How do you ensure a stable update?

Hi All!

First of all, thank you for all the work that everyone has put into this platform. I’ve been looking for a more up-to-date forum platform and am really happy with Discourse. I manage a small club’s private forum (~100 members) and am using the open-source version in a DO droplet.

I’ve read the topic regarding the suggested update procedure - How do I manually update Discourse and Docker image to latest?

I’m looking to understand that if it’s recommended that Discourse, all plugins, and the Docker image are just pulled from git every so often, how much confidence do I have that the version which happens to be there when I do this update isn’t broken? Maybe I’m just used to developers at work which habitually leave the master branch broken (don’t get me started), but I guess I’m used to specific tagged releases that have some amount of confidence that features aren’t only half-implemented.

My same question goes for plugins. I’m only using “official” plugins (like Discourse-calendar), but how do I know that it’s also in a good state when I do a pull?

Please don’t take my question the wrong way – I’m definitely not implying anything by this post. Simply just looking to understand how much risk there is when doing an update. I understand that in order to really guarantee zero down time I should have a staging/testing server, but that’s definitely overkill for a small deployment. That said, I would definitely have people calling me if the forum went down as I was trying to revert an update.

Thank you!

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I run two self hosted instances, but I’m also biased as one of the founders :wink:

The risk level on update, as long as you are only using official plugins from Discourse, is fairly low. If you are using third party plugins, the risk is considerably higher.

Our release schedule is roughly

  • beta every few weeks
  • release every 6-8 months

Meta, this site, runs off the latest checkins. We have an extensive test suite, smoke tests, and we tend to respond rapidly when something is broken, because it affects us here on our own support site.

Hope that helps, enjoy Discourse :hugs:

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