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Using the Command Line to set up a ColdFusion Multiserver Instance as a service

To make a long story short, I reinstalled my operating system a few days ago. I had to decide whether to do a full disaster recovery or to start from scratch and I decided to start from scratch.

I had all my old data files from Apache and the ColdFusion 8 multiserver install. But, I wasn't sure how to easily copy over the configurations and have all my services set up. Thankfully the CF-GURU list was able to push me in the right direction.

The essence is that you can easily copy the ColdFusion [or JRun4] directory from one place to another and things just tend to work. However, if you do that, you lose the services that CF installs. Knowing that, this is the path I took:

First, I installed Apache.

Second, I installed ColdFusion 8.

I tested that both were working, and as expected they were. This was before I started tweaking. The install gave me back the ODBC services, the .NET service and the Search service. So far so good.

I ran a winmerge compare on the new JRun4 directory and the old JRun4 directory. I'm surprised at how many of the files were the same. I copied over all of the backup files over their new replacements and crossed my fingers.

Next I ran a winmerge compare on the new Apache configuration with the old Apache configuration. I was a bit worried about this because the Apache version I installed was a few point releases later. Other than seeing different mime type files; I was able to merge my old settings into the new settings. I didn't copy these, just merged them.

Then I restarted all services and launched the CF Admin. It let me in, it showed me the instance manager with all my features. I started a few of them and tested their respective domains by browsing to some ColdFusion pages. Everything was working great. It was a weight off my shoulders.

Yet, I still didn't have a separate windows service for each CF instance. To do that, I needed to use the jrunsvc.exe command line tool. It is found in JRun4\bin.

I used the tool like this:

jrunsvc -install nameOfJRunInstance "Service Name" "Service Name"

So, specifically in my situation I ran:

jrunsvc -install TheFlexShow "CF TheFlexShow" "CF TheFlexShow"

To set up my local instance of ColdFusion for The Flex Show's web site.

Under most normal circumstances, the instance manager will create a service for you and you won't need to do it manually. But, if you do; there is your approach.

Although this time I answered my own question, I do love to help out others. If you want help, please ask. I can even take confidential questions over at, or you can put me on the spot life at a Flextras Friday Lunch recording session.

It's only a week until 360Flex in DC, so be sure to get there and stop by the booth and say howdy. Order you tickets with this link and I get Karma points from the 360|Flex folks. If you ask real nicely I may be able to get you a discount code. If you already have tickets; be sure to book your room at the conference hotel. This is the place you'll want to be to optimize your networking Karma.

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