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Upgrading / Migrating from Bolt v3.7 to v5.0

Recently it has been announced the release of Bolt 5 and since Bolt 3 is reaching end of life the 31st of December 2021, we have made this guide to make the migration process a bit more pleasant for you.

Keep reading and happy Bolt migration!

Table of Content

  1. Update to latest Bolt v3.7
  2. Export data
  3. Update to Bolt v5.0
  4. Contenttype fields conversion
  5. Conimex Extension and data import
  6. Templates update

Update to latest Bolt v3.7

If you are already running the latest Bolt 3.7 version you can skip this step and continue reading on the next step "Export data".

Aren't you sure if you are running the latest release? You can check it out by running:

composer outdated bolt/bolt

Composer outdated command

Note the latest option in the screenshot. If the latest version is prompted in green you are good to move forward with the migration. In case the latest version is prompted in red you need to make sure to update to the latest version.

To update to the latest version run the following command:

composer require bolt/bolt ^3.7 --update-with-dependencies

Export data

Before getting into running any command to export the data make sure you have a backup of the database of the site you are about to migrate.

Having said that, let's get the data exported by running the command below in the root directory of the site:

app/nut database:export --file=my_site_data_export.yml --users

Export data command

This command is doing a couple of things:

  • Using the --file option, it creates the my_site_data_export.yml file in the root directory with all the exported data.
  • Using the --users option will export the data of the users and their credentials.

Warning: Since the users are being exported with their passwords and other private data, keep the export file in a safe place. Do not share or commit this file to Git.

There are other handy options that can be used when exporting the data, such as:

  • --contenttype=CONTENTTYPE: Contenttype name to export records for (can be used multiple times). Use this option if you want to have your data exported by Contenttype. For example php app/nut database:export --contenttype=news --file=news.yml will export all the records of the News Contenttype into the news.yml file
  • --directory=DIRECTORY: A destination directory. The command will automatically generate file names. Use this option to export the data into a directory. For example: php app/nut database:export --contenttype=news --directory=export/news.yml

Those seem to be the options you would use the most but there exist other options you might find interesting. You can check them up by running:

app/nut database:export --help

Export data command

Update to Bolt v5.0

Even though you could directly update your existing site from Bolt 3 to Bolt 5, we will use a less complex approach which will also help to keep track of the old Bolt 3 installation and the new Bolt 5 version.

New Bolt 5 project install

Let's get started by installing a new Bolt 5 project. You can create a new Bolt 5 project by running the command:

composer create-project bolt/project myprojectname

myprojectname can be anything you like. This is just the name of the directory the installation will be put in.

Moving Bolt 3 files into Bolt 5 installation

Once you have installed the latest version of Bolt 5 move forward by copying relevant files of your Bolt 3 site into the recently installed version 5. In the table below you can see an overview of the list of directories and files to be copied and
the location in the new version's structure.

Bolt 3 Bolt 5
General config directory app/config config/bolt
Extensions config directory app/config/extensions config/extensions
Templates directory public/theme/YOUR_THEME_NAME public/theme/YOUR_THEME_NAME
Files directory public/files public/files
Thumbnails directory public/thumbs public/thumbs

In case you have customized the default Bolt 3 .htaccess file in the public directory, you will need to include the modification in the new Bolt 5 public/.htaccess file for your site to properly work.

Contenttype fields conversion

Now that we have allocated the files in the right directories is time to get your contenttypes.yml file compatible with Bolt 5. Since new features has been added to fields and the definition of some Fields have slightly changed, these fields need to be converted so Bolt 5 understands the type of field you are defining. It is not necessary to change all the fields but it is necessary to apply changes to the following Fields.

Integer and Float fields

The integer and the float fields are known in Bolt 3 like shown below:

# Bolt 3 Integer field definition
    type: integer

# Bolt 3 Float field definition
    type: float

These fields do no longer exist in Bolt 5. These types of fields have been combined into one Field called Number

It comes in with an option called mode where you can choose between integer or float to save that type of data in your Database.

