LISTSERV at Work L-Soft
Issue 2, 2010


Quick Guide: Upgrading to LISTSERV 16.0

LISTSERV 16.0 introduces a host of new features, most notably UTF-8 support and a new HTML template gallery with ready-to-use, customizable newsletter templates. Upgrading LISTSERV is usually a quick and painless process. This quick upgrade guide will give you everything you need to know to get up and running quickly.

Step One: The License Activation Key

Before upgrading to LISTSERV 16.0, you will first need to get a LISTSERV 16.0 License Activation Key (LAK). Contact your L-Soft account representative to obtain your LAK. Instructions for applying the LAK are included in the license file itself. In short, you will save the new LAK as a plain text file called license.merge into your \LISTSERV\MAIN (Windows) or ~listserv/home (UNIX) directory. Restart LISTSERV, and check the LISTSERV log file to make sure the license was merged successfully. You can also send a SHOW LICENSE command to make sure that the LISTSERV 16.0 license is active.

Step Two: Check the LISTSERV 16.0 System Requirements

The system requirements for LISTSERV 16.0 are a bit different than for previous releases. In particular, the UNIX version requires LDAP libraries in order to run. See the LISTSERV installation guides at: for the system requirements for your environment. Make sure that your system environment satisfies the requirements prior to attempting the upgrade.

Step Three: Download the Installer Kit

You will find all of the LISTSERV 16.0 installers at: The supported operating systems and architectures have changed a bit with the release of LISTSERV 16.0, so make sure to get the correct kit for your server environment. Save the installer kit to a temp directory on the LISTSERV server.

Step Four: Back Up Your Existing Installation

The installer will create a backup of the LISTSERV system files, but it is advisable to do a full backup of your LISTSERV system prior to upgrading. At the very least, Windows sites will want to back up the \LISTSERV directory, and UNIX sites will want to back up the ~listserv/ directory. A backup of the existing installation provides the opportunity to roll back in case of a problem during or after the upgrade.

Step Five: Perform the Upgrade

Run the installer to upgrade LISTSERV. For Windows, this is usually as easy as running SETUP.EXE and selecting the defaults. The installer should detect the current installation and perform the upgrade in place. For UNIX, the installer will prompt for some configuration options, and then perform the upgrade. Details on the installer options are provided in the installation guides at:

Restart LISTSERV after running the upgrade, and check the log files to verify that LISTSERV successfully restarted. A SHOW VERSION command should show that LISTSERV is now at version 16.0.

Post-Upgrade Steps

If you were upgrading from LISTSERV 14.5 or earlier and had highly customized web interface templates, it may be necessary to update those templates to the 16.0 look and feel. L-Soft has made every effort to preserve backward compatibility for the functional aspects of the templates, but the design layout has changed significantly from the pre-15.0 web templates. If there are site-wide or list-level templates that have been customized, you will want to re-visit those customizations to make sure that they work correctly with the 16.0 template system.

To start using the new features of LISTSERV 16.0, see the LISTSERV 16.0 What's New Manual at:

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