Joomla 3.10 and 4.0 common issues

Joomla 3.10 and 4.0 were released today, August 17th, 2021. Having had the experience of a new major release and the problems it causes to people who are caught out on an accidental update we have collected the most common questions and answers regarding the new releases.

Kindly note that we have a far higher than usual support load during the first two weeks following a major release of Joomla. Please read this article before requesting support. If you don't, you'll be asked to read this article but it may take us up to three business days to get back to you to tell you to do that. Thank you for your understanding!

Cannot install Admin Tools 7 on Joomla 4.

This is a known issue which has already been addressed. The fix will be released in version 7.0.3, scheduled for later this week. If you are adventurous, you can install the latest Core or Professional development release.

Alternate workaround: Install Admin Tools 6 first. The install (update to) Admin Tools 7. This will work just fine.

Admin Tools 7 Action Log plugin makes it impossible to use Admin Tools

This is a known issue which has already been addressed. The fix will be released in version 7.0.3, scheduled for later this week. If you are adventurous, you can install the latest Core or Professional development release.

Alternate workaround: Please disable the plugin for now.

Akeeba LoginGuard is broken on Joomla 3.10.0

Joomla broke the way JLoader::register works. As a result LoginGuard stopped working. This issue has been fixed since LoginGuard 5.0.2, released on August 17th, 2021.

If you cannot access your site to perform the upgrade do this:

  • Delete the folder plugins/system/loginguard
  • Completely quit your browser. On macOS use CMD-Q. If you are using Chrome, Opera etc on Windows and have a taskbar icon, right click on it and choose quit.
  • Reopen your browser and log into your site's backend. You will not be redirected to the captive login (Two Step Verification) page.
  • If Joomla does not see the update yet you can download the new version's ZIP file and install it on your site WITHOUT uninstalling the previous version of LoginGuard before.

Akeeba Backup 9 shows a File Infinite Loop Detected error

This is actually a Joomla bug, in the Joomla CMS Filesystem API.

Akeeba Backup 9.0.3 will use native PHP methods first. If these fail it will fall back to the Joomla CMS Filesystem API which will show this error.

We will release a new version which does not even bother falling back to the Joomla CMS Filesystem API as it's broken.

If you get this error it most likely means that your administrator/components/com_akeebabackup/engine folder is not writeable OR your host has a weird setup which makes it impossible for PHP to determine the real, full filesystem path of this folder. The fix we plan will use an alternative method to get to that path, addressing the issue with misconfigured servers.

I do not see the update to Joomla 3.10 or 4.0

Go to Components, Joomla Update. Click on Options. In the Update Channel dropdown select Joomla Next (yes, even for 3.10, for some odd reason Joomla 3.10 is not released on the Default channel). Click on Save & Close. Click on Check for Updates.

If you still don't see Joomla 3.10 that's a problem with Joomla itself that has nothing to do with our software.

I upgraded to Joomla 3.10 and now it tells me that 4.0 is available.

Unfortunately, the default update channel for Joomla 3 is the Joomla Next channel which contains both Joomla 3.10 and 4.0. Because of the way Joomla updates work you will always see the “latest” version, i.e. Joomla 4. This is a very predictable Joomla bug that we are surprised nobody thought of or caught while Joomla 3.10 and 4.0 were in development.

Please ask for help in the Joomla official forum. This issue is unrelated to our software.

I cannot see any updates to Joomla 3.10 beyond Joomla 3.10.0; just Joomla 4 updates.

This is the same issue as above (“I upgraded to Joomla 3.10 and now it tells me that 4.0 is available”)

I upgraded to Joomla 4.0 by accident and my site is broken

The root cause of this issue is a bug in Joomla itself, see “I upgraded to Joomla 3.10 and now it tells me that 4.0 is available” above.

The only way to roll back your site to Joomla 3 is by restoring a backup. If you have a backup of your Joomla 3 site taken with Akeeba Backup please read the next item.

I cannot restore a Joomla 3 backup on top of Joomla 4; the site is broken.

You can but it requires some preparatory work.

When you are restoring a backup on top of an existing sites the files of your site are by default not completely removed before extracting the backup archive. This lets you make partial backups, i.e. backups which don't include certain files or folders and restore them without damaging your site.

Joomla 3 and 4 are completely different versions. If you try to restore Joomla 3 files on top of Joomla 4 or vice versa you end up with a mix of files from two completely different Joomla versions. Due to the way Joomla works, including some backwards compatibility code, this may cause the wrong files to be loaded. Essentially, your site will be neither Joomla 3 nor Joomla 4, causing it to appear broken.