To migrate the data of an Integer field the new field definition will look like:

# Bolt 5 integer Number field definition
    type: number
    mode: integer

To migrate the data of a Float field the new field definition will look like:

# Bolt 5 float Number field definition
    type: number
    mode: float 

recordsperpage is now records_per_page

The recordsperpage setting for a content type has been changed (since Bolt 4) to use snake_case for consistency with other Bolt config items.

# Bolt 3.x syntax
  recordsperpage: 10

#Bolt 4.x+ syntax
  records_per_page: 10

Repeater and Block fields

The Repeater and Block fields do no longer exist in Bolt 5. The Collection and Set fields have been introduced to take over the role the other fields played. Even though the look and feel is pretty much the same as it was in earlier versions, the syntax to define these fields differs a little bit. There is some documentation already written about how to transform Repeater and Block fields that will help you out in migrating these fields for your site.

Video field

The video field type from Bolt 3 has been dropped in favor of the more generic and all-encompassing embed field type.

# Bolt 3.x syntax
    type: video

# Bolt 4.x syntax
    type: embed

The embed type should be a drop-in replacement.

Conimex Extension and data import

To get the exported data migrated you will need to install the Conimex Extension.

Conimex Extension installation

Install the extension by running:

    composer require bobdenOtter/conimex

Configuring the database

Database configuration is done completely differently from Bolt 3. You no longer need to add it in the config.yml or config_file.yml files were this configuration used to live.

In Bolt 5 the Database configuration is done in the .env and preferably in a .env.local file. These files should never be shared or pushed to GitHub or similar, since they might hold sensitive data.

In the root directory of the Bolt 5 installation create a new .env.local file. If you are on Linux run touch .env.local

In this guide we will show an example of how to setup a MySQL database in the .env.local configuration file. If you are using a different database you can read Configuration / Database Configuration or the .env config file to see how to configure SQLite or PostgresSQL databases.

See below the meaning of each configuration option:

###> doctrine/doctrine-bundle ###
# Potential replacements:
# db_user - database username
# db_password - database password. If it contains special characters, you can quote it: "p@ss'w0rd"
# localhost - database host. Often or localhost. Can also be a remote host
# 3306 / 5432 - port number for resp. MySQL and Postgres.
# data_name - Database name.
# serverVersion - The version of the Database

# MYSQL / MariaDB
###< doctrine/doctrine-bundle ###

After replacing the options with your Database credentials the configuration will look something like:


You can check if the database is configured properly by running the command:

bin/console bolt:info

Conimex import data

After the extension has been installed make sure you are at the root directory of your Bolt site.

Before you run the import make sure you move/copy the exported data file at the root directory of your Bolt site before running the import command.

To migrate the data run the following command to execute the import process:

    bin/console conimex:import my_site_data_export.yaml

Where my_site_data_export.yaml is the export .yaml file with the data to be migrated. This file was created on the Export data section of this document.

Depending on the amount of data to be migrated, this process may take a long time to be finished.

You will be notified in the command line when the migration is finished.

Templates update

Your last step will be to migrate your templates. It could be the case that you are using old Bolt 3 syntax and this needs to be changed. Some tips on where to put the focus on are:


In Bolt 3 the Twig syntax to create a link was using something like:

<a href="{{ record.link }}">Read more</a>

In Bolt 5 the syntax is pretty similar but the pipe character (|) is used instead:

<a href="{{ record|link }}">Read more</a>

Accessing config values

Probably in some of your templates you might have accessed some values from your config files. In Bolt 3 this was done like:

{{ app.config.get('general/sitename') }}

In Bolt 5 this is done like:

{{ config.get('general/sitename') }}

Twig spaceless tag

Change the Twig syntax of the spaceless tag. In Bolt 3 the syntax was:

{% spaceless %} - {% end spaceless%} 

In Bolt 5 the syntax is:

{% apply spaceless %} - {% endapply %} 

Twig image function

In Bolt 3, you could render an image using the image function in your theme's twig templates:

<img src="{{ image(record.image, 600, 500) }}" alt="{{ record.imagealt }}" />

In Bolt 4.x and up, the new syntax is:

{{ showimage(record.image, 600, 500) }}

Note there's no need to write the <img> tag or define a separate imagealt field, since the image field type includes an alt text field, and the showimage twig function outputs the <img> tag for you.

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