N8n is starting up. Please wait after update

Describe the problem/error/question

n8n will not start after upgrade

What is the error message (if any)?

n8n is starting up. Please wait

Please share your workflow

(Select the nodes on your canvas and use the keyboard shortcuts CMD+C/CTRL+C and CMD+V/CTRL+V to copy and paste the workflow.)

Share the output returned by the last node

Information on your n8n setup

  • n8n version:
  • Database (default: SQLite):
  • n8n EXECUTIONS_PROCESS setting (default: own, main):
  • Running n8n via (Docker, npm, n8n cloud, desktop app):
  • **Operating system:
    root@vmi368149:/# lsb_release -a
    No LSB modules are available.
    Distributor ID: Ubuntu
    Description: Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS
    Release: 18.04
    Codename: bionic

I upgrade from with the following:

root@vmi368149:~# docker ps
7e8d43cfae10 n8nio/n8n “tini – /docker-ent…” 8 months ago Up 5 months>5678/tcp youthful_varahamihira
a5f2e6d7828c openproject/community:12 “./docker/prod/entry…” 9 months ago Up 5 months 5432/tcp,>80/tcp openproject
5b227a833799 maptiler/tileserver-gl “/app/docker-entrypo…” 16 months ago Up 5 months>80/tcp determined_elbakyan

root@vmi368149:~# docker stop 7e8d43cfae10


root@vmi368149:~# docker pull n8nio/n8n
Using default tag: latest
latest: Pulling from n8nio/n8n
7264a8db6415: Pull complete
751194035c36: Pull complete
eff5dce73b38: Pull complete
c8ce5be43019: Pull complete
4f4fb700ef54: Pull complete
99195d7a7712: Pull complete
e1e65215180d: Pull complete
f0bf02b19e5b: Pull complete
0709cf8acbbf: Pull complete
4f9971d599bd: Pull complete
Digest: sha256:eb190665fe30d351299e614a77a2a8089674f695a92acfccb45e25a48777b5c4
Status: Downloaded newer image for n8nio/n8n:latest

root@vmi368149:~# docker run -t -d --restart unless-stopped -it -p 5678:5678 -e N8N_PROTOCOL=‘https’ -e N8N_HOST=‘xxxxxx.xxxxxx.com’ -e WEBHOOK_URL=‘https://xxxx.xxxxx.com’ -e N8N_EMAIL_MODE=‘smtp’ -e N8N_SMTP_HOST=‘smtp.gmail.com’ -e N8N_SMTP_PORT=465 -e N8N_SMTP_USER=‘xxxxxxxxx’ -e N8N_SMTP_PASS=‘xxxxx’ -v ~/.n8n:/home/node/.n8n n8nio/n8n


now it’s stuck with "n8n is starting up. Please wait "

Please help…

BTW… I have no idea about docker etc… i installed using google… so I’m totally stuck with debugging.

even after a server reboot the problem persists…

this is the log?

root@vmi368149:~# docker logs c6357d560ba7
Last session crashed
n8n ready on, port 5678
Migrations in progress, please do NOT stop the process.

Stopping n8n…
Error: There was an error shutting down n8n.
TypeError: Cannot read properties of undefined (reading ‘removeAllQueuedWorkflowActivations’)
Last session crashed
n8n ready on, port 5678

Hi @xewonder :wave: Can you let us know what version of n8n you upgraded from, as well? You may also want to take a peek at how to set up logging. DEBUG would work here, and then you can find the logs in the location you’ve specified after trying to run n8n again.

You mentioned you aren’t too familiar with Docker - self-hosting n8n does assume that you have some technical knowledge on setting up servers and containers, managing application resources, and configuration. If you aren’t experienced at managing servers, we’d recommend using n8n Cloud.

Hey @xewonder,

Reading the command outputs from your first post, it seems to me that you created your n8n container 8 months ago, and the last restart occurred 5 months ago. So the newest possible version you could be running is probably somewhere around version 0.213.0 from January this year.

n8n recently released a major upgrade to version 1.x, with a special update process to migrate your old version. You pulled the latest version (v.1.6.0) and the direct upgrade from your older version is probably causing you issues here. I’d suggest you try to downgrade again (not using the tag :latest but instead a direct version tag like :0.213.0 from january in your docker start command) to see if your instance will start to work again.

If it does I’d suggest slowly updating versions until you arrive at version 0.236.3 from which you could follow the migration guide: n8n v1.0 migration guide | n8n Docs

I hope that helps and you get your instance back and running again


on a side note, before I do anything silly, I i just noticed that even with very “small” use my DB is 135GB and something is happening (slowly) with the database.sqlite-journal.

I will let it run a few hours more…


restored snapshot and pulled :0.213.0. this works.

I will require all the help i can get to move over to 1.X

Thank you!


, I i just noticed that even with very “small” use my DB is 135GB and something is happening (slowly) with the database.sqlite-journal

This sounds like the likely culprit here. Some of the migrations required will update the database table storing your executions, so this can take quite a while.

To improve performance (and reduce the size of your database) you might want to consider manually clearing old executions from your database file and set up data pruning going forward.

Just make sure to take a backup before making changes to your database.

Thank you very much!

how can i manually clean up?

i put the declarations for data pruning in my docker startup and it’s processing 150mb in 15 mins and in the meantime the system is dead!

You can delete old executions directly from the execution_entity table of your database.sqlite file. You’ll need a client such as Beekeper Studio or even the sqlite3 command line tool for this.

very sorry for basic questions…

with sqlite3 how do i proceed?

sqlite3 database.sqlite

delete from execution_entity where XXXXXX ?

Thank you in advance

found it… thanks

delete from execution_entity where startedAt <= date('now','-30 day')
1 Like

Hi @xewonder, if you don’t need any of your old executions anymore delete from execution_entity will do the job and remove all old executions (just make sure to take a backup). In newer versions of n8n you’ll also need to clear out the execution_data table, but I don’t think it exists on your version.

Just be aware that this will not immediately free disk space with SQLite. Instead the vacuum operation would need to be run as well as per the n8n documentation:

If you run n8n using the default SQLite database, the disk-space of any pruned data isn’t automatically freed up but rather reused for future executions data. To free up this space configure the DB_SQLITE_VACUUM_ON_STARTUP environment variable or manually run the VACUUM operation.

This will temporarily require a bit more space because SQLite will essentially create a fresh copy of your database before removing the old database.

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