ColdFusion (2021 release) introduces an entirely new install experience, with a lightweight zip install option. Since it packages only the core CF2021 modules and has a trimmed down JDK, the zip is less than 150 MB, and both deployment and server startup time have been reduced significantly, compared to the full/GUI installer (which is still available).
[Created Dec 2020, updated Apr 2021]
Revamped ColdFusion Zip Install Option
Adobe ColdFusion (2021 release) now comes with a revamped, lightweight ZIP deployment/install option by which you can install ColdFusion with minimal/core packaging, as well as a package manager to add needed modules.
Note that the familiar GUI (and command-line) installer also remains available, which installs all modules by default. And both installer types are available for the supported operating systems, Linux, MacOS, Solaris, and Windows.
The rest of this post discusses the installation process, from extracting the zip (and optionally verifying it), to running a script to configure the instance in several ways (including doing that via a scripted/silent installation), as well as how to do that when deploying ColdFusion as a WAR on a JEE server.
The post also discusses other steps that might need to be performed after the installation, such as the process of migrating ColdFusion Admin settings from a previous CF version, enabling various modules (to support additional functionality not included in the minimal core installation), configuring web server connections, enabling ColdFusion and related services, and more. It also covers uninstalling ColdFusion when it’s been installed with this ZIP installer.
See also the available documentation on the zip deployment installation process.
Benefits of new “zip deployment”
The immediate benefits of this lightweight deployment/install process include:
- Reduced size – The size of the zip file has been reduced to less than 150 MB for core ColdFusion services, including a JRE. Compare this with the GUI (or command-line) installer which is ~1 GB.
- Reduced start-up time – The server start–up time has been reduced to ~5 seconds from 20+ seconds in earlier releases.
- Reduced memory footprint – The runtime server memory has been reduced to ~250 MB from 850 MB+ in earlier releases
With these benefits come more scriptable configuration steps, as discussed in this post. For a more traditional installation experience, the full GUI installer or its command-line equivalent remain available.
Obtaining ColdFusion zip file and installers
As with previous releases, ColdFusion installers (whether the traditional GUI/command-line installer or this new ZIP file) can be obtained either from the Adobe ColdFusion product site or the Adobe Licensing site (if you have purchased a ColdFusion license). Note that there is a separate zip file for each supported operating system (Windows, MacOS, Linux, Solaris), just as with the traditional installer files.
For a secure experience, the ColdFusion ZIP installer is now signed. If you wish to verify the signature, the below command be used:
jarsigner -verify ColdFusion_2021 _WWEJ_*.zip -verbose
Extracting the zip
After downloading the zip file, you can extract it, where you will find a META-INF folder and a ColdFusion2021.zip:
- The META-INF folder, which contains the file used to verify the signature of the zip installer, can be deleted.
- The ColdFusion2021.zip, should then itself be extracted.
You will find a ColdFusion folder, which contains the files and folders typical of a ColdFusion installation. We will refer to that folder below as <CF_Root>.
Running the CFINSTALL Script
To get the ColdFusion server up and running with minimal configuration steps after the zip installer has been extracted, we have introduced a new script called cfinstall, which is placed in <CF_Root>/cfusion/bin>. There is support for completely scripted “silent” installation (see below), otherwise the cfinstall script will prompt for the necessary configuration settings.
This script can be used to configure the below server properties:
- Acceptance of the EULA
- Install type:
- Install a new version of ColdFusion (2021 release)
- 30-day trial
- Developer edition
- ColdFusion server profile:
- Production profile + Secure profile
- Production profile
- Development profile
- Internal web port
- Admin password
- RDS password
- Service name for Windows
- Runtime user for Linux and Solaris
- Deployment Type
Also, note that if a non-default windows service name has been specified for ColdFusion when running the cfinstall script, instances created later using the Instance Manager page in the Admin will be prefixed with this non-default service name. For example, if the service name of the main instance is CF2021 and the name of the child instance is c1, the child instance service name will be “CF2021 c1”.
Accepting the EULA terms and conditions is mandatory for a successful server start operation.
The EULA file can be accessed at:
- For standalone, <CF_Root>/Readme/en/license.txt
- For JEE, <cf_webapp_root/WEB-INF/Readme/en/license.txt>.
Note – CF EULA is also available at https://www.adobe.com/go/cf2021_eula
Run cfinstall in silent mode
To script or silently install the service, enter the following command:
- Execute cfinstall.bat –file-name <file name> –installer-mode silent
- Execute cfinstall.bat -f <file name> -i silent
- Execute ./cfinstall.sh –file-name <file name> –installer-mode silent
- Execute ./cfinstall.sh -f <file name> -i silent
More details can be found at
Run cfinstall script using absolute path
You can also run cfinstall script outside the /bin folder by giving absolute path.
