Magnolia 4.5 reached end of life on June 30, 2016. This branch is no longer supported, see End-of-life policy.

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Magnolia Community Edition is distributed free-of-charge and without any warranty under the terms of the GNU General Public License (version 3), a license that permits you to redistribute and modify the software under certain terms and conditions. It is important that you read the license to understand your rights and obligations.

Check prerequisites

Java Development Environment (JDK)

Magnolia needs a Java Development Environment (JDK) on Windows. Use the Java Tester to check if you already have Java. The Java Runtime Environment (JRE) is not adequate because the Tomcat application server does not recognize it.

What is the difference? JRE is an implementation of the Java Virtual Machine which actually executes Java programs. JDK is a bundle of software that you can use to develop Java based applications.

If you don't have JDK yet, download and install it from By default JDK is installed in C:\Program Files (x86)\java\jdk<version>. You can choose another location.

Check JAVA_HOME environment variable

  1. Open a command prompt window.
  2. At the command prompt, type set and press ENTER.
  3. Find JAVA_HOME in the command output and verify that it matches the path to your JRE installation directory, for example C:\Program Files (x86)\java\jre6.
  4. If JAVA_HOME is missing or points to the wrong directory, see Set JAVA_HOME environment variable. If everything is OK, go to Download Magnolia.

Set JAVA_HOME environment variable

  1. Right-click My Computer and select Properties.
  2. Go to the Advanced tab.
    (In Windows 7, right-click Computer and select Advanced System Settings, then Environment variables.)
  3. If the JAVA_HOME environment variable does not exist in User variables or System variables, create it:
    • User variables apply to the currently signed-in user only. Create JAVA_HOME here if you want it to apply only to the currently logged in user. These variables take precedence over system variables.
    • System variables apply to all users. Create JAVA_HOME here if you want it to apply to all users. You must be an administrator to modify a system environment variable.
  4. Set the value of JAVA_HOME to the path of your JDK installation directory, for example C:\Sun\SDK\jdk.
  5. Optional step: Add the Magnolia bin directory to the PATH variable, for example C:\Program Files\magnolia\apache-tomcat-5.5.27\bin. Setting the PATH allows you to issue the Magnolia start and stop commands from anywhere without navigating to the installation directory first. Separate the path from existing paths with a semicolon ( ; ). If you do this, you also need to add CATALINA_HOME to environment variables. Set the value of CATALINA_HOME to the Tomcat installation directory, for example C:\Program Files\magnolia\apache-tomcat-5.5.27
  6. Click OK.
  7. Test that the variable is found and has the correct value. You need to open a new command prompt since environment variables are session specific.

Alternatively you can set JAVA_HOME with a batch file. Add this line to /apache-tomcat/bin/magnolia_control.bat:

set JAVA_HOME=C:\Program Files (x86)\java\jre6

The set command creates the JAVA_HOME environment variable and sets its value to the JDK directory. The command is executed when Magnolia starts.

Download install and run Magnolia


Download the Magnolia Tomcat bundle zip file from This will install Tomcat servlet container, one Magnolia author instance and one Magnolia public instance. The file name depends on the release, for example Get the latest.


Extract the zip to C:\Program Files or another directory on your computer.

The extracted folder structure looks like this:



  1. Open a command prompt and go to the Magnolia installation directory.
    (To do this, type cd C:\Program Files\magnolia-4.2.3\apache-tomcat-5.5.27\bin)
  2. Type magnolia_control.bat start and press ENTER.
    Magnolia reports startup information in a new Tomcat window. If startup fails, look for the reason in the report. See Troubleshooting to resolve issues. In a successful startup the last line reads: INFO: Server startup in 12345 ms


To stop Magnolia, type magnolia_control.bat stop and press ENTER.

Run the Web update

  1. Open a browser and go to http://localhost:8080.
  2. Click the Run the Web update on the author instance link.
    A list of modules that need updating is displayed.
  3. Click Start install.
    The modules are updated.
  4. Click Start up Magnolia.

Repeat the update on the public instance.

  1. Open a browser and go to http://localhost:8080.
  2. Click the Run the Web update on the public instance link.
    A list of modules that need updating is displayed.
  3. Click Start install.
    The modules are updated.
  4. Click Start up Magnolia.

Log in to author instance

  1. Open a browser and go to http://localhost:8080/magnoliaAuthor/.magnolia.
  2. At the login page, sign in with:
    • Username: superuser
    • Password: superuser

The AdminCentral is displayed.


Superuser is a system administration account that has permission to every function. End users should not use this account. See Users for instructions how to create new user accounts and Default users for accounts that you can use for testing right away.


Having problems? See Known issues .

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