Openx Hell – Upgrading to 2.8.7

Jun 3rd, 2011 | By | Category: Internet, Technology

So I was finally forced to upgraded to 2.8.7 when my previous install was hacked thanks to a security vulnerability in 2.8.2.  I knew there was a reason I was holding off on this because when I cleaned out the hack and upgraded I was greeted with an infinite look between admin/index.php and admin/install.php.   Solving this was silly enough, I just went in and made sure that the permissions in the openx directory were as they were supposed to be according to the install file and then I created a directory called ‘UPGRADE’ in openx/var then tried to log in.. No loop this time, instead I was told that my openx was already upgraded and I needed to remove the UPGRADE dir and then click continue..  I removed the dir, clicked continue and then was able to log in.. Phew.. Unfortunately after that my plugins were all messed and just when I was about to light my hair on fire I stumbled across the following tutorial here:


1) Download 2.8.7 –

2) Back up your database and openx files

3) Copy your /var/ and images directories over per step 5 here

4) Disable maintenance

5) Remove your openx folder, and put the fresh install in its place (see notes below). You’ll have to do this anyway if you have an install in the root rather than a directory.

6) Go to your openx root and follow the upgrade instructions.

6.1) This point is moot for my install instructions but I’ll include it for completeness. When it asks you to enter the path for your *previous* openx installation (, ENTER THE NEW PATH. I mention this because many people (like myself) were trying (as the docs told us) to install into a openx_new folder. If you do this and enter the previous path as asked, you will *not* be able to proceed in the installation as it will throw all kinds of errors at you. The only way to proceed if you are using the openx_new method is to enter the NEW path.

6.2) The upgrade wizard should progress smoothly, all plugins will fail but it will let you proceed.

7) Go here and verify you are on 2.8.7 – /www/admin/updates-product.php

8) Ignore the advice here ( and instead get the 2.8.7 plugins from here….7/etc/plugins/ – download all of these and save them into a folder

9) Now the fun begins… open two windows….

First window: /www/admin/plugin-index.php
Second window: /www/admin/maintenance-plugins.php?action=rep

9.1) Ok now go to the second window and run the plugin report. You’ll see lots of errors. Your end goal is for all these to show “No Errors”.

9.2) Go to the first window and click browse, and select one of the zip files. It will install, throw lots of errors. Starting at the top, work your way down through the list. You should see that at least a few of the plugs now have “Disable” next to them instead of “Install”. This is good.

9.3) Repeat step 9.2 over and over again until all the plugins have “Disable” next to them. I think that as you go on, you don’t need to run through the whole list each time, and can focus just on choosing plugins that haven’t installed yet. There appears to be a very complicated sequence of dependencies, I have no idea what the “shortest path” is. When all the plugins look installed, it’s time to proceed to 9.4..

9.4) Go to the second window and run a plugin report. You may see that some of the plugs still show they have errors. For those plugins, go back to the first window and reinstall them (even though they look like they’ve installed). There seems to be a second layer of dependencies that don’t show up on this screen and can be verified only with the second window.

9.5) Go back to the second window and check the status of the plugins. Repeat step 9.4 until all plugins show “No Errors”

10) Clean everything up by going to /www/admin/maintenance-plugins.php and running ALL the rebuild commands on the page.

11) You’re done! If this has helped you, I would love to hear it.

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17 Comments to “Openx Hell – Upgrading to 2.8.7”

  1. Paul says:

    Thanks, I just upgraded to 2.8.8 from 2.8.7 and ran into this issue. However, your solution seems to have worked. I appreciate the time you took to write it out.

  2. Thanks so much for this tutorial! I’ve used it to upgrade to 2.8.8 after my OpenX was hacked. However, I had to do step (10) before each “going back” in step (9.5). Thank you again!

  3. admin says:

    Just damn happy that someone else might not have had to go through the insane hell that I went through.. Saddens me to see openx swirling the drain like this

  4. Dear,

    First for all thanxs a lot for your tutorial. It’s really help a lot as this OpenX upgrading tutorial or any documentation related really hard to dig it.

    Personally, not really help a lot. I prefer to follow your step.

    Wokeh! Everything was fine as i follow your step just i got this message on my – Configuration>Product Updates

    You are currently using OpenX v2.8.8 (warning: database is stamped as v2.8.7) running on Apache, PHP 5.2.14 and MySQL 5.0.92-community.

    It is that warning should be no problem?

