Magnolia 5.3 reached end of life on June 30, 2017. This branch is no longer supported, see End-of-life policy.

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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 JDK installation directory, for example C:\Program Files (x86)\java\jre6k.
  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:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jdk1.7.0_11 .
  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\jdk1.7.0_11

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

Register for a license key

When you buy an Enterprise Edition license, a license key will be sent to you upon signing of the Magnolia Network Agreement.

Magnolia Enterprise Edition is also available for a free 30-day trial. Register to get a license key.

  1. Go to
  2. Fill the form with your details. A license key will be sent to the email address you provide.


Go to and download Magnolia Enterprise Edition.

You have the following options:

  • Installer: Contains everything you need to get started, including Magnolia, Tomcat, Jackrabbit and DerbyDB.
  • Bundle: Same contents as above but without the installer. Uncompress the package.
  • WAR: Contains only the Magnolia application (.war file). You need to deploy it on your own application server. Smaller download size than above.
  • IBM WebSphere, Oracle WebLogic: WAR files for running Magnolia on IBM WebSphere or Oracle WebLogic application servers. Read the deployment instructions.


Using the installer

  1. Double-click the installer file you downloaded.
  2. Select an installation language and click OK.
  3. Click Next.
  4. Accept the license terms and click Next.
  5. Optional: Configure Magnolia to use a Java Development Kit other than your default JDK. The default is usually fine. Click Next.
  6. Click Next.
  7. Select the installation path.
  8. Click Next. Installation will start.
  9. Click Next.
  10. Click Done.

Using the bundle

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

The extracted folder structure looks like this:



Use the Start and Stop icons that the installer adds on your desktop or Programs menu.

You can also start Magnolia using the command line.

  1. Open a command prompt.
  2. Go to the Magnolia installation directory.

    cd C:\Program Files\magnolia-4.2.3\apache-tomcat-5.5.27\bin
  1. fake
  2. fake
  3. Start Magnolia

    magnolia_control.bat start

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.

Tip! To stop Magnolia, type:

./magnolia_control.bat stop

Run the Web update

To 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.

Enter the license key

Now you need the license key that was sent to your email address. Copy only the key string from the message. Use the same email address you used when registering.

Before you paste the license key make sure that it is a continuous string of characters with no spaces or line breaks. If you have any problems you can paste the key to a plain text editor to strip out any formatting.

Log in to the author instance

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

The app launcher 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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