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The Server Administration application (accessed by clicking Control Panel → Configuration → Server Administration) lets you perform tasks related to the Liferay Portal server. Clicking the link displays a graph showing the resources available in the JVM.

server-admin-resources.png

Figure 1: Server Administration is where you configure and monitor many aspects of the server.

The Server Administration functionality is broken into several tabs:

Resources

The Resources tab contains several server wide actions that an administrator can execute. These include the following items:

Run the garbage collector : Tells the JVM to free memory by running the garbage collector.

Generate a thread dump
Generates a thread dump for later scrutiny to determine the presence and locations of any deadlocks. Useful during performance testing, but you must add a logger category for com.liferay.server.admin.web.internal.portlet.action.EditServerMVCActionCommand and set it to INFO before executing.
Clear content cached by this VM
Clears content stored in the local cache. Only local JVM scope Ehcache content is cleared, not clustered Ehcache. 1
Clear content cached across the cluster
Clears the content of the entire clustered Ehcache. 1
Clear the database cache
Clears the database cache. Does not clear any Ehcache content except database results at the persistence layer. 1

Clear the direct servlet cache : Clears the direct servlet cache. In case emergency fixes must be applied, this action allows an administrator to manually clear out the cache to force JSPs to reload.

The direct servlet context optimizes JSP serving performance by caching and accessing the generated servlets directly instead of accessing them over the application server’s dispatcher chain. This function is only suitable for cases where no filter is required for the JSPs; it should be enabled for production mode to improve performance, but disabled for development mode to allow JSP servlets to be reloaded on the fly. See the Direct Servlet Context section of the portal.properties file for details. 1

Reindex all search indexes
Regenerates all search indexes. If you are not using a Solr search server this impacts portal performance so try to do this at non-peak times.
Reindex all spell check indexes
Regenerates all spell check indexes.
Reindex com.liferay…SomeEntity
Reindexes a single entity.
Verify database tables of all plugins
Checks all tables against their indexes for data retrieval accuracy.

Verify Membership Policies : Checks that existing site membership policies were correctly applied and automatically makes updates. If the Liferay database is changed manually or is hacked–resulting in a user assigned to a site in violation of a site membership policy–this action triggers the verification methods of all implemented site membership policies. Changes are automatically made to any memberships in violation.

Reset preview and thumbnail files for the Documents and Media portlet
Regenerates previews of each item in your Documents and Media libraries.

Clean up permissions : Removes permissions on the Guest, User, and Power User roles to simplify the management of “User Customizable Pages”. The “Add To Page” permissions is removed from the Guest and User roles for all portlets, and is reduced in scope for Power Users from portal-wide to “User Personal Site.”

Clean up portlet preferences : This action cleans up database entries if portlet preferences become orphaned in the Liferay Portal database.

[1] Caching occurs at multiple levels. Some higher caching layers aren’t aware of lower caching layers. Always clear the cache at the lowest (most granular) layer possible, even if you’ve already cleared a higher level cache.

Log Levels

Here, you can make dynamic modifications of log levels for any class hierarchy in Liferay Portal. Custom objects not on the list can be added with the Add Category tab. Changes to the log level near the top of the class hierarchy (such as at com.liferay) also changes log levels for all the classes under that hierarchy. Modifications unnecessarily high in the hierarchy generate too many messages to be useful.

Properties

Liferay and the JVM contain many settings which are defined as properties. The properties tab has two sub-tabs: System Properties and Portal Properties.

The system properties tab shows an exhaustive list of system properties for the JVM, as well as many Liferay Portal system properties. This information can be used for debugging purposes or to check the currently running configuration.

The portal properties tab shows an exhaustive list of the current portal property values, so you don’t have to shut down Liferay Portal or open the properties file directly. Portal properties are customizable; you can peruse the full list of available portal properties.

CAPTCHA

CAPTCHA is designed to thwart bots from registering for accounts. By default, Liferay Portal ships with its own CAPTCHA service.

