Managing Your Flix Deployment

Upgrading Flix

1.   Click here to download the latest version of Flix Server.
2.   Extract the files from the download package into the same install directory where Flix Server is currently installed.

A new directory named after the new Flix version is created.

For example, if versions 6.0.5, 6.1.2, and 6.2.2 are installed and you want to upgrade to Flix 6.3.1, the install directory is arranged as follows:

Note:  You need to make sure all the config.yml settings match your previous version of Flix 6 and the asset_directory location is set and pointing to the same location as the assets for your previous version.

3.   You can now start the new version of Flix Server, pointing it to the same config file as previously used. Following the previous example, the command would be:
./flix_server_6.3.1_20/flix_server --config-file config.yml
4.   Flix Server prompts you to upgrade the database if a mismatch between server and database versions is detected.

If you want to upgrade your database later, you can use the --db-upgrade mode to mutate the database schema to the latest version:

./flix_server --db-upgrade --verbose

Note:  We recommend using the --verbose flag to have better visibility over the upgrade progress.

5.   Flix Server asks if you want to back up the existing database. Press Y to start the backup.

Example of database backup:

Note:  Backing up your existing database is strongly recommended when running a database upgrade. This is to ensure you can restore that backup in case of issues during the upgrade process. See this Knowledge Base Article for more information on restoring a Flix Database backup in MySQL.

6.   Once the backup is complete, Flix Server prompts you to start the database upgrade. Press Y to start the upgrade.

Example of upgrading from Flix 6.2 to 6.3:

Once the database has been upgraded, you can start the server normally.

Note:  You need to upgrade the Flix Client to the same version as your server. You can download the Flix Client from here.

Flix Server Version Required Database Version
6.0.0 4
6.0.1 - 6.0.5 5
6.1.0 - 6.1.2 12
6.2.0 - 6.2.2 20
6.3.0 - 6.3.2

25

6.3.3 26

Note:  You are presented with the option to copy pre-existing assets into new subdirectories for each show when you upgrade Flix Server. The next time you start the server, the option appears again to migrate the assets. To automatically skip the prompt regarding the 6.3 asset migration, you can use the --skip-migration flag when starting Flix Server. We recommend performing the asset migration eventually, as future minor (for example 6.5, 6.6) and major (for example 7.0, 8.0) releases may not support assets stored outside of show subdirectories.

Rolling back to an earlier version of Flix

Your production may at some stage want to roll back to an earlier version of Flix. You can do so with the following command:

./flix_server --db-downgrade
7.   Flix asks if you want to backup the database. Type Y (yes) or N (no).
8.   Enter the desired database version to roll back to. Please refer to the table above for reference.
9.   Type Y (yes) to confirm the database version or N (no) to enter a different version.

Note:  The latest version of Flix Server needs to be used to run the Downgrade. For example, if downgrading Flix from 6.1.0 to 6.0.5, use Flix Server 6.1.0 to run the downgrade from database version 12 to database version 5.

Manually Installing the Photoshop Plugin for End Users

If story artists do not have the required admin privileges to install the Photoshop plugin via Flix Client, system administrators can install it manually using these steps.

Note:  The following steps assume your Flix Client app is installed in /Applications/Flix on Mac OS and C:\Program Files\Flix on Windows.

1.   Locate the flix.zxp file bundled inside the Flix Client app, at the following location:

Mac: Flix.app/Contents/Resources/flix.zxp

Windows: resources\flix.zxp

2.   Rename this file's extension to .zip, so you can extract the contents.

The file should now be called 'flix.zip'.

3.   Unzip the flix.zip file.

A folder called 'flix' is created.

4.   Rename this folder to 'com.foundry.FLIX'.
5.   Move this folder to the correct Photoshop CEP location:

Mac: /Library/Application Support/Adobe/CEP/extensions

Windows: C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Adobe\CEP\extensions\

The Photoshop plugin is now installed.

6.   To allow artists to map keyboard shortcuts (or 'hotkeys') to Flix commands in Photoshop, copy the hotkeys directory into the Presets/Scripts directory of your artists' Photoshop version folder.

