Upgrading across multiple versions is handled automatically. However, if in your migration path you have an LTS version, you must first migrate to this LTS and then migrate to your target version.
Example 1 : 5.1 -> 7.0, migration path is 5.1 -> 5.6.7 LTS -> 6.7.x LTS -> 7.0
Example 2 : 6.2 -> 6.7, migration path is 6.2 -> 6.7.x LTS (where x is the latest patch available for 6.7 - you don't need to install all the intermediary patches, just take the latest)
How to Upgrade?
This is a generic upgrade guide, please read carefully the Upgrade Notes of your target version and of each intermediate version, if any (below).
Planning to Upgrade to a Commercial Editions?
If you are targetting to move to 6.7 LTS and to install a commercial Edition, please read this documentation.
Before you start, backup your SonarQube Database. Upgrade problems are rare, but you'll want the backup if anything does happen.
Download and unzip the new SonarQube distribution in a fresh directory, let's say $NEW_SONARQUBE_HOME
Install the plugins compatible with your version of SonarQube. Use the Compatibility Matrix to ensure that the versions you install are compatible with your server version. Note that simply copying plugins from the old server to the new is not recommended; incompatible plugins could cause startup errors.
Update the contents of sonar.properties and wrapper.conf files (in $NEW_SONARQUBE_HOME/conf) with the settings of the related files in the OLD_SONARQUBE_HOME/conf directory (web server URL, database, ldap settings, etc.). Do not copy-paste the old files.
If you are using the Oracle DB, copy its JDBC driver into $NEW_SONARQUBE_HOME/extensions/jdbc-driver/oracle
Stop your old SonarQube Server
Start your new SonarQube Server
Browse to http://yourSonarQubeServerURL/setup and follow the setup instructions
Analyze your projects (and compute your Views if you own the Governance product) to get fresh data
Starting with 6.6, there's an additional step you may want to perform if you're using Oracle. On Oracle the database columns to be dropped are now marked as UNUSED and are not physically dropped anymore. To reclaim disk space, Oracle administrators must drop these unused columns manually. The SQL request is ALTER TABLE foo DROP UNUSED COLUMNS. The relevant tables are listed in the system table all_unused_col_tabs.
Additional Database Maintenance
Refreshing your database's statistics and rebuilding your database's indices are recommended once the technical upgrade is done (just before the very last step).
Check the documentation pages of the Scanners you use to see if upgrades are available.
SonarQube as a Linux or Windows Service
If you use external configuration, such as a script or Windows Service to control your server, you'll need to update it to point to NEW_SONARQUBE_HOME.
In case you used the InstallNTService.bat to install SonarQube as a Windows Service, run the OLD_SONARQUBE_HOME/bin/.../UninstallNTService.bat before running the InstallNTService.bat of the NEW_SONARQUBE_HOME.
Release Upgrade Notes
Usually SonarQube releases come with some specific recommendations for upgrading from the previous version. You should read the upgrade notes for each version between your current version and the target version. To upgrade from a version not listed here, see Documentation for Previous Versions.