Admin Documentation

Updating BookStack

BookStack is updated regularly and is still in beta although we do try to keep the platform and upgrade path as stable as possible. The latest release can be found on GitHub here and detailed information on releases is posted on the BookStack blog here.

Before updating you should back up the database and any file uploads to prevent potential data loss.
Backup and restore documentation can be found here.

Updating is currently done via Git version control. To update BookStack you can run the following command in the root directory of the application:

git pull origin release && composer install --no-dev && php artisan migrate

This command will update the repository that was created in the installation, install the PHP dependencies using composer then run then update the database with any required changes.

In addition, Clearing the cache is also recommended:

php artisan cache:clear
php artisan config:clear
php artisan view:clear

Check the below list for the version you are updating to for any additional instructions.

Version Specific Instructions

The below lists things you may need to be aware of when upgrading to a newer version of BookStack. This is primarily a list of breaking changes & security notices. Details of updates can be found on our blog or via the GitHub releases page.

Updating to v21.11.2 or higher

Security - v21.11.2 addresses a couple of vulnerabilities relating to API access and page draft related content visibility. If the “Public” role was provided API access then the API could be accessed, in certain scenarios, by non-authenticated users even if the “Allow public access” setting was disabled. In some specific scenarios, content related to page drafts (Such as attachments) could be visible to non-owners (Whom would have permission to view the page if saved as a non-draft at that point).

Updating to v21.11 or higher

API Changes - As of v21.11 any dates in API responses will be formatted as per ISO-8601, with 2019-12-02T20:01:00.283041Z reflecting an example of this format. You may need to review any of your scripts that utilise dates from API responses.

Upload Limit - System file upload limits are now configured using a FILE_UPLOAD_SIZE_LIMIT option in your .env file. This value is specified as an integer and represents the max upload size in MegaBytes. This defaults to 50MB. This replaces the old window.uploadLimit HTML head option that could be set.

Search Index Changes - Changes to search indexing and scoring were made in this release. It’s recommended to run php artisan bookstack:regenerate-search to ensure a consistent search experience and take advantage of these changes.

Logout Endpoints - Logout endpoints have now changed to be CSRF protected POST endpoints instead of GET endpoints. If you were using these for any external purposes you may now need to implement an alternative workflow.

Updating to v21.10.3 or higher

Security - v21.10.3 looks to address a couple of vulnerabilities within the attachment and image serving mechanisms. The attachment vulnerability could result in users uploading content to be served in a way that can be utilized for phishing. The image serving vulnerability could result in unintended file access within your BookStack storage folder.

Updating to v21.10.1/v21.10.2 or higher

Security - Both v21.10.1 and v21.10.2 were released to address a vulnerability which would allow malicious users, who have permission to update or create pages, to upload content that could then be utilized for phishing or other general malicious intent.

Updating to v21.08.5 or higher

Security - v21.08.5 fixes a vulnerability which would allow malicious users, who have permission to update or create pages, to load content from files stored within the storage/ or public/ directories (Such as application logs) via the page HTML export system. In addition, this release adds stricter cache-control headers to http responses while logged in to prevent back navigation to authorized resources after logout.

Updating to v21.08.2 or higher

Security - v21.08.2 fixes a couple of XSS security vulnerability scenarios that could be achieved by malicious users that had permission to edit pages. In addition, v21.08.2 introduces more CSP rules to help prevent any future XSS vulnerabilities from taking affect. If you’ve performed some more advanced customizations on your instance, they may need to be altered to work with the built-in CSP system.

Updating to v21.08 or higher

Config & Administration - The introduction of multi-factor authentication brings the first use of encryption in the platform. This uses the APP_KEY value in your .env file. Ensure you have this stored safely since it would be required if you ever restore/migrate your instance to another system.