For example, for Photoshop CC 2019:

Mac: copy the hotkeys folder from /Library/Application Support/Adobe/CEP/extensions > /Applications/Adobe Photoshop CC 2019/Presets/Scripts/

Windows: copy the hotkeys folder from C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Adobe\CEP\extensions\ > C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CC 2019\Presets\Scripts\

Warning:  Do not delete or move the hotkeys directory from the original path, otherwise the Photoshop plugin will not function correctly.

Adding Servers

Having multiple servers in your Flix Deployment helps ensure better performance across all users, with HTTP(S) requests spread across all the available resources.

Flix handles its own load balancing, dispatching jobs from different users to all available servers. We strongly advise against setting up your own load balancer in your Flix Deployment, as it is unnecessary and could introduce communication issues between Flix Client and Flix Server.

If moving from a single-server Flix deployment to a multi-server deployment, we strongly recommend using Shared Storage, for all assets from all servers to be stored in a centralized location. We recommend setting up Flix to use Shared Storage for your single-server deployment, and migrating existing assets across to the new shared storage location prior to adding any more servers. See Setting up Shared Storage for more information.

Tip:  If moving from a single-server Flix deployment to a multi-server deployment, licensing is much easier to manage with a floating license, as opposed to a node-locked one. See Licensing Flix Server for more information, and contact your Sales representative or our Support Team to change your node-locked license for a floating license.

Follow these instructions to add an extra server to an existing Flix deployment. You can download Flix Server here.

Tip:  Adding a new server is easiest if all your Virtual Machines access the Flix Server binary from a network location. Otherwise you need to install the Flix Server binary on any new server/VM and ensure all your Flix Servers are using the same version.

1.   Ensure your new Flix Server can access the config.yml file your other Flix Server(s) are using.
2.   Ensure the hostname option isn't specified in the config.yml file.

Note:  If the hostname option was specified previously, make sure to run your old Flix Server by specifying its hostname using the -hostname CLI flag, as mentioned further below.

3.   Ensure your new Flix Server is licensed. See Licensing Flix Server for more information.
4.   Run all Flix Servers with the following 2 CLI flags:

-config-file pointing to your config.yml file, for example: -config-file /mnt/flix/config.yml

-hostname specifying the server's hostname, for example: -hostname flix002.mystudio.com

Example command: ./flix_server -hostname flix002.mystudio.com -config-file /mnt/flix/config.yml -verbose

You can repeat these steps to add additional servers.

Note:  Adding a server to your Flix deployment doesn’t affect how end users log in. They can keep connecting to the original Flix Server, or any other in your deployment. Since Flix handles the load balancing, all end users can connect to the same Flix server. If a server is used this way, Flix will share the jobs with all servers in your deployment.

Tip:  You can check if a server has been added successfully by going to Flix > Management Console > Servers in your Flix client. See Managing Your Flix Deployment for more information.

Server Management

You can check the list of servers running Flix by going to File > Management Console > Servers in your Flix Client. Here you can see the server ID, which version of Flix each server is running and download logs for Foundry support if needed.

Note:  Flix stores all temporary files in the tmp/Flix folder of the temp directory on the server. You can specify the Temp Directory in the Flix Preferences. Flix server regularly cleans up files stored in the temp directory.

Migrating Assets When Switching to a New Assets Directory

After changing the asset directory option in the config.yml file (seeSetting a Custom Assets Directory), you will need to migrate the data from the original assets directory to the new one.

Assets directories are named with their server identification, for example '8c17bef2-2fd9-439b-a5cf-8a1b082ee9d3'. To migrate your assets from their previous assets directory, run the server using the --import-from flag, pointing Flix Server to the old assets directory to import data from. Flix Server imports everything from the specified old assets directory to the new one now specified in the config.yml file by the asset_directory option.

For example, if the previous asset directory was '/mycompany/assets/directory' and your server ident was '8c17bef2-2fd9-439b-a5cf-8a1b082ee9d3', you would use the following command:

./flix_server --import-from /mycompany/assets/directory/8c17bef2-2fd9-439b-a5cf-8a1b082ee9d3

Your assets are copied to the new asset directory. If files already exist in that directory, they will not copied to avoid duplication.

Command Line (CLI) Arguments

For a complete list of Command Line Arguments, simply run Flix Server with the --help flag. For example:

./flix_server --help