Performing the Concourse Upgrade

Upgrading Concourse involves following these steps:

  • Download the latest supported Concourse release
  • Upload it to your BOSH environment
  • Create a new deployment manifest
  • Use BOSH to deploy this new manifest in place of your existing Concourse deployment

This step-by-step tutorial includes details for checking out sample manifest and supporting files for the desired deployment version from the concourse-bosh-deployment repository. These can be used as a template for customizing your release.

The guide below is written to provide necessary details for someone starting this process from scratch on a new workstation. You can skip certain steps if you have deployed from concourse-bosh-deployment before and already have a working directory, credentials, and/or cloud configuration variables.

!!! warning "If you have not backed up your current Concourse deployment, follow the steps in Backup Concourse before proceeding."

Set up the concourse-bosh-deployment Directory on Your Local Machine

!!! success "Skip step 1 if you already have concourse-bosh-deployment cloned to a local directory."

  1. Clone the concourse-bosh-deployment repository to your workstation by running the following command:

    git clone
  2. Navigate to the concourse-bosh-deployment directory by running the following command:

    cd concourse-bosh-deployment

    All the paths used in this guide are relative to this directory.

!!! warning "Check your Git Status" VMware recommends checking your Git status whenever you enter the concourse-bosh-deployment directory. Do so by running the following command:

git status

If you encounter unstaged files that can be overwritten by checking out the new release branch, `git stash` your changes, check out the release, and then `git stash pop` and resolve any merge conflicts.
  1. Check out the concourse-bosh-deployment Git tag that corresponds to your desired upgrade version. For example, with the latest v6.7.3 release:

    git checkout v6.7.3

    !!! tip Run git tag to see a list of the different releases.

    Checking out a release, rather than a branch, produces the following output:

    Note: checking out RELEASE.
    You are in 'detached HEAD' state. You can look around, make experimental
    changes and commit them, and you can discard any commits you make in this
    state without impacting any branches by performing another checkout.
    If you want to create a new branch to retain commits you create, use `-b` with the checkout command again. For example:
      git checkout -b <new-branch-name>


    RELEASE is the release version number.

    HASH is the hash key of the most recent commit.

    COMMIT-MESSAGE is the most recent commit message.

--8<-- "docs/snippets/"

BOSH and Concourse Variables

Deploying with BOSH requires setting some variables to fill in details in your manifest. These are written as placeholders in the following format: ((placeholder)).

You can do this in a number of ways, but VMware recommends creating a file to define a key-value pair for each required variable, and checking it into version control so that it can be maintained and tracked over time. Follow the steps below to do so.

!!! tip The following steps describe setting variables that are necessary for deployment in a YAML file. If you prefer to set them on the command line when you run bosh deploy, you can pass them in at that time with the --var KEY=VALUE flag and syntax. For more information, see Deploy in the BOSH documentation.

  1. To find the values needed to fill out each of the variables in the next step, check the currently deployed Concourse manifest. Use the following command to tell BOSH to fetch the manifest and put it in a deployed-manifest.yml file:

    bosh \
    manifest > deployed-manifest.yml


    • BOSH-ENVIRONMENT-ALIAS is your BOSH environment alias
    • CONCOURSE-DEPLOYMENT-NAME is your Concourse deployment name.

    This command produces a file that contains a value for each of the variables that you define in the next step.

    !!! tip "Sending the response to a file is a security precaution that ensures that any included keys are not echoed to your terminal session history. Destroy this file after you are done with this upgrade process."

  2. Create a file to store your Concourse- and BOSH-related environment variables, if you do not already have one from a previous deployment. For example, the following command uses Vim to create a file called variables.yml:

    vim variables.yml

    This file holds all the variables that BOSH needs to interpolate into references in the manifest file. The manifest file then serves as a recipe for the new deployment.

    !!! tip "Why create a file for these variables?" The benefit to doing things this way is that you can check this file into your version control, track changes over time, and more easily document and share this information with others in your org. It also saves you the trouble of looking up configuration details every time you need to change your Concourse deployment.

