Malte Schmidt at the German language Wikipedia [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (, CC-BY-SA-3.0-de ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

How-To Update phpList

phpList an open-source newsletter manager, with lots of features – the best of them: it’s free …

… like with Tiny Tiny RSS, when you install phpList on your own server, you need to keep the software up to date.

How you are going to update depends strongly, on how you have installed the software. Let’s assume the source code is installed outside the web root and is symbolically linked to.


lists -> ../phplist-3.0.3/public_html/lists/

How to update phpList?

First backup your current installation as well as the database.

Let’s say your current installation version 3.0.3 is at phplist-3.0.3, you do not need to create a copy because we will not change this installation at all.
To create a backup of your current database use your favorite tool, e.g. phpMyAdmin

or by command line

mysqldump -u [db-username] -p phplist > phplist-3.0.3.sql

Download the new version and unzip it:

tar -zxf phplist-3.0.4.tgz

If you changed anything in the old source code compare the old and new versions to see which changes you need to apply to the new version:

diff -rq phplist-3.0.3 phplist-3.0.4 > diff.txt

Most likely you will have changed (repaired?) the styles and language files. Copy your “old” configuration file to the new version:

cp phplist-3.0.3/public_html/lists/config/config.php phplist-3.0.4/public_html/lists/config

Checkout if there are new settings you might want to include.

Next, create a dummy symbolic link in your web folder to see if everything works fine, e.g.:

ln -s ../phplist-3.0.4/public_html/lists newlists

Enter the admin interface and click on “upgrade” … if there are no further problems with the layout, etc. link also your working directory to the new version, e.g.:

rm lists; ln -s ../phplist-3.0.4/public_html/lists lists

… and done


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