Upgrading PaperCut MF & NG (update procedure)

This article covers the steps needed to upgrade PaperCut MF or NG. There’s a couple of related articles which may be of help too:

  • PaperCut’s Upgrade Policy - or “can I upgrade?”
  • Older versions download page - if you’re wanting to upgrade, but not to the very latest version, you can access older versions of PaperCut NG here. Note that for PaperCut MF downloads you’ll have to chat with your PaperCut partner/reseller (you can find their contact information on the ‘About’ tab of the PaperCut Administration Console, under the ‘Support’ section).
  • Known Issues - check to see if there are any known issues that will impact you on the version that you’re upgrading to.
  • When software updates go wrong - a horror story, written by one of our PaperCutters!

Before you begin

Check out the FAQs further down the page, which cover questions around whether you can ‘jump’ from one version to another without doing the upgrades in between, or whether all your data is retained after an upgrade before beginning the upgrade process.

If you’re using PaperCut MF: please contact your PaperCut support partner (located on the ‘About’ tab in the PaperCut administration console, under the ‘Support’ section) to let them know about the upgrade so that they can assist with licensing, device and other upgrade advice - and can also then be available in the unusual event that something goes wrong.

Application Server Upgrade

Getting hold of the latest version of the software:

  • PaperCut NG - If you are using a licensed version of PaperCut NG, you can upgrade to the latest version here. Before upgrading, it’s worth making sure that your license allows you to upgrade, by checking out the Upgrade Policy.
  • PaperCut MF - If you have PaperCut MF then you can obtain the installation software from your PaperCut Authorised Reseller (find them listed on the ‘About’ tab in the PaperCut Administration Console, under the ‘Support’ section), or via the Check for Updates option found on the About tab of your PaperCut administration console. Please note that customer self-service upgrades are only recommended for server and workstation components.

If you are migrating from PaperCut NG to PaperCut MF, then please contact your PaperCut Authorised Reseller for support, since there will be licensing changes needed, and device-specific steps will need to be completed to get your devices working with PaperCut MF.

Note: Upgrading instructions are the same for Linux, macOS, Windows and Novell. You just need to install the latest version “over the top”. Please follow the steps listed in the Installing PaperCut NG/MF section of the help center, for installation instructions for each operating system.′

Note: Sites running on Microsoft Cluster servers should consult the documentation in Upgrading PaperCut NG in a Microsoft Cluster Environment.

The upgrade procedure:

  1. If you’re upgrading from a previous major release (e.g. 17.x→19.x or 19.x→20.x), first check your eligibility to upgrade.
  2. If you still use 32-bit workstations in your environment and are upgrading from version 18.3 or earlier to version 19.0 or later, also check out our End-of-life for 32-bit Operating Systems article for an important caveat on 32-bit support.
  3. Schedule appropriate downtime. It is suggested to choose a time of day with minimal network activity. If there is a large volume of data in the system take some time to read this article discussing database upgrade times.
  4. Stop the PaperCut services running in the background. For operating system specific instructions please follow the link here.
  5. As a precaution, we recommend backing up the whole PaperCut directory before beginning. Existing overnight system backups may have taken care of this task, however take a few moments to create an up-to-date backup now. For example, on Windows, create a zip archive of the directory:
    C:\Program Files\PaperCut NG\ (if using PaperCut NG)
    C:\Program Files\PaperCut MF\ (if using PaperCut MF)
  6. Run the installer and install into the same location as the existing install (this is especially important if you have installed PaperCut NG/MF onto a non-system disk - otherwise you’ll land up creating a parallel installation of PaperCut NG/MF).
  7. After the install has completed allow a few minutes before accessing the system through the web interface. The system may need to perform a database upgrade and this will be performed in the background. If you try to access the web interface while a database upgrade is in progress, a message with the upgrade status will be displayed.
    IMPORTANT: Do not shutdown the application while an upgrade is in progress. Wait for the upgrade to complete.
  8. After the install is complete, log into the system and perform some tests to ensure all is working as expected and the system is monitoring user activity as expected. It’s also worth heading into the Logs → Job Log tab in the administration interface, to confirm that you can see all previous job logs in the system. Administrators may find the post upgrade test plan useful too.
    Note: Sites running on Novell OES Linux are also advised to restart their iPrint Print Manager.

