Auto Updates – Settings for Partners Clarified

Starting from July 8, 2019, Plesk enables the automatic updates for Partners. Within a timeframe of 6 months, all Plesk servers running 17.0 and 17.5 will be automatically updated to Plesk Onyx 17.8. We’ve discussed why you should be on the latest Plesk version in a previous blogpost.

The Concept of Auto-Updates for Partners

We have added several crucial features to our Partner Central portal that allow Partners to apply additional settings related to the auto-updates, namely:

  1. Set the specific week days when the auto-updates will run
  2. Add email addresses (in addition to the administrator’s email) that will be used for update-related notifications

Note that these settings will become available in Partner Central on June 24, 2019.

The Phases of Auto-Updates Adoption

When it comes to auto-updates, several tiers of Partners are defined:

  1. Early adopters
  2. General release
  3. Late adopter release

Partners with Early adopter tier will be updated first, during June. General release tier implies the update right after the early adopter tier. This means that your Plesk servers will be auto-updated during the July – November time frame. Late adopter release tier means that the servers belonging to this tier will be auto-updated in September – November.

Auto Updates Tiers

How to Check my Tier on a Single Plesk Server?

In the Plesk interface, in the left side menu, click on Tools & Settings -> Update and then Upgrade settings.

Screenshot Update Tier

Alternatively, check via ssh console using the Plesk CLI:

plesk bin server_pref -s | grep -i release-tier

“current” Early adopter release
empty value or “release” General release
“stable” Late adopter release

How to Define a Specific Release Tier for a Bunch of my Servers?

You might want to check your tier to have a better understanding of the time frame when your servers will be auto-updated, and then decide to change the settings if you need to.

To do so:

  1. Log in to Partner Central here
  2. Go to Product Configuration > configuration you need > click Edit link close to Server Settings
  3. Select the tier you need and make sure the radio button Install updates automatically is selected
  4. Set weekdays when you want the auto-updates to run (at least 2)
  5. Enter the email address of a person or group of people who should be notified when the auto-update starts and ends
  6. Click Save

And that’s it – you’re ready!

Note: If you want to apply auto-update settings to more than one Plesk server, please use Partner Central.


Other Important Facts to Know (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: When exactly will updates of my servers be installed?
A: The exact date and time of the update depend on the update settings configuration set by the party managing the Plesk servers. However, if you already see a notification in the Plesk control panel, it means that some time during the 5 month time frame the auto-updates will be installed.

Q: How can I know exactly (at least the month) when my server will be updated?
A: This is not possible – but you can adjust the settings of your tier, following the instructions above.

Q: Will all of my servers be updated at the same time?
A: No. There is a smart algorithm used by Plesk to update Plesk servers. For technical reasons, updating all servers at the same time is not possible.

Q: What will be the downtime when my Plesk server is upgraded, will my websites be down?
A: There is no downtime during the Plesk upgrade as such, though there is minor downtime (a few minutes) when the Control Panel service is restarted.

Q: Where can I find information about what was changed with the update?
A: You can find all the information about this in the Change Log for Plesk Onyx or What’s new pages.


  1. Incredibly short-sighted decision. We have hundreds of servers, and now you’re leaving us with the choice of either turn off all auto updates, including hot fixes, or just let you perform a major version change whenever you feel like it. Why is this a concern, because contrary to your article, it DOES cause downtime, which generates alerts, which requires sysadmin involvement after hours, which costs money, and which pisses off customers. The 17.5 to 17.8 upgrade restarts the web server software, and that is downtime. The restart of the web server software may also fail, thanks to all versions of Plesk often leaving invalid pointers to SSL files in the Apache config, causing it to fail to restart.

    Plesk is clearly on a race to the bottom with a target of consumers running a single VPS somewhere; this is not good for hosting providers.

    • Hey David, I understand your frustration. Have you been in touch with a member of our Partner Success Team yet? They can guide you further.

    • Same issue here David. With hundreds and hundreds of servers to manage, all of them suddenly deciding they are now going to update themselves has left us with a logistical nightmare. Especially as these updates often fail on virtual platforms, leaving customers with broken machines requiring manual intervention to fix. Really not happy with this change.

  2. We have 3 servers with “release-tier: stable”, but the ControlPanel says, that the update will be performed in the next 6 days. On all 3 servers we have installed Version 17.5.3 Update #75.

  3. Disappointing. Since you removed Tomcat support in Onyx 17.8 it is incredibly short-sighted to be “forcing” an automatic update to that! I hope there’s a check in place to see if any sites are using it before you push them to an unsupported platform …but I doubt it. I’ve disabled automatic updates for now.

  4. Regarding the release tier, which setting has priority? Is it the setting in the individual Plesk servers or is it the setting in the Partner Central?

    Suppose a setting of “General release” in the Partner Central and a setting of “Late adopter” on the Plesk server. Which of these settings will take precedence and in which timeframe will this server be updated?

    Can you please clarify?

    Thank you!

    • Hey Jens,

      The settings set in Partner Central have more priority. In the case that you are describing as an example, this particular server will be updated during ‘General release’ – sometime in September-October.

      Settings in Partner Central actually help service providers to give the whole clusters of their customers option to update when it is more convenient for the service provider.

      But please note that if the end-customer decides to disable updates for one Plesk Server in Plesk Settings, even though their service provider has set General Release or Late Adoption, this particular Plesk server will not be updated by us.

      Hope this answers your question 🙂

  5. We are on 17.0.17 running on Debian 8.11.
    Is it recommended to upgrade Debian first, or to wait until after Plesk upgraded itself?

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