  3. Add the key-value pairs shown in the snippet below into the file.

      username: USERNAME
      password: PASSWORD
    deployment_name: DEPLOYMENT-NAME
    db_persistent_disk_type: PERSISTENT-DISK-TYPE
    db_vm_type: VM-TYPE
    external_url: EXTERNAL-URL
    network_name: NETWORK-NAME
    postgres_password: POSTGRESQL-PASSWORD
    web_ip: WEB-IP
    web_network_name: WEB-NETWORK-NAME
    web_vm_type: WEB-VM-TYPE
    worker_vm_type: WORKER-VM-TYPE


    DEPLOYMENT-NAME is your deployment name

    PERSISTENT-DISK-TYPE is the persistent disk type for the database

    VM-TYPE is the VM type for the database instance

    EXTERNAL-URL is the external URL

    NETWORK-NAME is the name subproperty of the network property in your deployed manifest

    POSTGRESQL-PASSWORD is the password subproperty of the PostgreSQL property in your deployed manifest

    WEB-IP is your web IP

    WEB-NETWORK-NAME is your web network name

    WEB-VM-TYPE is the VM type for the web instance

    WORKER-VM-TYPE is the VM type for the worker instance

    AVAILABILITY-ZONES is the name of one of the azs in your cloud-config.yml file

  4. Replace each value placeholder with the appropriate properties in the deployed-manifest.yml file that you created earlier.

    !!! tip "Optional Tip:" If Concourse is deployed with a component such as CredHub, these variables might be automatically interpolated. You can check if this is the case by running the following command:

     bosh \
     manifest | grep “(("
     If the search returns any values, CredHub or a similar component might be involved. In this case,
     investigate your current deployment, or get in touch with whoever has the necessary context, before
     proceeding further.
  5. Save and close your variables file.

Confirm Your Availability Zones

Your deployed manifest, located at ./cluster/concourse.yml, has some defaults set for availability zones (AZs). Often these must be customized to suit a given environment. To ensure these are set correctly, follow these steps:

  1. Check the AZ names in your currently deployed manifest.

    To find these, you can reference the deployed-manifest.yml file we created in the last section, or run the bosh manifest command to re-create it:

    bosh \
    manifest > deployed-manifest.yml
  2. Open the Concourse manifest file of the concourse-bosh-deployment repository cluster by running the following command:

    vim ./cluster/concourse.yml
  3. Change each of the three az properties in the manifest file so that they match the AZs in your deployed-manifest.yml file. For example, if your AZ is default, your manifest file looks like this:

    - name: web
      azs: [default]
    - name: db
      azs: [default]
    - name: worker
      azs: [default]

    !!! tip You can use a find-and-replace operation in a text editor to change all these values simultaneously.

  4. Save and close the ./cluster/concourse.yml file.

bosh deploy Concourse to Your Cloud Environment

??? tip "Tip for upgrading very large Concourses" If you have many pipelines with many containers, pause your pipelines before you start the upgrade. Then, after you finish the upgrade, wait for all of your workers to be ready and then turn on your pipelines one by one.

VMware recommends doing this to prevent your pipelines from overwhelming the first workers that come online, which could cause a crash.

To deploy your new Concourse version, you need the following information:

  • Your new concourse manifest, such as ./cluster/concourse.yml
  • Your versions file, such as -l versions.yml
  • Your environment variables, such as -l variables.yml
  • Any required operations files for your environment or Concourse setup
  • A --vars-store flag with the name of a file in which BOSH can store your cluster credentials, such as --vars-store cluster-creds.yml

!!! tip "About the cluster-creds.yml file" BOSH creates this file for you if it does not already exist. If this is the case, you still need to specify a filename for BOSH to use. In the case that you already have a cluster-creds.yml file, specify it here so that BOSH does not re-create it.

If you specify a file that does not exist, and BOSH re-creates this file for you, it also re-creates things such as passwords and secrets that exist within the file.
  1. When you are ready, navigate to your terminal and run the following bosh deploy command:

    bosh deploy \
    -d CONCOURSE-DEPLOYMENT-NAME ./cluster/concourse.yml \
    -l versions.yml \
    -l variables.yml \
    -o ./cluster/operations/backup-atc.yml \
    -o ./cluster/operations/basic-auth.yml \
    -o ./cluster/operations/privileged-http.yml \
    -o ./cluster/operations/static-web.yml \
    --vars-store cluster-creds.yml

!!! danger "Different Concourse deployments require different environment variables and operations files. If you encounter an error, check the error message for clues about additional variables that need to be set. For more information, see the Concourse documentation."

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