Alternatively, Google’s reCAPTCHA service can be enabled from the CAPTCHA tab of Server Administration. Check the Enable ReCAPTCHA box, enter your public and private keys into the provided fields, and click Save. Liferay Portal then uses reCAPTCHA instead of the native CAPTCHA solution.

Data Migration

This tab is for upgrading Liferay Portal or migrating its data from one system to another without writing custom scripts.

The first section, under Migrate data from one database to another. was useful in past versions of Liferay Portal for copying the entire Liferay Portal database to a new database. However, the database migration tool cannot be used in the current version of Liferay Portal and will be removed in the next version of Liferay Portal.

The second section, Migrate documents from one repository to another, helps you migrate your documents to a new repository on a different disk or in a new format. Here are the steps:

  1. Create a backup copy of the Document Library repository and Liferay Portal database.
  2. Configure the new file store on that file store’s page, listed under System SettingsFoundation.
  3. In this tab (Server AdministrationData Migration), select the repository hook for the file store you configured and click Execute.
  4. After the process completes, configure the new repository as the default.
  5. If you used a portal-ext.properties file to configure the repository, restart the server.

File Uploads

Since Liferay Portal allows users to upload files in various places, you may want to restrict the type and size of files users are allowed to upload. The File Uploads tab lets you set the overall maximum file size and then grant exceptions to that limit for specific applications. You can also limit the allowed file extensions generally or by application.

Mail

Instead of using a portal-ext.properties file to configure a mail server, you can configure a mail server from the Mail tab. If your message boards receive mail, you can connect a POP mail server. If Liferay Portal sends mail (useful for sending notifications to users), you can connect to an SMTP server. We highly recommend setting up mail servers.

Note that if you configure mail server settings here in the Control Panel, these settings override any mail server settings in your portal-ext.properties file.

External Services

Liferay Portal lets users upload and share content via the Documents and Media library, a customizable and permissions-enabled online repository for files. Users can upload files of any type to the Documents and Media library. Liferay Portal ships with PDFBox for generating automatic previews for certain types of documents. You can install three additional tools that offer higher quality previews and document conversion functionality: OpenOffice or LibreOffice, ImageMagick and Xuggler. With Liferay Portal configured to use these tools, you can generate automatic previews for many types of files including text files, office suite files, PDFs, images, audio files and videos. Users can also use the conversion functionality to download documents in a variety of formats. Please see the article on publishing files in Liferay Portal.

LibreOffice is available here: LibreOffice, ImageMagick is available here: ImageMagick, and Xuggler is available here: Xuggler. Make sure to choose the correct versions of these applications for your operating system. We recommend that you install the latest stable versions. LibreOffice and ImageMagick must be installed manually, but you can install Xuggler from the Control Panel.

Once you’ve installed these tools, you can use the Control Panel’s External Services tab to configure Liferay Portal to use them.

OpenOffice/LibreOffice Configuration

OpenOffice and LibreOffice are open source office suites which are usually run in graphical mode to create documents, but they can also be run in server mode. When run in server mode, OpenOffice and LibreOffice can be used to convert documents to and from all of the file types it supports. Once configured, Liferay Portal uses this feature to convert content on the fly automatically. You can install OpenOffice or LibreOffice on the same machine where Liferay Portal is running or you can connect to a separate host.

You can start LibreOffice or OpenOffice in server mode with the following command:

soffice --headless --accept="socket,host=127.0.0.1,port=8100;urp;"
--nofirststartwizard