This can be easily fixed by removing the following folders before restoring a backup (not all folders may be present on your site):

  • administrator
  • api
  • bin
  • cache
  • cli
  • components
  • includes
  • language
  • layouts
  • libraries
  • modules
  • plugins
  • templates
  • tmp

You will need to use Kickstart to restore your site; you cannot do the restoration through the backend of your site (if you can even access it!). If you are looking for your backups, it's where you configured them to be stored. The default backup location if administrator/components/com_akeeba/backup for Akeeba Backup 8 and lower; and administrator/components/com_akeebabackup/backup for Akeeba Backup 9 and higher.

Please note that Kickstart knows about the default location of backup archives. If you have backup archives there and no ZIP, JPA or JPS files in your site's root it will show you the backup archives from the default location of backup archives.

I cannot restore a Joomla 4 backup on top of Joomla 3; the site is broken.

This is exactly the same as the issue above.

I am trying to update to Joomla 4 or install a Joomla 3.10/4.0 update and it tells me that your software is incompatible.

This is a Joomla issue and really bad user interface we reported TWICE before Joomla 3.10 and 4.0 were released.

It essentially boils down to this. Joomla gets the compatibility information from the update information of an extension published by the developer (us). However, there are two separate Joomla issues which may result in this information not being recognised plus another user interface issue which is extremely misleading for you, our clients.

Joomla issue #1: orphan extensions. All of our software is delivered as “package” type extensions, the standard way to deliver a Joomla extension which consists of several other sub-extensions (any combination of a component, several modules, several plugins, several file / library extensions etc). However, the update information is only available for the package type extension, not the individual sub-extensions. The theory is that when you install a package extension Joomla will record the package which is the “parent” of the sub-extensions being installed. The Joomla Update component will therefore ignore the “children” extensions with a known “parent” package and only look at the update information of the parent package.

However, theory and practice are usually far removed. If you used Discover to install any of the sub-extensions or if you extracted the ZIP package extension you downloaded from us and installed each sub-extension individually or if simply Joomla bugged out during installation (ALL of which we have observed on several live sites!) the sub-extensions are “orphaned”, i.e. Joomla has not recorded a parent package extension. Even if you were to install the package extension again Joomla would NOT update the sub-extensions with the package they belong to. This is an eye-popping Joomla bug, one we have reported a month before Joomla 3.10 and 4.0 were released. As a result, Joomla will tell you that these “orphaned” extensions are incompatible with Joomla 3.10 or 4.0.

Joomla issue #2: cached updates. As noted above, Joomla gets the extension compatibility information from the update information we publish. However, that is only a half truth. Joomla retrieves the update information and caches it in the database for a period of 1 to 24 hours. Furthermore, if you have enabled cache in your Global Configuration, it also caches the database query which it uses to retrieve the cached information from the database. These two issues mean that Joomla may be seeing out of date update information for our extensions, therefore it will be unaware that our extensions are compatible with the new Joomla versions. As noted in another news article this is something we have been reporting for the past 8 years and made an official, public ticket on Joomla's issue tracker on GitHub in March 2021. At the time of this writing (August 17th, 2021) these two issues remain unresolved.

Joomla interface issue: misleading information. Even when Joomla has determined that you have the latest version of our software which is marked as compatible with Joomla 3.10 and 4.0 it will OUTRIGHT LIE to you, telling you that our extension has potential upgrade issues. We have reported this issue three times before Joomla 3.10 and 4.0 were released. One a year prior when it was brushed off and closed without being seriously considered. Twice more two and one month before Joomla 3.10 and 4.0 were released. While at some point fixed, these issues regressed and the Joomla 3.10.0 and 4.0.0 versions include this misleading information.

What Joomla actually does is that it DOES NOT AND CAN NOT detect any potential upgrade issue whatsoever. It cannot evaluate the code of each extension, nor is there any human on the Joomla organization who has reviewed the code or even tested these extensions with the upcoming Joomla versions. Joomla idiotically assumes that if an extension has any always-loading plugin (system, user, actionlog etc) it is a potential upgrade issue EVEN IF the developer who has actually tested this extension with the upcoming Joomla version explicitly states the exact opposite in the update information. Therefore we consider Joomla to be disseminating slander automatically against all third party extension developers.

Rather amusingly, Joomla also reports some of its own built-in extensions as incompatible. This should tell you all you need to know about how well that feature works — or not working at all, for that matter.

You can safely ignore these warning and check the unnecessary and unnecessarily scary checkbox that you have checked the extensions yourself and found them to be compatible with the new version of Joomla. Of course you can't actually do that before you update Joomla, making the wording of this checkbox an exercise in futility but you can rest assured that WE have tested OUR extensions against the new Joomla versions — at the very least the release candidates when talking about the x.y.0 versions as we can't test the real thing before it's released — and found it to be working.