Upgrading Kallithea

This describes the process for upgrading Kallithea, independently of the Kallithea installation method.


If you are upgrading from a RhodeCode installation, you must first install Kallithea 0.3.2 and follow the instructions in the 0.3.2 README to perform a one-time conversion of the database from RhodeCode to Kallithea, before upgrading to the latest version of Kallithea.

1. Stop the Kallithea web application

This step depends entirely on the web server software used to serve Kallithea, but in any case, Kallithea should not be running during the upgrade.


If you’re using Celery, make sure you stop all instances during the upgrade.

2. Create a backup of both database and configuration

You are of course strongly recommended to make backups regularly, but it is especially important to make a full database and configuration backup before performing a Kallithea upgrade.

Back up your configuration

Make a copy of your Kallithea configuration (.ini) file.

If you are using custom extensions, you should also make a copy of the extensions.py file.

Back up your database

If using SQLite, simply make a copy of the Kallithea database (.db) file.

If using PostgreSQL, please consult the documentation for the pg_dump utility.

If using MariaDB/MySQL, please consult the documentation for the mysqldump utility.

Look for sqlalchemy.url in your configuration file to determine database type, settings, location, etc. If you were running Kallithea 0.3.x or older, this was sqlalchemy.db1.url.

3. Activate or recreate the Kallithea virtual environment (if any)


If you did not install Kallithea in a virtual environment, skip this step.

For major upgrades, e.g. from 0.3.x to 0.4.x, it is recommended to create a new virtual environment, rather than reusing the old. For minor upgrades, e.g. within the 0.4.x range, this is not really necessary (but equally fine).

To create a new virtual environment, please refer to the appropriate installation page for details. After creating and activating the new virtual environment, proceed with the rest of the upgrade process starting from the next section.

To reuse the same virtual environment, first activate it, then verify that you are using the correct environment by running:

pip freeze

This will list all packages installed in the current environment. If Kallithea isn’t listed, deactivate the environment and then activate the correct one, or recreate a new environment. See the appropriate installation page for details.

4. Install new version of Kallithea

Please refer to the instructions for the installation method you originally used to install Kallithea.

If you originally installed using pip, it is as simple as:

pip install --upgrade kallithea

If you originally installed from version control, assuming you did not make private changes (in which case you should adapt the instructions accordingly):

cd my-kallithea-clone
hg parent   # make a note of the original revision
hg pull
hg update
hg parent   # make a note of the new revision
pip install --upgrade -e .

5. Upgrade your configuration

Run the following command to create a new configuration (.ini) file:

kallithea-cli config-create new.ini

Then compare it with your old config file and copy over the required configuration values from the old to the new file.


Please always make sure your .ini files are up to date. Errors can often be caused by missing parameters added in new versions.

6. Upgrade your database


If you are downgrading Kallithea, you should perform the database migration step before installing the older version. (That is, always perform migrations using the most recent of the two versions you’re migrating between.)

First, run the following command to see your current database version:

alembic -c new.ini current

Typical output will be something like “9358dc3d6828 (head)”, which is the current Alembic database “revision ID”. Write down the entire output for troubleshooting purposes.

The output will be empty if you’re upgrading from Kallithea 0.3.x or older. That’s expected. If you get an error that the config file was not found or has no [alembic] section, see the next section.

Next, if you are performing an upgrade: Run the following command to upgrade your database to the current Kallithea version:

alembic -c new.ini upgrade head

If you are performing a downgrade: Run the following command to downgrade your database to the given version:

alembic -c new.ini downgrade 0.4

Alembic will show the necessary migrations (if any) as it executes them. If no “ERROR” is displayed, the command was successful.

Should an error occur, the database may be “stranded” half-way through the migration, and you should restore it from backup.

Enabling old Kallithea config files for Alembic use

Kallithea configuration files created before the introduction of Alembic (i.e. predating Kallithea 0.4) need to be updated for use with Alembic. Without this, Alembic will fail with an error like this:

FAILED: No config file 'my.ini' found, or file has no '[alembic]' section


If you followed this upgrade guide correctly, you will have created a new configuration file in section Upgrading your configuration. When calling Alembic, make sure to use this new config file. In this case, you should not get any errors and the below manual steps should not be needed.

If Alembic complains specifically about a missing alembic.ini, it is likely because you did not specify a config file using the -c option. On the other hand, if the mentioned config file actually exists, you need to append the following lines to it:

script_location = kallithea:alembic

Your config file should now work with Alembic.

7. Prepare the front-end

Starting with Kallithea 0.4, external front-end dependencies are no longer shipped but need to be downloaded and/or generated at installation time. Run the following command:

kallithea-cli front-end-build

8. Rebuild the Whoosh full-text index

It is recommended that you rebuild the Whoosh index after upgrading since new Whoosh versions can introduce incompatible index changes.

9. Start the Kallithea web application

This step once again depends entirely on the web server software used to serve Kallithea.

If you were running Kallithea 0.3.x or older and were using paster serve my.ini before, then the corresponding command in Kallithea 0.4 and later is:

gearbox serve -c new.ini

Before starting the new version of Kallithea, you may find it helpful to clear out your log file so that new errors are readily apparent.


If you’re using Celery, make sure you restart all instances of it after upgrade.

10. Reinstall internal Git repository hooks

It is possible that an upgrade involves changes to the Git hooks installed by Kallithea. As these hooks are created inside the repositories on the server filesystem, they are not updated automatically when upgrading Kallithea itself.

To update the hooks of your Git repositories, run:

kallithea-cli repo-scan -c my.ini --install-git-hooks

Watch out for warnings like skipping overwriting hook file X, then fix it and rerun, or consider using --overwrite-git-hooks instead.


  • Go to Admin > Settings > Remap and Rescan
  • Select the checkbox Install Git hooks
  • Click the button Rescan repositories


Kallithea does not use hooks on Mercurial repositories. This step is thus not necessary if you only have Mercurial repositories.