Once OpenOffice or LibreOffice is installed and running in server mode, configure Liferay Portal to use it either in portal-ext.properties or from the Control Panel. To enable OpenOffice/LibreOffice in your portal-ext.properties file, add the following line:

openoffice.server.enabled=true

If OpenOffice or LibreOffice is running on another server or on a non-default port, you must also specify these values. The default values are as follows:

openoffice.server.host=127.0.0.1
openoffice.server.port=8100

By default, when Liferay Portal uses OpenOffice or LibreOffice to perform conversions, it uses a cache. The first time a document is converted, a copy is saved in the Liferay Portal temp folder /liferay/document_conversion/. When Liferay Portal receives a conversion request, it checks this folder to see if the converted document already exists. If the converted document is found, Liferay Portal returns it to the user. Otherwise, it performs a fresh conversion and saves a copy in the temp folder. If the cache is turned off, Liferay Portal always regenerates the file even if a previously existing conversion already exists in the temp folder. You can turn the cache off by setting the following property:

openoffice.cache.enabled=false

To configure Liferay Portal to use OpenOffice/LibreOffice from the Control Panel, navigate to the Server AdministrationExternal Services page and check the Enabled box for OpenOffice. If OpenOffice/LibreOffice is running on a non-default port–the default is port 8100–you must also specify the port number. If you have something else running on this port, find an open port and specify it both in the command to start OpenOffice/LibreOffice in server mode and on the Control Panel’s External Services configuration page. When you are finished, click Save. Now Liferay Portal can perform many types of document conversions.

ImageMagick configuration

Before configuring ImageMagick to generate image and PDF previews, install it and its dependency, Ghostscript. This differs by operating system: on Linux, both are likely already installed. They are not likely to be installed on Windows but may be on Macs.

  1. Download and install ImageMagick.

  2. Download and install Ghostscript.

Once installed, enable ImageMagick through the Control Panel or a portal-ext.properties file. If using portal-ext.properties, add the following lines and make sure the search path points to the directories containing the ImageMagick and Ghostscript executables. You may also need to configure the path for fonts used by Ghostscript when in Mac or Unix environments.

imagemagick.enabled=true
imagemagick.global.search.path[apple]=/opt/local/bin:/opt/local/share/ghostscript/fonts:/opt/local/share/fonts/urw-fonts
imagemagick.global.search.path[unix]=/usr/local/bin:/usr/local/share/ghostscript/fonts:/usr/local/share/fonts/urw-fonts
imagemagick.global.search.path[windows]=C:\\Program Files\\ImageMagick

To enable ImageMagick from the Control Panel:

  1. Navigate to the Server AdministrationExternal Services page.

  2. Check Enabled for ImageMagick and verify the paths to the ImageMagick and Ghostscript executables are correct.

Some older versions of ImageMagick don’t run properly with Liferay Portal. If this is the case, update to the latest version (ImageMagick 6.7.9-6 2012-09-25 Q16 or later). To check for the latest ImageMagick versions, visit ImageMagick’s website. See LPS-30291 for information on efforts to identify incompatible application versions with Liferay Portal.

Xuggler configuration

From the control panel, navigate to the Server AdministrationExternal Services page. From the dropdown, select the Xuggler .jar file that matches your operating system. Then click on Install.

After installing, restart your application server and enable Xuggler for your portal. You can enable Xuggler either from the Control Panel or by specifying the portal property that enables Xuggler.

To enable Xuggler from portal properties, add the following line to your portal-ext.properties file and restart your application server.

xuggler.enabled=true

To enable Xuggler from the Control Panel, navigate to the Server AdministrationExternal Services page, check Enabled, and click on Save.

That’s it! You’ve successfully configured Documents and Media to use Xuggler for audio and video files.

Script

The Script tab includes a scripting console for executing migration or management code. The Groovy scripting language is supported out of the box. For more information, see the Scripting article for more information on how to use the scripting console and examples.

Shutdown

If you ever need to shut down your Liferay Portal server while users are logged in, you can use the Shutdown tab to inform your logged-in users of the impending shutdown. You can define the number of minutes until the shutdown and a custom message to display.

Liferay Portal displays the message at the top of users’ pages for the duration of time you specified. When the time expires, all pages display a message saying the portal has been shut down. At this point, the server must be restarted to restore access.

Next, let’s examine how to manage multiple portal instances.

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