Starting with Version 4.5, all OpenACS core packages support automatic upgrade. That means that, if you have OpenACS 4.5 or better, you should always be able to upgrade all of your core packages automatically. If you haven't changed anything, no manual intervention should be required. If you are running OpenACS prior to 4.5, upgrading will require manual effort.
If all of these conditions are true:
Your OpenACS Core is 5.0.0 or later
You do not keep your OpenACS site in a local CVS repository
You do not have any custom code
then you can upgrade automatically using the automated installer in the OpenACS Package Manager (APM), and you can probably skip the rest of this chapter. To upgrade directly from the OpenACS repository using the APM:
Browse to the Installer.
Click install or upgrade under "Install from OpenACS Repository" and select the packages to install or upgrade.
The APM will download the requested packages from OpenACS.org, install the files on your hard drive, run any appropriate database upgrade scripts, and prompt you to restart the server. After restarting the server again, the upgrade is complete.
It's always a good idea to precede an upgrade attempt with a snapshot backup.