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WordPress 5.9 Beta 2 is now available for testing!

This software version is still under development. Please do not run this software on a production site. Instead, install it on a test site, where you can try out the newest features to get a feel for how they will work on your site.

You can test the WordPress 5.9 Beta 2 in three ways:

Option 1: Install and activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (select the “Bleeding edge” channel and “Beta/RC Only” stream).

Option 2: Direct download the beta version here (zip).

Option 3: When using WP-CLI to upgrade from Beta 1 to Beta 2 on a case-insensitive filesystem, please use the following command sequence:
Command 1: wp core update –version=5.9-beta1
Command 2: wp core update –version=5.9-beta2 –force

The current target for the final release of 5.9 is January 25, 2022, which is just seven weeks away. Your help testing this version is a vital part of making this release as good as it can be.

Some Highlights

Since Beta 1, 24 bugs have been fixed. Here are a few of the changes you will find in Beta 2:

Block Editor: Remove navigation areas (#54506)Block Editor: Navigation block view JavaScript error (#54456)Block Editor: Block template theme error related to child themes (#54515)General: Fixing existing links to Customizer when the Site Editor is enabled (#54460)Media: Media library showing only the selected image (#53765)Media: Fatal error uploading media on PHP8 (#54385)REST API: Add Global Styles REST API endpoints from Gutenberg into Core (#54336)

Also, note that some users testing 5.9 Beta 1 faced some fatal errors upon upgrade. In turn, these errors revealed the need for some extra work on the filesystem and upgrader. Those fatal errors are no longer a problem, and the enhancements will be part of version 6.0.

How You Can Help

Do some testing!

Testing for bugs is vital for polishing the release in the beta stage and a great way to contribute. 

If you think you’ve found a bug, please post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac. That’s also where you can find a list of known bugs.

Where can I get more information?

In the coming weeks, follow the Make WordPress Core blog for 5.9-related developer notes that cover these items in detail.

So far, contributors have fixed 305 tickets in WordPress 5.9, including 110 new features and enhancements. More bug fixes are on the way with your help through testing.

Props to @psykro, @estelaris, @hellofromtonya, @marybaum, @webcommsat, @cbringmann, @davidb, @audrasjb, and @pbiron for contributions to this post.