Installing Liferay on WebSphere 8.5

Liferay Home is in a folder called liferay in the home folder of the user ID that is running WebSphere.

To work correctly on WebSphere 8.5, IBM’s PM90932 patch must be installed. You can find more information about this patch here.

Please also note that the WebSphere Application Liberty Profile is not supported by Liferay.

Preparing WebSphere for Liferay

When the application server binaries have been installed, start the Profile Management Tool to create a profile appropriate for Liferay.

  1. Click on Create…. Choose Application Server. Click Next.

  2. Click the Advanced profile creation option and then click Next. Why Advanced? You can specify your own values for settings such as the location of the profile and names of the profile, node and host. You can assign your own ports. You can optionally choose whether to deploy the administrative console and sample application and also add web-server definitions if you wish. Web server definitions are used with IBM HTTP Server. For more information about these options, please see the WebSphere documentation.


    Figure 1.9: Choose the Advanced profile option to specify your own settings.

  3. Check the box Deploy the administrative console. This gives you a web-based UI for working with your application server. Skip the default applications. You’d only install these on a development machine. Click Next.

  4. Set profile name and location. Ensure you specify a performance tuning setting other than Development, since you’re installing a server for production use. Please see the WebSphere documentation for further information about performance tuning settings. Click Next.

  5. Choose node, server, and host names for your server. These will be specific to your environment. Click Next.

  6. Administrative security in WebSphere is a way to restrict who has access to the administrative tools. You may want to have it enabled in your environment so that a user name and password are required to administer the WebSphere server. Please see WebSphere’s documentation for further information. Click Next.

  7. Each profile needs a security certificate, which comes next in the wizard. If you don’t have certificates already, choose the option to generate a personal certificate and a signing certificate and click Next.

  8. Once the certificates are generated, set a password for your keystore. Click Next.

  9. Next, you can customize the ports this server profile uses. Be sure to choose ports that are open on your machine. When choosing ports, the wizard detects existing WebSphere installations and if it finds activity, it increments ports by one.

  10. Choose whether you want this profile started when the machine starts. Click Next.

  11. WebSphere ships with IBM HTTP Server, which is a rebranded version of Apache. Choose whether you want a web server definition, so that this JVM receives requests forwarded from the HTTP server. Please see WebSphere’s documentation for details on this. When finished, click Next.

  12. The wizard then shows you a summary of what you selected, enabling you to keep your choices or go back and change something. When you’re satisfied, click Next.


Figure 1.10: The Summary page shows you what you selected, giving you the chance to go back and change something if it’s not exactly what you want.

WebSphere then creates your profile and finishes with a message telling you the profile was created successfully. Awesome! Your profile is complete. There’s one more thing you’ll need to configure.

In this version of WebSphere, servlet filters are not initialized on web application startup, but rather, on first access. This can cause problems when deploying certain plugins to Liferay Portal. To configure servlet filters to initialize on application startup (i.e., deployment), you need to set the following webcontainer custom properties in your WebSphere application server: = true = true

To set webcontainer custom properties in the WebSphere application server, follow the instructions here.

You’re now ready to install Liferay!

Copying portal dependencies

Liferay ships with dependency .jars it needs to have on the global classpath. These should be copied to WebSphere’s global folder provided for this purpose:

[Install Location]/WebSphere/AppServer/lib/ext

If you have a JDBC database driver .jar, copy it to this location as well. Once you’ve copied the .jars, start the server profile you created for Liferay. Once it starts, you’re ready to configure your database.

Database Configuration

If you want WebSphere to manage the database connections, follow the instructions below. Note this is not necessary if you’re planning on using Liferay’s standard database configuration; in that case, skip this section. You’ll set your database information in Liferay’s setup wizard after the install.


  1. Start WebSphere.

  2. Open the Administrative Console and log in.

  3. Click Resources → JDBC Providers.

  4. Click New.

  5. For name, enter the name of JDBC provider (e.g. MySQL JDBC Provider).

  6. For Implementation Class Name, enter:

  7. Click Next.

  8. Clear any text in classpath. You already copied the necessary .jars to a location on the server’s class path.

  9. Click Next.

  10. Click Finish.

  11. Click Data Sources under Additional Properties.

  12. Click New.

  13. Enter a name: liferaydatabasesource.

  14. Enter JNDI: jdbc/LiferayPool.

  15. Everything else should stay at the default values. Save the data source.

  16. When finished, go back into the data source and click Custom Properties and then click the Show Filter Function button. This is the second from last of the small icons under the New and Delete buttons.

  17. Type user into the search terms and click Go.


  18. Select the user property and give it the value of the user name to your database. Click OK and save to master configuration.

  19. Do another filter search for the url property. Give it a value that points to your database. For example, the MySQL URL would be: jdbc:mysql://localhost/lportal?useUnicode=true&characterEncoding=UTF-8&useFastDateParsing=false. Click OK and save to master configuration.

  20. Do another filter search for the password property. Enter the password for the user ID you added earlier as the value for this property. Click OK and save to master configuration.

  21. Go back to the data source page by clicking it in the breadcrumb trail. Click the Test Connection button. It should connect successfully.

Once you’ve set up your database, you can set up your mail session.

Mail Configuration

If you want WebSphere to manage your mail sessions, use the following procedure. If you want to use Liferay’s built-in mail sessions, you can skip this section.

  1. Click Resources → Mail → Mail Providers.

  2. Click the Built-In Mail Provider for your node and server.

  3. Click Mail Sessions and then click the New button.

  4. Give it a name of liferaymail and a JNDI name of mail/MailSession. Click OK and save to master configuration.

  5. Click Security → Global Security and de-select Use Java 2 security to restrict application access to local resources if it is selected. Click Apply.

Great! Now you’re ready to deploy Liferay.

Deploy Liferay

  1. Click ApplicationsNew ApplicationNew Enterprise Application.

  2. Browse to the Liferay .war file and click Next.

  3. Leave Fast Path selected and click Next. Ensure that Distribute Application has been checked, and click Next again.

  4. Choose the WebSphere runtimes and/or clusters where you want Liferay deployed. Click Next.

  5. Map Liferay to the root context (/) and click Next.

  6. Ensure that you have made all the correct choices and click Finish. When Liferay has installed, click Save to Master Configuration.

You’ve now installed Liferay, but don’t start it yet. If you wish to use PACL, you have one more thing to configure.

Enabling Security for Portal Access Control Lists

In the administrative console, go to Security $rarr; Global Security. Check the box to enable Java 2 security, and click Apply. Save to the master configuration.


Next, you need to configure security for the Liferay profile you created. This requires editing a text file, which can be found nested several folders deep in WebSphere’s profiles directory. The exact path depends on how you’ve named your profile, but it will be something like this:


First, in each existing grant section, replace the content with;. Then add the following lines to the bottom of the file:

grant codeBase "file:${was.install.root}/lib/-" {

grant codeBase "file:${was.install.root}/plugins/-" {

grant codeBase "file:${server.root}/-" {

Save the file. You should now stop the profile and restart it. Once it comes up, you’re ready to start Liferay.

Start Liferay

  1. If you plan to use Liferay’s setup wizard, skip to the next step. If you wish to use WebSphere’s data source and mail session, create a file called in your Liferay Home folder. Place the following text in the file:
  2. Select the Liferay application and click Start.


    Figure 1.14: While Liferay is starting, WebSphere displays this spinny little graphic. Don’t watch it too closely, or you might get hypnotized.

  3. In the setup wizard, select and configure your database type. Click Finish when you’re done.

    Liferay then creates the tables it needs in the database.

Congratulations! You’ve installed Liferay on WebSphere!

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