Rollback Feature: Testing Call to Action

While it is a rare occurrence, updating plugins and themes can fail in such a way that leaves the old 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/theme non-functional, and may leave users with a broken site.  #51857 intends to add the ability for coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. to “rollback” to the previously installed version of a plugin/theme when such a failure occurs.

Over 19 months of development and testing has gone into this feature, primarily by @costdev, @pbiron, and myself (@afragen). Several different solutions and they have led us to the current PR2225.

It was determined that copying the current plugin to an alternate location and in the event of an update failure, copying it back into wp-content/plugins, would be the least resource intensive method. This does require one additional plugin copying operation and two if there is a update failure.

rename() was essential to the rollback feature as many reported issues were timeout issues on some resource starved hosts, #54166 as an example. Using rename() allows us to vastly improve the performance of the current method, rather than using copy_dir() as a recursive file copy. It was thought that this recursive file copy, on some systems, resulted in timeout issues for large plugins.

Do you use a VirtualBox-based environment?

Please follow these steps before continuing.

Call to Action

Big Need:

Broad testing and feedback is needed on many different web hosting platforms, including inexpensive shared hosting, managed hosting, and more.

How do I test Rollback?

Do not test 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..

But do test on a local environment, hosted staging or test environment, or cloud staging or test environment.

  1. Here are some large plugins used for testing: akismet, jetpack, mailpoet, woocommerce, wpforms-lite, wordpress-seo
    • WP-CLIWP-CLI WP-CLI is the Command Line Interface for WordPress, used to do administrative and development tasks in a programmatic way. The project page is http://wp-cli.org/ https://make.wordpress.org/cli/: wp plugin install akismet jetpack mailpoet woocommerce wpforms-lite wordpress-seo
  2. Do this from the plugin’s page on https://wordpress.org/plugins by navigating to the “Development” tab, clicking “Advanced” to the right, and downloading an older version from the dropdown at the bottom of the page. You can also install the current version then modify the version in the plugin’s main file to decrement the version number.
  3. Install the WordPress Beta Tester plugin, set to Bleeding edgebleeding edge The latest revision of the software, generally in development and often unstable. Also known as trunk. and Nightlies. Go to Dashboard > Updates and click the Update to latest 6.1 nightly button.
  4. Install the Rollback feature plugin or test using the PR2225 in WordPress/wordpress-develop.
  5. Please make a note of the time required to perform plugin updates. Your phone’s stopwatch function may be the easiest method to do this.

Testing a single plugin update:

  1. Navigate to Plugins > Installed Plugins.
  2. Click “Update Now” located within the plugin row.

Testing bulk plugin updates via “Plugins”:

  1. Navigate to Plugins > Installed Plugins.
  2. Select another two plugins, select “Update” from the Bulk Actions dropdown, and click “Apply”.

Testing bulk plugin updates via “Dashboard”:

  1. Navigate to Dashboard > Updates
  2. Tick all plugins with an available update.
  3. Select “Update” from the Bulk Actions dropdown, and click “Apply”.

Testing updates via WP-CLI (if already familiar).

Validation of successful updates

This requires activating all the testing plugins on your testing site. Unsuccessful updates should show PHPPHP The web scripting language in which WordPress is primarily architected. WordPress requires PHP 5.6.20 or higher Errors or PHP Fatal Errors.

  1. Activate each of the plugins that were updated.
  2. In WP Adminadmin (and super admin), navigate to each plugin’s menu pages.
  3. Navigate the frontend of your test site.
  4. Navigate to your wp-content/upgrade/temp-backup/plugins folder. It should be empty.

Forcing an update failure

Use the following 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. to force an update failure. This will reinstall the previously active plugin/theme.

add_filter( 'upgrader_install_package_result', function() {
  return new WP_Error( 'simulated_error', 'Simulated Error' );
});

Testing update failures

When testing for failures on the bulk update in update-core.php you must use the PR. There is a modification in the PR that stops WP_Upgrader::unpack_package() from deleting the items in the temp-backup directory.

Needed Feedback?


How long did the update(s) take?

  • Your phone’s stopwatch may be the easiest option for logging the time to update.
  • Please test without the Rollback plugin or PR active for a baseline.
  • Reinstall the earlier versions as before.
  • Test the updates again with the Rollback plugin or the PR active.
  • Please provide the list of updated plugins/themes, the timings, and your environment details.
    • web host
    • PHP version
    • nginxNGINX NGINX is open source software for web serving, reverse proxying, caching, load balancing, media streaming, and more. It started out as a web server designed for maximum performance and stability. In addition to its HTTP server capabilities, NGINX can also function as a proxy server for email (IMAP, POP3, and SMTP) and a reverse proxy and load balancer for HTTP, TCP, and UDP servers. https://www.nginx.com/., apacheApache Apache is the most widely used web server software. Developed and maintained by Apache Software Foundation. Apache is an Open Source software available for free., etc
    • WordPress version
  • Continue

Did you receive any “Failed to update” errors?

  • Yes:
    • Please provide environment details.
    • Please provide the name of the plugin(s) that failed.
    • Was this a single plugin update or a bulk plugin update?
      • Bulk plugin update:
        • Where was the failed plugin in the list of plugins to be updated?
        • Were you on the Dashboard > Updates page, the Plugins > Installed plugins page, or using WP-CLI?
  • No: Continue

Did you receive any Fatal Errors when browsing your site after the update?

  • Yes:
    • Please provide your environment details.
    • Please provide the name of the plugin(s) that resulted in Fatal Errors.
    • Please provide the Fatal Errors that were displayed.
    • Was this a single plugin update or a bulk plugin update?
      • Bulk plugin update:
        • Where was the failed plugin in the list of plugins to be updated?
        • Were you on the Dashboard > Updates page, the Plugins > Installed plugins page, or WP-CLI?
  • No: Continue

Was the wp-content/upgrade/temp-backup/plugins folder empty?

  • Yes: Thank you! Please report your results, and environment details, in the comments below.
  • No:
    • Please provide your environment details.
    • Please provide the name of the plugin(s) that remain in wp-content/upgrade/temp-backup-plugins.
    • Was this a single plugin update or a bulk plugin update?
      • Bulk plugin update:
        • Where was the failed plugin in the list of plugins to be updated?
        • Were you on the Dashboard > Updates page, the Plugins > Installed plugins page, or WP-CLI?

Where do I report issues?

Please report test results or issues as comments on this post. Please list your environment in your results.

Editing assistance from birds and squirrels, also @ironprogrammer, @davidbaumwald, @hellofromtonya

#rollback