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Updating from 4.5.11 to 4.6.3


Most of the documentation I’ve found for upgrading Helpspot is for upgrading from 3 to 4. I just want to go to 4.5 to 4.6 is there documentation just for that situation?


Sorry you couldn’t find those docs, here’s the 4+ page which links to the specific docs


So do I untar my helpspot.tar.gz into my html directory? (that’s where I put my files)

That won’t hurt anything my settings?


Are you on Linux? If so, you can overwrite the existing files yes. You should backup first just in case as there is a data directory that needs to remain in place.

You’ll then run installer.php.


Correct linux box. The current data directory would be written over by the new files? Would that ruin my settings for my portal/users/settings?



In general, upgrading HelpSpot is as simple as over-writing everything, with some minor exception:

  1. HelpSpot saves file attachments to the disk. By default, that location is the data/documents directory. If attachments are set to be saved to that directory, then the directory will need to be backed up when you update HelpSpot (and attachments added back to that location after updating)
  2. The data directory may contain a sphinx.conf file, which you can re-generate after you backup via the php hs search:config command (if you installed SphinxSearch with HelpSpot you likely have the sphinx.conf file outside of your helpspot install, so that’s usually not an issue)

Other things to backup (this is the same in HelpSpot 3 and you can follow those instructions related to updating and saving your customizations):

  1. Settings: Settings in HelpSpot are all saved to the database - the “data” directory doesn’t contain any database data, so you should be good there
    • That being said, any files you added yourself to the data directory will need to be saved, but otherwise they’re likely fine.
  2. Customizations (portal): Any template customizations and similar files are usually placed in the custom_templates, custom_code or custom_pages directories and will need to be backed up before updating (so you can re-add in any customizations you’ve made back into HelpSpot)

Other than attachments/user uploaded files, everything else in the data directory is OK to over-write when updating.

Let us know if we can clarify any of that!


Every time a 4.^.* update happens I’ll have to do this?

I do not have SphixSearch installed, is that a problem or what am I missing out on?


Yep, as HelpSpot stands right now (and has going back since it’s early days), that’s part of the upgrade process. That’s something we hope to improve in the future however, definitely on our radar.

You can adjust there attachments are saved to however, so if you change that to not save to the data directory, you can pretty much stop caring about saving the data directory.

The custom_templates directory (the next most often used plae to add customizations) right now need to be backed up.

Keep in mind this is only if you actually have made customizations that result in new files on the server. 99% of settings are just saved to the database.

Search quality is a lot better with SphinxSearch but you can certainly get away without it!


Is there documentation for installing SphinxSearch on an already installed system?

Is there documentation for changing the default location that helpspot saves documents instead of html/data


Apologies, I was answering on my phone which makes it hard to link all of these -

Docs on SphinxSearch:

You can change the attachment save location in Admin > Settings > System > Attachment Storage Location (and fill in a file path for Attachment File System Directory, such as /var/www/attachments or wherever you’d like to save them).

Note that PHP will need permission to write to this directory - usually making the directory owned as the same user that PHP runs as will do it (usually users www-data or apache, but it depends on your linux system).

If the Attachment Storage Location setting is set to save to your database, then you can continue using that as well - that wont’ save any files to the filesystem in that case, and it won’t affect the “data” directory.


You’re super helpful, I appreciate that.

Are there examples of what a good portal looks like?

Is there documentation on customizing the portal.

For instance allowing users to search by their ticket number instead of access key, or adding documents onto the home page.


after doing the update I tried to login to admin.php and I got to the login page but then I got this once I signed in

Error in exception handler: There is no existing directory at “./data/logs” and its not buildable: Permission denied in /var/www/html/vendor/monolog/monolog/src/Monolog/Handler/StreamHandler.php:161


I’m not sure if you backed up your old site but the data directory within it will show the directories that are expected to be there. the data/logs directory should exist in there.

Also make sure that PHP can write to those directories as noted before, usually by making the directory owned as the same user that PHP runs as will do it - users www-data or apache, but it depends on your linux system.


data/logs is in there and has proper permissions

apache can rwx

and I didn’t back up my data directory because I didn’t have any attached documents I copied over.


Perhaps it’s trying to log that I’m logging in?


It could be attempting to write to that directory still - and this error about not writing to the log may be masking another error that causes the attempt to write to that location.

Can you double check that PHP can write to that directory and that the data/logs directory exists? That error only makes sense if the directory does not exist and that PHP can’t write to it.

Based on that error message, it looks like the directory should be:

  • /var/www/html/data
  • /var/www/html/data/logs

Specifically, if you want to try to create the file manually, its called helpspot.log - /var/www/heml/data/logs/helpspot.log


[admin@help logs]$ ls -l
total 8
-rw-rw-r–. 1 apache apache 4292 Nov 29 18:56 helpspot.log

It’s already been made, this is what it looks like


Also I didn’t make the helpspot.log it was already there when I updated.


Happy Monday, I’m still not able to get into my helpspot admin side.


Am I going to have to reinstall my Helpspot to get this working again?