Security/Exports - During this release cycle it was highlighted that server-side request forgery could be achieved via the PDF export system. External fetching in the default PDF renderer has been disabled by default. The WKHTMLtoPDF renderer will now not be used if active. Either of these changes can be overridden by setting ALLOW_UNTRUSTED_SERVER_FETCHING=true in your .env file. This should only be used were only trusted users can create and export content. To support this we’ve added permissions that allow disabling of exports per role.

Security/Authentication - A slight change was made in relation to how email addresses are confirmed. Email confirmations are now primarily checked at point-of-login rather than being checked on every request. Enabling email confirmation, or email domain restrictions, may no longer take action on unconfirmed users right away in the future.

Updating to v21.04 or higher

Requirements Change - The minimum required PHP version has changed from 7.2 to 7.3. If you originally updated using the Ubuntu 18.04 installation script, the below commands should help you to upgrade to PHP8:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php
sudo apt update
sudo apt install -y php8.0 php8.0-fpm php8.0-curl php8.0-mbstring php8.0-ldap php8.0-xml php8.0-zip php8.0-gd php8.0-mysql libapache2-mod-php8.0
sudo a2dismod php7.2
sudo a2enmod php8.0
systemctl restart apache2

User Reference Changes - References to users in URLs of profile pages, and within search filters, has been changed to be name (Slugified) based instead of ID based. Old links or saved search filters may no longer work as expected.

Updating to v0.31.0 or higher

Requirements Change - The minimum required PHP version has changed from 7.2 to 7.2.5. Additionally, the Tidy PHP extension is no longer required.

GitLab Authentication - The read_user scope will now be passed and is required on the “Application” setup within GitLab. Not having this scope may lead to errors when users attempt to authenticate via GitLab.

Security & IFrame Usage - By default BookStack will set headers to prevent usage within an iframe. You can set trusted iframe hosts through the ALLOWED_IFRAME_HOSTS option in your .env file. See the security page for more information on this option.

Updating to v0.30.6, v0.30.7 or higher

Security - v0.30.6 and v0.30.7 both address issues where page content could be visible to those without permission. If a chapter was visible to a user, but all of it’s pages were made not visible, then the details of these pages could be visible. Within the BookStack interface, the names of the pages and preview content could be seen. If the parent book was exported then this would include the content of the pages that had been restricted. If using BookStack v0.30.6, then all non-visible page content could be visible in plaintext exports. Please see the blog release pages for more details: v0.30.6, v0.30.7.

Updating to v0.30.5 or higher

Security - v0.30.5 fixes an potential vulnerability where a user with edit permissions could perform server-side requests using the export system. Additionally it was found that, if using standard email/password authentication, the system host URL could be manipulated on the forgot password form which could allow for email phishing attempts. Ensure you have set the APP_URL option in your .env file to help prevent this. Please see the blog release page for more details.

Updating to v0.30.4 or higher

Security - v0.30.4 fixes a couple of XSS vulnerabilities that could be exploited by untrusted users via page content and page link attachments. Please see the blog release page for more details.

Updating to v0.30 or higher

Security - Possible Privilege Escalation. During the v0.30 release cycle it was advised that current privilege escalation situations are not made clear when applying role permissions. Any user with a “Manage app settings”, “Manage users” or “Manage roles & role permissions” system permission assigned to one of their roles could technically alter their own permissions to gain wider access. A clear advisory of these cases has been added in the UI in v0.30 but admins are advised to review which users have these permissions with the above in mind.

LDAP & SAML Group Matching - During the v0.30 release cycle it was found that BookStack roles would be matched to LDAP/SAML groups based upon the role display name, which is expected, but only those roles with a matching “name” value would be considered. This “name” field was redundant, and has now been removed, but it would store a cleaned version the first-set name of the role. All roles will now be considered before being matched on name which may mean that roles which did not sync before, that would have been expected to based on their name, may now start to sync.

Updating to v0.29.3 or higher

Security - v0.29.3 fixes an issue where the names of restricted/private books could seen by those without permission, if added to a shelf. This issue was introduced in BookStack v0.28.0.