    Thanxs in advance

  5. admin says:

    I remember seeing that message as well but I can’t remember how ‘i eliminated it.. If you discover the solution please feel free to post it here

  6. Dear admin,

    Wokeh! should be no problem. by the way how to subscribe this thread/post comment send to my email for any notification as to prevent i forgot in future?

  7. Rob says:

    I had the same problem going to 2.8.8.

    The banners still display after your tutorial but I get a pear error when trying to access the admin area. I can get in if I rename the www/admin/plugins/oxMarket folder but then no banners display on any websites.

    I’m moving it to a standard hosting account to see if it works there.

    They don’t like to make things easy for people. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was just a push to use the hosted of enterprise versions!

  8. Lisa says:

    hey admin, hey Haji Karim Ibnu Badigol Sood,

    I had the same problem, when I followed the Upgrading steps on It appears, after I followed the upgrade assistent on (_new!!!). But then I renamed the old “openx” folder on “openx_backup” and the new one from “openx_new” to “openx”.
    After that, it looks fine on (than I removed the “openx_backup” folder)

    But, can you help me with anothor problem? After upgrading, all looks fine. But one day ago, when I wanted to delete a campagne, I got an error:
    “PEAR Error
    DB_DataObject Error: autoload: Could not find class DataObjects_Banner_vast_element using class_location value

    PEAR Error
    DB_DataObject Error: factory could not find class from banner_vast_element”

    oooh, this terrible openx!!! It sucks!!

    and sorry for my bad english =)

  9. admin says:

    definitely let us know how it goes on the standard hosting account.

  10. Tristan says:

    I also found this quite a challenging task :/

    I have eventually gotten OpenX running on a new server with 2.8.8, however I am have the “warning: database is stamped as v2.8.7” guessing that’s because I dumped in the backup database because the OpenX import is proper fail. Would still like to be able to fix that if I can.

    Also I am having issues getting ApStatsGraph to actually work.. It doesn’t have any errors but when you click to see a graph you just get a 500 Internal Server Error.

    I figure there is something missing in my PHP configuration. I have no idea what might be missing though, any ideas would be very much appreciated.

  11. Josh says:

    Thank you! Your entire fix didn’t work for me, but just the simple step of circumventing the dashboard and going straight to the plugins and maintenance pages got me far enough along that I was able to resolve my issues with upgrading to v 2.8.8.

  12. Cristian says:

    I am running into an upgrade problem. I simply can’t upgrade from 2.8.5 to 2.8.8 with any way.

    After the upgrade process is reaching the database tab and I click on next (having filled all the steps) I am redirected back to step 1 (Welcome).

    If I dig through install.log I see the upgrade is requesting some plugin files which doesn’t exist. I am copying this files from the old 2.8.5 on the requested paths. After I copy files from various folders:
    /plugins/etc to /plugins/etc
    /www/admin/plugins to /www/admin/extensions
    /plugins to /extensions
    /var/plugins/Data objects to /var/plugins/Data objects

    the installer it’s just says the

    Starting file-check for plugins…
    Finished file-check for plugins

    And It redirects me to the step1 as well.

    I don’t know what to do…

  13. Mirco says:

    Thanks a lot for this great tutorial. It was very helpful and helped me to get rid of many errors. But there are still a few things that just don’t work at all.

    There is absolutely no way I get the openXWorkflow to work, same for the openXVideoAds. I tried deleteing reinstalling and whatever, just doesn’t work.

    openXMarket seems to be ok, but when I click the orange box where it says “Get started now” I just get an error saying “Menu system error: Admin::market not found for the current user:…”

    Is there any way to install from scratch and migrate the data?

  14. great! it works also with the upgrate do 2.8.8

    it’s amazing how it sucks to upgrade openx!
    it’s a great piece of software but the upgrade process just plain sucks, all because of the confusion of the installation path, which is not clear at all
    glad I found this post

    I love the try, try and try again method 😉

  15. admin says:

    That’s the only way us server admins get things done 1/2 the time.. just keep on banging your head against the wall until something works.. or at least that is how it feels.. and then hopefully blog about it so the next person doesn’t have to do it quite as much 🙂

  16. DrewAPicture says:

    This worked for me after my plugins got corrupted upgrading to 2.8.10. It helps if you clear out your plugins folder to remove any cruft from the upgrade. Then be vigilant, eventually the errors will clear out, but you may need to reinstall the same plugins multiple times because of the dependency thing described above.


  17. Matt says:

    Figured it out.

    Needed to change webDir= in config.php to new server. Doh!

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