Upgrade Keycloak version 12.0 to 21.0

Hi everyone,

My company is using Keycloak version 12.0.4 as an SSO system. And now, we want to know the importance of upgrading to version 21. About important security patchings, new features,… Then we will decide upgrade to the latest version or not.
Additionally, if we upgrade to version 21, we have to upgrade step by step (like 12 to 13 and so on) or we can upgrade to version 21 directly?

I appreciate any of your assistance,
Thank you very much.

bump. We are in the same situation, currently on 13 and needing to upgrade to the latest soon. Hopefully someone has some insight here. Can we skip major versions?

There are a few other threads here on this topic.

For vulnerabilities, check one of the CVE sites Redhat Keycloak : List of security vulnerabilities

tl;dr; there are lots of vulnerabilities with older versions, and you should upgrade to the most recent version as soon as you can.

Two things to be aware of:

  1. Version 12 and version 19+ are based on different underlying app server technologies, Wildfly for 12 and Quarkus for 19+. Depending on how you are deploying, there are lots of differences in how they work. Different startup scripts, different ways of deploying extensions, different layouts, etc. Check the Upgrading guide and Migration changes to see what is required between each version.
  2. Sometimes, it is possible to make big leaps in version during an upgrade, but you will not know until you try it with your versions and data.

I’d suggest the following:

  1. Play around with 21.0.1 so you know how to run it.
  2. Take a backup of the prod data you plan to migrate.
  3. Startup 12.0.4 against that data to make sure it’s working as expected.
  4. Try starting 21.0.1 against that data and look for migration issues.
  5. If you have migration issues, start from #2 again, and go back one version.
  6. Worst case scenario, you’ll have to start each major version for the migration to complete successfully all the way to the current version.
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Lot of information I need, thank you very much