is using. In addition, if you have installed DRP in a location other than the default production install path (/var/lib/dr-provision), you must also specify where the DRP base directory is with the --base-root flag.

Once the dr-provision service is stopped, now perform the "humanize" step:

# depending on install mode, 'dr-provision' may not be in your direct path,
# locate the proper binary and call it with correct PATH/dr-provision as appropriate

DRP_ROOT="/var/lib/dr-provision"                    # adjust this accordingly
dr-provision --humanize --base-root=$DRP_ROOT

To verify that the "humanize" step completed properly, look at the base directory for (potentially) a new directory named digitalrebar.

The base directory location will vary depending on how your service is installed. By default, this will be in the /var/lib/dr-provision directory for "default production" installs. It will be a directory named drp-data for "isolated" mode installs in the Current Working Directory that the install was performed.

An example of "humanize" of a DRP v4.6.0 system:

# DRP v4.6.0 currently running example:

root@mach-04:~# cd /var/lib/dr-provision

root@mach-04:/var/lib/dr-provision# ls
ha-state.json  job-logs  plugins  replace  runner  saas-content  server.crt  server.key  tftpboot  ux  wal

# humanize step

root@mach-04:/var/lib/dr-provision# /usr/local/bin/dr-provision --humanize --base-root=/var/lib/dr-provision
dr-provision2021/03/27 15:26:18.250522 Processing arguments
dr-provision2021/03/27 15:26:18.250812 Version: v4.6.0
dr-provision2021/03/27 15:26:18.251282 Extracting Default Assets
dr-provision2021/03/27 15:26:19.614140 [2:1]:backend [ warn]:
[2:1]heartbeat timeout reached, starting election: last-leader=
dr-provision2021/03/27 15:26:19.711402 [2:2]:backend [audit]:
[2:2]Seeded CommitID: 3

Now verify that the "humanize" completed successfully, and that our database records have been turned in to human readable JSON files on disk:

# verify the humanize completed

root@mach-04:/var/lib/dr-provision# ls
digitalrebar  ha-state.json  job-logs  plugins    replace  runner  saas-content  secrets  server.crt  server.key  tftpboot  ux  wal

root@mach-04:/var/lib/dr-provision# ls digitalrebar
preferences  profiles  users

In the above output, note the presense of the digitalrebar directory, and subsequently, the directory structure underneath it. This is newwly "humanized" objects that were stored in the v4.6.0 database (in this example).

Install Older dr-provision Service

To install the older dr-provision service, we will need to manually extract the binary out of the distributed TAR.GZ file (even though the file ends in .zip). If you do not currently have the older binary (eg from a previous backup or another DRP instance in your environment) you will have to download it.

# example of getting the v4.5.6 with drpcli

root@mach-04:/tmp# drpcli catalog item download drp --version=v4.5.6

root@mach-04:/tmp# ls -l *zip
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 232361496 Mar  27 15:34

The above command automatically parses the RackN distributed JSON Catalog to find the download location and get the version. Some older versions will be removed from the catalog from time to time to keep it to manageable size. In that case, you may need to acquire it from alternative locations.

One possibility is to directly download from the RackN staging location in an Amazon S3 bucket.


RackN may change the staging locations in the future, please verify with the RackN team if you are having download issues via this mechanism.

# if VER > 4.7 then update to $VER.$arch.$ (example: $
# using a constructed URL to find an older version archive file and sha256 sum file
wget -O drp-${VER}.zip${VER}.zip
wget -O drp-${VER}.zip.sha256${VER}.sha256

Now unroll the archive file ... yes, the format really is a TAR.GZ despite the filename ending in .zip:

tar -xzvf

Verify the binary (using our very old v4.2.0 example from above):

root@mach-04:/tmp# ls -l bin/linux/amd64/dr-provision
-rwxrwxr-x 1 2000 2000 75890688 Dec 29  2019 bin/linux/amd64/dr-provision

root@mach-04:/tmp# bin/linux/amd64/dr-provision --version
dr-provision2021/03/27 15:43:28.810743 Processing arguments
dr-provision2021/03/27 15:43:28.810766 Version: v4.2.0

Put it in place:

# move old binary aside - adjust path appropriately for your system
mv /usr/local/bin/dr-provision /usr/local/bin/dr-provision.old

# copy new binary in place - adjust path appropriately for your system
cp bin/linux/amd64/dr-provision /usr/local/bin/


For installations as non-root user, you may need to adjust setcap bits appropriately on the binary. Please see non-root execution for more details.

Start the dr-provision Service

Now start up your DRP service as you would normally:

# systemd "production" install:

systemctl start dr-provision
systemctl status dr-provision

# possible startup command for an isolated mode install (this command assumes
# the setup symbolic links is still in place and pointing at the binary path
# correctly):

sudo ./dr-provision --base-root=`pwd`/drp-data --local-content="" --default-content="" > drp.log 2>&1 &


The startup process may take some time (up to 15 minutes), if you have a very large number of Machines and Jobs Logs, as the JSON data structures are converted in to database records.

Verify the service is running the new (old) version via the command line tool:

drpcli info get | jq -r '.version'

The returned string should be the version, eg v4.5.6.

Version to Version Notes

In this section, notes about migrating from one release to another will be added.

Release Notes for each version can be found at:

Install Script Changed

There are minor changes to the install script for isolated mode. Production mode installs are still done and updated the same way. For isolated, there are some new flags and options. Please see the commands output for more details.

For current script usage information, please run: --help