This document covers the risks and methods of downgrading a Sourcegraph instance.


Sourcegraph guarantees database backward compatibility to the most recent minor version. According to this policy database schemas should be compatible with application code from the previous release. This means that in principle rolling back a Sourcegraph instance after an upgrade only requires reverting changes made by the last standard upgrade and reapplying manifests.

In practice downgrading a Sourcegraph instance should always be a last option. Some versions of Sourcegraph apply out of band migrations which are irreversible and data loss may result. We highly recommend creating a database backup before proceeding with an upgrade.

Note: As a percaution its advised that after any downgrade the databases are checked with the migrator drift command to identify any problems reversing migrations.

If ever you are uncertain about a downgrade please reach out to us at [email protected]

Multiversion downgrades - downgrade with migrator

The migrator service can be run with the downgrade command. See the command documentation.

downgrade applies reverse schema migrations corresponding with the migrations performed over a version range. It also triggers reverse out of band migrations where possible. Some out of band migrations are irreversible.

downgrade can be run as part of a standard upgrade rollback. To ensure out of band migrations are reversed.

Heres an example of downgrade being used on a Docker-compose deployment:

Altered command: value in the docker-compose.yaml

command: ['downgrade', '--from=v4.5.1', '--to=v4.0.0']

Command and output

$ ~/deploy-sourcegraph-docker/docker-compose/ v4.5.1* docker-compose up -d migrator
codeinsights-db is up-to-date
codeintel-db is up-to-date
pgsql is up-to-date
Recreating migrator ... done
$ ~/deploy-sourcegraph-docker/docker-compose/ v4.5.1* docker logs migrator
✱ Sourcegraph migrator 5.0.3
👉 Migrating to v4.3 (step 1 of 2)
👉 Running schema migrations
✅ Schema migrations complete
👉 Running out of band migrations [17 18]
✅ Out of band migrations complete
👉 Migrating to v4.0 (step 2 of 2)
👉 Running schema migrations
✅ Schema migrations complete

Downgrade is run using a similar to procedure to a multiversion upgrade:

  • Services that connect to the databases must be disabled before running downgrade
  • Manifests must be reverted to the version you are downgrading to and reapplyed after the downgrade is complete.

Rolling back a standard upgrade


Revert changes to your release branch and redeploy your Sourcegraph instance with docker-compose up


You can rollback by resetting your release branch to the old state before redeploying the instance.

Rollback with Kustomize

For Sourcegraph versions v4.5.0 and above, which have migrated to deploy-sourcegraph-k8s:

# Re-generate manifests
$ kubectl kustomize instances/$YOUR_INSTANCE -o cluster-rollback.yaml
# Review manifests
$ less cluster-rollback.yaml
# Re-deploy
$ kubectl apply --prune -l deploy=sourcegraph -f cluster-rollback.yaml

Rollback without Kustomize

For Sourcegraph versions prior to v4.5.0, or which have not migrated away from deploy-sourcegraph:

$ ./