Automatic Core Updates, an update

Over the last few weeks I’ve been working on bringing Automatic CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. Updates to WordPress 3.7 through #22704, Up until now it’s been disabled in trunktrunk A directory in Subversion containing the latest development code in preparation for the next major release cycle. If you are running "trunk", then you are on the latest revision. while development in progress – today however, that all changes.

As of [25598] WordPress 3.7+ installs will begin updating themselves without the need of user input every time a new security releaseRelease A release is the distribution of the final version of an application. A software release may be either public or private and generally constitutes the initial or new generation of a new or upgraded application. A release is preceded by the distribution of alpha and then beta versions of the software. has been released, or in the case of all us development users, it’ll update daily to the latest nightly if possible.

Automatic Updates are unattended, and by default, will only update WordPress to security releases (for example, from 3.7 to 3.7.1, but not from 3.7.1 to 3.8). Great lengths will be taken to ensure that no site will break as the result of an Automatic update.

Note: FilterFilter Filters are one of the two types of Hooks https://codex.wordpress.org/Plugin_API/Hooks. They provide a way for functions to modify data of other functions. They are the counterpart to Actions. Unlike Actions, filters are meant to work in an isolated manner, and should never have side effects such as affecting global variables and output. and constant names may change pending feedback and discussion.

Edit, October 18: WordPress 3.7 RC1 changed some filter names. This post now reflects the latest names. AUTOMATIC_UPDATER_DISABLED does not work in RC1. This is fixed in 3.7-RC1-25851.

In order for Automatic Updates to be enabled, there are a few simple requirements:

  1. If the install uses FTPFTP FTP is an acronym for File Transfer Protocol which is a way of moving computer files from one computer to another via the Internet. You can use software, known as a FTP client, to upload files to a server for a WordPress website. https://codex.wordpress.org/FTP_Clients. for updates (and prompts for credentials), automatic updates are disabled
  2. If the install is running as a SVNSVN Subversion, the popular version control system (VCS) by the Apache project, used by WordPress to manage changes to its codebase. or GITGit Git is a free and open source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency. Git is easy to learn and has a tiny footprint with lightning fast performance. Most modern plugin and theme development is being done with this version control system. https://git-scm.com/. checkout, automatic updates are disabled
  3. If the constants DISALLOW_FILE_MODS or AUTOMATIC_UPDATER_DISABLED are defined, automatic updates are disabled
  4. If the constant WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE is defined as false, automatic updates are disabled
  5. Your WordPress install also needs to be able to contact WordPress.orgWordPress.org The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org/ over HTTPSHTTPS HTTPS is an acronym for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure. HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP, the protocol over which data is sent between your browser and the website that you are connected to. The 'S' at the end of HTTPS stands for 'Secure'. It means all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted. This is especially helpful for protecting sensitive data like banking information. connections, so your PHPPHP The web scripting language in which WordPress is primarily architected. WordPress requires PHP 5.6.20 install also needs OpenSSL installed and working
  6. Wp-Cron needs to be operational, if for some reason cron fails to work for your install, Automatic Updates will also be unavailable

We’ve also been working on a bunch of related features to makemake A collection of P2 blogs at make.wordpress.org, which are the home to a number of contributor groups, including core development (make/core, formerly "wpdevel"), the UI working group (make/ui), translators (make/polyglots), the theme reviewers (make/themes), resources for plugin authors (make/plugins), and the accessibility working group (make/accessibility). updates even more bulletproof than before, including HTTPHTTP HTTP is an acronym for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. HTTP is the underlying protocol used by the World Wide Web and this protocol defines how messages are formatted and transmitted, and what actions Web servers and browsers should take in response to various commands., Filesystem, and File verification enhancements, amongst many other things.

How do I test it?

If you’d like to test this out, the simplest way is to simply create a new non-svn checkout of trunk and visit the site regularly to make the cron task run.
If you’d like to test this out, and you’re running SVN/GIT, you can use add_filter( 'auto_upgrade_ignore_checkout_status', '__return_true' ); in a mu-pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party to make it ignore the checkout status, note, that you’ll lose any modifications you’ve made to core files.

After each update, you’ll receive an email with a summary of the actions taken, which will let you know if the upgrade completed, or encountered any problems – the emails are still a work in progress, the email currently in trunk is designed for developers, and may not be the same in the final release.

I don’t like the sound of this, How do I turn it off?

  1. If you’re using a deployment system that uses SVN or GIT, it’s disabled by default
  2. The simplest way to disable it is to add define( 'AUTOMATIC_UPDATER_DISABLED', true ); to your wp-config.php file
  3. You can also make use of the auto_upgrader_disabled automatic_updater_disabled, or, auto_upgrade_core auto_update_core filters

Are there any more hidden features?

This is WordPress we’re talking about, of course there’s a bunch more that it can do!

  1. If you’re using a non-English install, this will also automatically update any plugin/theme Language Packs which are installed, hopefully resulting in a better i18ni18n Internationalization, or the act of writing and preparing code to be fully translatable into other languages. Also see localization. Often written with a lowercase i so it is not confused with a lowercase L or the numeral 1. Often an acquired skill. experience, See #18200 for more information on Language packs, there’ll be a follow up post in the near future explaining how and when Language packs will work
  2. Plugin & Theme Updates! – You can hook into the 'auto_upgrade_plugin' or 'auto_upgrade_theme' 'auto_update_plugin' and 'auto_update_theme' filters to enable auto-updates of one, or many plugins/themes note: Plugin/Theme updates will not be enabled by default in WordPress 3.7
  3. By default, Core Auto-Updates will only apply to WordPress Security & nightly releases, that is, from 3.7.0 to 3.7.1, 3.7.1 will not automatically update to 3.8.0 – This can however be changed,  you can simply add define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', true ); to your wp-config.php file and it’ll happen automatically!

What can I do to help?

Please test it out and report any bugs you find! Triggering automatic updates can be a little bit difficult since it currently relies upon a twice daily cron job, so the easiest way is to just create a new nightly install and visit the site once a day to cause the cron to be initiated, If you’re game to run it on a production siteProduction Site A production site is a live site online meant to be viewed by your visitors, as opposed to a site that is staged for development or testing., please be aware that WordPress will go into Maintenance mode during the upgrade.

You can also head over to TracTrac An open source project by Edgewall Software that serves as a bug tracker and project management tool for WordPress. and check out report/48, which is a temporary 3.7 report containing anything related to automatic updates and Language packs (more on that in a few days)

#3-7, #updates