Installing Liferay on JOnAS 5.2

JOnAS is somewhat unique among the open-source application servers for two reasons: it is built entirely on an OSGi core, allowing for dynamic deployment of simultaneous webapps and containers and allows the clean separation of the configuration directory from the server itself. In fact, the separation of the configuration is recommended by the developers of JOnAS as a way to cleanly deploy so you can revert to default settings later.

If you don’t have an existing JOnAS installation, it is recommeded to use the available Liferay-JOnAS bundle, which can be downloaded from

Given the unique nature of the server, there are a few steps to consider in the configuration stage. Otherwise, installing on JOnAS follows much the same pattern as other servers: configure, copy dependencies and deploy.

Configuring JOnAS for Liferay

A pristine JOnAS installation comes with a number of samples, tutorials and template configuration files. A lot of this is unnecessary and irrelevant for installing Liferay. In addition, the server already contains an application deployed to the root context, which you must remove prior to installing the Liferay .war package (and which you’d want to remove anyway for a production configuration). JOnAS allows you to decide where to place all the server configuration and deployment settings, also called $JONAS_BASE. The folder created by unzipping the JOnAS application (likely called jonas-full-5.2.2 or similar) is referred to as $JONAS_ROOT. This allows a unique, clean separation between application and configuration.

The structure of $JONAS_BASE is:

  • /conf - configuration files
  • /deploy - main deployment directory (Liferay is deployed here)
  • /lib - used for extending the main server classloaders
  • /lib/ext - extensions for unbundled applications
  • /logs - logs for the running instance
  • /work - the working directory, used by containers such as Tomcat
  • /repositories - contains OSGi bundles for deployment; not used for Liferay installation

By default, the $JONAS_BASE directory is the same as $JONAS_ROOT. Creating a new $JONAS_BASE is a simple process, outlined in the JOnAS Configuration Guide, found at

To remove sample files and unneeded configuration:

  1. Navigate to the directory you unpackaged JOnAS into, $JONAS_BASE.

  2. Find the following sample directories and remove them:

    • /examples
    • /tutorial
  3. Navigate to $JONAS_BASE/conf and remove the following files:

    • jetty*.xml

    This disables the default settings for the databases available in JOnAS, as well as removing configuration for Jetty as a container to use for the webapp.

  4. To remove the default application installed on the root context:

    1. Go to the $JONAS_BASE/deploy directory and remove:
      • ctxroot.xml
      • doc.xml
      • jdbc-ds.xml
      • jonasAdmin.xml
    2. Go to the $JONAS_ROOT/repositories directory to remove the application by removing:
      • org/mortbay/
      • org/ow2/jonas/documentation/
      • org/ow2/jonas/jonas-admin/
      • org/ow2/jonas/jonas-ctxroot/

    This will fully remove the Maven deployment plan and artifact for the JOnAS default application, as well as the administration console from loading on the root context.

Now that JOnAS is prepared for configuring Liferay to run on the server as its root application, you can begin tuning the settings for Liferay. By default, JOnAS has its own deployment of Hypersonic it uses internally. This internal use of HSQL must be disabled, along with other JOnAS services, so they won’t conflict with Liferay’s.

To turn of HSQL and other JOnAS-level services:

  1. Open the file in the directory $JONAS_BASE/conf.

  2. Find the configuration section for the JOnAS database manager, starting around line 340:

     ###################### JOnAS DBM Database service configuration
     jonas.service.dbm.datasources    hsql
  3. Change the datasources definition around line 353 to read:


    Thereby preventing the HSQL database from being used internally.

  4. Find the services configuration around line 82:
  5. Modify the services being loaded to read:

    This prevents the internal db and security services from interfering with Liferay.

  6. To put JOnAS into production mode for proper deployment of Liferay, find the property around line 71:

         jonas.development    true      

    And change it to false:

         jonas.development    false

This allows JOnAS to startup appropriately with Liferay installed.

Configuring Containers in JOnAS

Now that the application server has all extraneous services and applications disabled, you can now tweak the configuration of the containers within JOnAS: Tomcat and OSGi. By default, the Tomcat container is set to listen on a different HTTP port and HTTPS port than Liferay uses by default.

To change the Tomcat ports for Liferay’s use:

  1. Open the file tomcat6-server.xml inside of $JONAS_BASE/conf.

  2. Find the Connector definition around line 69:

         <Connector port="9000" protocol="HTTP/1.1"
                        redirectPort="9043" />

    Change it to reflect the default ports:

         <Connector port="8080" protocol="HTTP/1.1"
                        redirectPort="8443" />
  3. If you are using any other settings in Tomcat’s server settings, you can adjust the ports if needed (such as changing the AJP port from 9009 to 8009.

To modify the OSGI defaults to ensure required java packages are bootsrapped by the loader:

  1. Open the file inside of $JONAS_BASE/conf/osgi.

  2. Find the declaration for javase-packages around line 93:

     javase-packages ${javase-${javase.version}}

    And add the following packages to make it read:

     javase-packages ${javase-${javase.version}}, com.sun.jmx.mbeanserver, com.sun.crypto.provider, org.apache.felix.framework

    To ensure the required packages are loaded.

Starting JOnAS

Once you have the required configuration in place, all that is left is to copy the portal dependencies and the Liferay .war file and start the server. JOnAS maintains libraries inside $JONAS_BASE/lib/ext and the application inside $JONAS_BASE/deploy.

To install liferay-portal-dependencies-6.1.x-<date>.zip:

  1. Unzip the archive liferay-portal-dependencies-6.1.x-<date>.zip on your local filesystem.

  2. Navigate to $JONAS_BASE/lib/ext.

  3. Copy the .jar files from liferay-portal-dependencies-6.1.x-<date>/ to $JONAS_BASE/lib/ext.

  4. Install any additional libraries needed, such as database connectors.

To deploy the liferay-portal-6.1.x-<date>.war file:

  1. Copy the liferay-portal-6.1.x-<date>.war file from its current directory.

  2. Navigate to $JONAS_BASE/deploy.

  3. Paste the liferay-portal-6.1.x-<date>.war file into the deploy directory.

Once the necessary files have been installed, all that is needed is to start JOnAS:

  1. Navigate to $JONAS_BASE/bin.

  2. Run the command jonas.bat start on Windows and ./jonas start on UNIX-lixe systems.

JOnAS starts and Liferay opens a browser to http://localhost:8080.

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