Secondary Server, release station, web print server and user client upgrades

It’s highly recommended that any ‘other’ components (secondary servers, release stations, user clients, sandbox web servers) are also upgraded at the same time as the Application Server. However in most cases this isn’t critical. We make sure that there is basic backward compatibility for secondary servers, user clients, devices, release stations, web print servers etc - this allows upgrades involving a large number of servers, or multiple sites, to be staggered, breaking up and localising downtime. However you will likely not be able to take advantage of all the component-specific new features until those components are upgraded (for example if there is a new feature with a release station or user client, then there is a high chance that the release station or user client would need to be upgraded to make the most of that new feature.

If you encounter unexpected behaviour or problems, please upgrade all components of PaperCut as soon as possible before troubleshooting further. Should you request support for a problem where mismatched component versions is detected, this will be the first troubleshooting step.

Note: The exception to this rule is Site Servers (see below - these have to be upgraded at the same time as the Application Server).

Secondary Server upgrade

As with the Application Server, this is just a matter of installing the latest version ‘over the top’ of the current version on the Secondary Server (normally used on your Print Servers). It’s the same process as Installing a Secondary Server, but all your previous configurations and log files will be retained during the upgrade, so you don’t have to re-apply any configuration again after the upgrade.

You don’t need to reboot the print server as part of the upgrade, but it is worth doing the upgrade out of hours because the upgrade process will stop and start the Print Provider service. This means that jobs may get through without being tracked, or may print to the wrong place (or not print at all) if your users continue to print while the Print Provider service is stopped.

If you’re wondering how to get the software, check out this article on Getting the Secondary Server Software. If you have just done the Application server upgrade above, you already have the installer that you need to do the upgrade on the secondary server too.

If you’re using Linux, it’s also worth checking out the Linux Secondary Server upgrade article.

Release Station upgrade

Depending on how you have Installed your release station you may either have to do nothing (yay!) if you are running the release station software directly from the release station share on the Application Server, or, you may have to copy the latest release folder (under [app-dir]/release) from the Application Server to the Release station - as documented in the installation instructions.

If you are copying the entire folder over and running the release station locally, it’s worth taking a backup of the following files, and restoring them after the directory copy, so that you retain all your previous settings:


Web Print Sandbox server upgrade

Again, just like the Application Server upgrade or Secondary Server upgrade, for the Web Print Sandbox Server upgrade you just need to run the PaperCut NG/MF installation package and then follow the Web Print Sandbox Server install directions, to install over the top of your current install on the Sandbox Server - make sure to select ‘Web Print server installation (sandbox mode)’ when running the installer for the Web Print Sandbox Server!

Note that if you’re running Web Print in Default mode, then the upgrade was already taken care of as part of the Application Server upgrade.

User client upgrade

Check out our separate article on Upgrading the PaperCut client software.

Payment Gateway upgrade

Download the latest version of the gateway from the Payment Gateway Setup and Installation page (Step 2), and perform the upgrade just like the original installation.

It’s also worth taking a backup of the config files for the gateway that you’re using, so that you can copy these back into place after the re-installation:

[app-dir]/server/lib-ext/ext-payment-gateway-xyz.properties (where xyz is the config file name for your gateway - e.g. blackboard for the blackboard gateway)

Devices upgrade

PaperCut MF users should now follow any upgrade instructions outlined in the embedded solution documentation for their devices. Your PaperCut partner/reseller will also be able to provide an appropriate resource to assist with this procedure - their contact details can be found in the PaperCut Administration Console, under the ‘About’ → ‘Support’ section.

Site Server Upgrade

Site servers should now be upgraded to the same version as the primary server (see the Site Server Installation section of the help center for instructions).

