The following describes the prerequisites for upgrading your LISTSERV installation to a newer version.  Please read this section carefully, and do not hesitate to contact the support department if you have questions.


IMPORTANT: LISTSERV 17.0 requires a version 17.0 Product LAK!
This release also requires valid Maintenance expiring on 8 Jun 2019 or later!


You must obtain and install a LISTSERV version 17.0 product LAK and (for sites with perpetual licensing) an appropriate maintenance LAK, or LISTSERV will not start after the upgrade.

IMPORTANT:  LISTSERV 16.x web interface customizations and branding
are NOT COMPATIBLE with LISTSERV 17.0!


Before upgrading to LISTSERV 17.0, please be sure to back up your LISTSERV installation.


PLEASE read the LISTSERV 17.0 What's New document before upgrading!


LISTSERV 17.0 is a major upgrade to the traditional LISTSERV web interface, bringing it in line with present day standards with responsive templates designed to display on both desktops and hand-held devices.  While there is a backward-compatible interface mode that allows both the server interface and individual list interfaces to fall back to the non-responsive 16.x “look and feel,” customizations made to the 16.x web templates are not compatible with the 17.0 web interface and will have to be retooled to fit into the new responsive interface.  If your LISTSERV server has heavily-customized or branded templates, L-Soft strongly recommends that this retooling be done in a test environment before upgrading your production server.


Before installing any upgraded files, the LISTSERV installer scripts for both Windows and unix will copy SITE.WWWTPL (if it exists) to SITE165.WWWTPL.  This is a requirement for the “compatibility mode” previously mentioned, and preserves any customizations made to the 16.x web templates for use by that mode.


LISTSERV sites that normally upgrade using manual methods rather than using the installer kits MUST perform the SITE.WWWTPL -> SITE165.WWWTPL operation manually.  Unix LISTSERV sites performing this manual operation MUST ensure that the resulting site165.wwwtpl file is named in lower case, is owned by ‘listserv’, and has the same permission settings as site.wwwtpl.


IMPORTANT: Because of non-backward-compatible changes made in LISTSERV 16.0 to the format of LISTSERV’s SIGNUP files which allow UTF-8 characters to be used in passwords, and the addition of non-reversible subscriber password encryption, L-Soft STRONGLY RECOMMENDS that, prior to upgrading, a full backup be made of your LISTSERV installation if you are upgrading from a version earlier than 16.0.


IMPORTANT: Install your LISTSERV 17.0 product LAK before upgrading!


A valid product LAK (License Activation Key) with "REL=17.0" must be installed before upgrading or LISTSERV will not start after the upgrade.


If you have not received a LISTSERV 17.0 product LAK, please contact your sales representative or SALES@LSOFT.COM before upgrading!


If your product LAK has EXP=NEVER, you will also need to install an appropriate LISTSERV maintenance LAK.


To find out if you can upgrade to LISTSERV 17.0 with your current LAKs, please issue a SHOW LICENSE command to LISTSERV and examine the response. It will be similar to this:


License type:       Permanent
Expiration date:    None - perpetual license
Maintenance until:  26 Nov 2019, serial number MNT-XYZ-1
Capacity:           Unlimited
Version:            17.0
Serial number:      XYZ-1
Build date:         8 Jun 2019


Your license key will be valid for the 17.0 upgrade if your current product LAK is for version 17.0 or higher and your maintenance is not expired.


Upgrading LISTSERV is almost as simple as installing it.  Simply follow these steps:


    1. If you are upgrading from one full version of LISTSERV to another (for instance, from 16.5 to 17.0), you should have received a new LAK from your sales representative.  If you do not have a LAK for the version you are upgrading to, stop right here and contact your L-Soft sales representative. If you are not sure what version you are currently licensed for, send a "SHOW LICENSE" command to LISTSERV.

    2. If you have received a new LAK, install it onto your old installation, following the instructions that come with the LAK. Send LISTSERV a "SHOW LICENSE" command after restarting LISTSERV to ensure that the new LAK has been installed properly. Do not proceed further until this step has been correctly completed.

    3. Get the current Unix evaluation kit from the LISTSERV evaluation kit download page and install it over your existing installation. Your current configuration, lists, and other settings will be preserved.  Note that evaluation kits are production code limited only by an evaluation LAK, which your production LAK will override.

      (If you are upgrading a LISTSERV Lite installation, you should get the current LISTSERV Lite kit from the LISTSERV Lite download page.)

    4. Back up the entire LISTSERV directory hierarchy (just in case).

    5. Stop LISTSERV.  If you have LISTSERV set up to respawn itself (rare), be sure to bring LISTSERV to a complete stop before proceeding.

    6. Follow the instructions in this document (or, if you are using the .bin.gz kit, those found in the Simplified Installation document) to install the new version over the old.  Your current configuration, lists, and other settings will be preserved (simply choose "n" when prompted to set variables in the go.user file).

    7. Restart LISTSERV and send a command to the server to make sure the installation was successful (e.g., SHOW LICENSE).


Note: Please be aware that a LISTSERV upgrade is effectively a new installation over the top of the old installation.  The installer does not do any version checking for files that are considered to be LISTSERV's core files to determine whether or not they need to be replaced.  Therefore there is effectively no difference between a fresh install and an upgrade install.


Note: The standard LISTSERV Classic and Lite kits for unix are binary installers that are designed to simplify the installation process.  If upgrading a LISTSERV Classic installation, or going from LISTSERV Lite to LISTSERV Classic, you may choose to download the old 'tar.gz' installation kits instead.  If so, be sure to download common.tar.gz as well as the `uname`.tar.gz kit for your unix.  This is very important as the common files also change from version to version.


IMPORTANT: LISTSERV Lite installations should always be updated from the ".bin" kits provided specifically for LISTSERV Lite.