Updating to v0.29.2 or higher

Security - v0.29.2 fixes a XSS security vulnerability in the comment system, that was introduced in BookStack v0.18. Upon updating the command php artisan bookstack:regenerate-comment-content should be ran to regenerate comment content to ensure that it is safe.

Updating to v0.28 or higher

Requirements Change - Minimum PHP version has increased from 7.0.5 to 7.2.

If you installed BookStack on Ubuntu 16.04 using the install script, You should be able to upgrade your PHP version to 7.4 by running the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:ondrej/php
sudo apt update
sudo apt install -y php7.4 php7.4-fpm php7.4-curl php7.4-mbstring php7.4-ldap php7.4-tidy php7.4-xml php7.4-zip php7.4-gd php7.4-mysql
sudo sed -i.bak 's/php7\.0-fpm/php7.4-fpm/' /etc/nginx/sites-available/bookstack
sudo systemctl restart nginx.service

Updating to v0.26 or higher

Internet Explorer Support - IE11 Support has now been dropped. Please use a modern browser.

Translations - Since many interfaces and lines of text have been updated, It may take a little while for some translations to catch-up. Expect to see more English text than usual if you’re using a non-English language option.

Images - Due to changes how images are handled, as detailed below, some types of images may become inaccessible. Old logo images will be deleted when changed. Unused Book/Shelf cover images & User profile images will be become inaccessible after the update so you may want to delete them before upgrade.

Security - On previous versions of BookStack it was possible for users to insert JavaScript via the Markdown editor using on* html attributes. These will now be removed on page render unless you have set ALLOW_CONTENT_SCRIPTS=true. If untrusted users has access to your BookStack you may want to scan for <<space_char>>on in the HTML column of the pages table to identify any malicious intent.

Updating to v0.25.3 or higher

Security - On previous versions of BookStack it was possible to upload PHP files via the image upload endpoints. If you have a BookStack instance where untrusted users could upload image files, and you were using the default file storage option, It would have been possible for the user to access anything that the PHP process could. This would likely include, at minimum, any credentials stored in the .env file.

Updating to v0.25.2 or higher

Configuration Change - The .env option REDIS_CLUSTER has now been removed. If more than one redis server is provided they will automatically be clustered by BookStack.

Updating to v0.25 or higher

Security - During the release cycle for Version v0.25 it was found that page content includes could leak their content as preview text to users that don’t have permission to view the included content. It’s recommended to re-save any pages that included other page content that’s restricted to ensure included text is not shown in page preview text.

Requirements Change - Minimum required version of PHP has changed from 7.0.0 to 7.0.5.

Configuration Change - The .env option GRAVATAR_URL=false has been replaced by AVATAR_URL=false.

Updating to v0.24 or higher

Version v0.24 changes the way the homepage option is stored. After updating, You may need to re-configure this setting.

If updating from a much older BookStack version (Pre v0.20) you may need to update the permission and search indexes. You can do this by running the following commands from your BookStack install folder:

php artisan bookstack:regenerate-search
php artisan bookstack:regenerate-permissions

Updating to v0.19 or higher

Version v0.19 needs the following requirement change:

  • Minimum required version of PHP has changed from 5.6.4 to 7.0.0.

Updating to v0.18 or higher

Version v0.18 introduced a commenting system. After updating you should check the permissions for all roles if you’d like to enable comments for your users.

Updating to v0.13 or higher

The v0.13 release contained some new features and updates which change the requirements of BookStack.

  • Minimum required version of PHP has changed from 5.5.9 to 5.6.4. Upgrade your PHP version if below 5.6.4.
  • PHP-Tidy extension is now required.
    • On Ubuntu 16.04 this can be installed via sudo apt install php7.0-tidy.
    • On Ubuntu 14.04 (Using the default PHP option) this can be installed via sudo apt-get install php5-tidy.
  • Page attachments will be stored in the storage/uploads folder (Unless you use Amazon S3). This folder will be created on update. Ensure your webserver has write permissions for this folder.