Until they are upgraded, any site servers associated with the primary server will continue to run in offline mode, with reduced functionality (see the Site server offline section of the help center for more information about what functions are available or not.

Upgrade Process (Video walkthrough)

If you’re interested in a video of the upgrade process, the following runs through an Application Server upgrade of PaperCut NG/MF:

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Q Do I need to pay for the upgrade?

Minor releases upgrades are always free. If your Maintenance and Support is not current, there may be an upgrade cost for major upgrades. Please some take time to review the Upgrade policy before proceeding.

Q Are my job logs / job data / user balances / transaction history and printing history kept when performing an upgrade?

Yes! When you perform the upgrade, all your job history, transaction data, balances, configuration and other information is all kept in place. You’ll be able to perform the upgrade, and after the upgrade still see job history from previous months/years, and all your users will have the same balances as just prior to the upgrade.

Q How do I make sure that I’m eligible for the upgrade?

Check out the Upgrade Policy documentation to make sure that you’re ok to upgrade - especially if you’re moving from an older version (e.g. 17.x or 18.x, through to a newer one like 20.x).

Q Can I upgrade straight from e.g. 16.x to 19.x?

Go straight for it! PaperCut is designed to support “install over the top” upgrades from any version to any newer version.

We recommend to take a backup of your server, or PaperCut install beforehand.

For significant jumps between versions, we also recommend optimizing your database beforehand.

Q Do I need to upgrade my server before upgrading PaperCut NG/MF?

Please look at our server sizing guide to make sure that your system can perform adequately when supporting the newer features in current versions of PaperCut NG/MF.

Q Will my 32-bit servers and workstations still work?

PaperCut has stopped support for 32-bit operating systems since version 19.0, so there may be additional work required in your environment if you still need to support 32-bit clients. Check out our article on End of life for 32-bit operating systems for more information.

Q Are there any known issues that I should know about before upgrading?

It’s worth checking out the latest information on PaperCut NG/MF Known Issues to make sure you know what to expect with the new version.

Q Where can I get the latest update from?

In the PaperCut admin console, head over to the About tab, and use the Check for updates action.

Q Can I upgrade the Application Server but keep the clients and secondary servers on a previous version?

The PaperCut Application Server is designed to be backwards compatible, so you can have a newer version of the Application Server being used with older versions of the Secondary Servers, Release Stations, and Clients for the purposes of the upgrade (note, Site Servers are not on this list). However, we highly recommend upgrading those other components to match the primary Application Server as soon as possible, so that you gain the benefits of upgrading all the components in your environment.

You cannot have an older version of the Application Server being used with a newer version of the Secondary Server, Release Station, or Client software.

Q Is the same true for Site Servers?

If you have Site Servers, they must be maintained at the same version as your Application Server. Site Servers have an especially close relationship with the Application Server and it is not possible to support older versions of the Site Server. When your Application Server is upgraded, your Site Servers will operate in offline mode until they are also upgraded.

Q What will happen if someone tries to print while the upgrade is in process?

The PaperCut Print Provider service will be stopped during the installation, but the print spooler service will continue to process print jobs allowing printing to continue without PaperCut control. The Print Provider service will be restarted automatically at the end of the upgrade. We recommend that you perform the upgrade during a period of minimal print activity on the network.

Q How long will the upgrade take?

The answer is ‘it depends’… mostly on how much data you have in your database. The actual upgrade of the binaries and other config files is relatively quick (under 5–10 mins) but it’s worth looking through the Database upgrades KB to see how to (very roughly) estimate an upgrade duration for your environment. If you really want to know for sure, there’s no better way than creating a PaperCut test environment to try out the upgrade.

Q I’m a PaperCut Chargeback customer, how do I move up to PaperCut NG?

Check out this KB on Upgrading Chargeback.

Categories: How-to Articles, Upgrading or Downgrading

Keywords: upgrade, upgrading, update, updating, instructions, procedure, process, upgrade process, upgrading steps