For example, /Applications/ColdFusion/cfusion/bin/cfinstall.sh
Note – You will see a warning if you attempt to run cfinstall more than once. If you choose to continue, the settings will be overwritten and could cause few stability issues.
Migration of prior version Administrator settings
When using the ZIP installer, if you wish to migrate the settings from previous ColdFusion installation(s) on first launch of the Administrator, you need to do the following-
- Create the below folder in <CF_root>/cfusion/lib of the 2021 release, as applicable for your previous version:
- cf2018settings (if migrating from 2018 release).
- cf2016settings (if migrating from 2016 release)
- cf11settings in <if migrating from 11 release)
- Copy and place the neo-*.xml files and the seed.properties file from the previous version(s) in the newly created folder. For example, copy neo-* files and seed.properties file from CF2018/cfusion/lib and place in <CF_2021_root>/cfusion/lib/cf2018settings folder.
- Stop ColdFusion server.
- In adminconfig.xml, change the following:
- Using CFPM, install the packages.
- Restart ColdFusion and launch the ColdFusion Administrator.
Note – The migration guide can be accessed at https://www.adobe.com/go/cf2021_migration_guide
Java EE installation
The steps above refer to using the ZIP installer to setup a “standalone” ColdFusion deployment (with an embedded Tomcat server).
If you wish instead to deploy ColdFusion as a JEE deployment, there is also an available WAR file as an alternative to the ZIP or GUI installers. With that, you would do the following after deploying the WAR:
- For application servers such as Tomcat and Websphere where the WAR file is expanded only after the app server is started:
- Stop the app server.
- Run the cfinstall script to accept the EULA and set other server properties.
- Start the app server.
- For application servers such as WebLogic, WildFly, and EAP where you need to expand the WAR file manually:
- Run the cfinstall script to accept the EULA and set other server properties.
- Start the app server.
For detailed information, see JEE configuration.
Deploying application packages
- Out–of–the–box, the only modules that are pre-installed are the core server, Administrator, and Admin API. If your application requires other packages, you will need to install the relevant packages using either the CFPM utility or the ColdFusion Administrator > Package Manager page.
- The CFPM utility can be used to identify and optionally install packages or modules needed for your application. It will automatically scan through the specified code base and will return the list of packages that need to be installed.
- To only scan the codebase, run the following command:
scan <path_to_your_code_base> http://[CF_SERVER_HOST]:[port]
- To scan the codebase and install the required packages, run the following command:
scanandinstall <path_to_your_code_base> http://[CF_SERVER_HOST]:[port]
For example, scanandinstall <code_base/wwwroot/cfm> http://localhost:8500.
The 2012 Visual C++ Redistributable runtime is needed for connector configuration and for the HTMLtoPDF module. As this runtime is not bundled by default in the ZIP installers, you will need to set it up first before you can either configure your connector or use the HTMLtoPDF functionality or both.
You can download the 2012 VC Runtime from here https://www.microsoft.com/en-in/download/details.aspx?id=30679
The GUI installer had the option to configure the ODBC service at install time. In the case of the ZIP installer, as the ODBC package is not bundled by default, you will need to use the cfpm utility to download it in case your application is using ODBC functionality. The ODBC service is automatically configured once the ODBC packages are installed
DotNet and Solr/PDFg services
DotNet and PDFg/Solr are no longer configurable options when using the ZIP installer. If you intend to use either of these, you can download and run these installers from https://www.adobe.com/support/coldfusion/downloads.html
The below properties were configurable in the GUI installers but are not available in the ZIP installers
- Performance Monitoring Toolset Hostname/IP address – This can now be configured from Administrator > Performance Monitoring Toolset page.
- The servlets (RDS, JS debug, CF Reporting) is enabled by default, you can disable the servlet by commenting on the required servlet block in the <ColdFusion Web_root>/WEB-INF/web.xml.
To uninstall ColdFusion that has been installed using the ZIP installer, run the following command
Note that the cfuninstall script will only unconfigure the Windows service (on Windows) or remove the init script (for non-windows). The other components will need to manually taken care of.
Before deleting the ColdFusion folder manually, ensure the following steps are performed as well:
- If instances have been created as a windows service, remove the service using either one of the two options given below
- Go to Administrator > Enterprise Manager>Instance Manager>Delete (delete the instance)
- Delete the instance service using the command:
sc delete <service_name>
- Unconfigure the connector (if configured) using the following command:
- Remove the ODBC services (if installed).
- Backup log files and any files that have been created in the wwwroot folder
- Finally, you can Delete the ColdFusion folder.
- Multiple ZIP installations on the same machine or ZIP installation + GUI installation on the same box – Not recommended. It might still work if the needed port changes are done manually in the server.xml file
- Note that if you are using the GUI installer, the ODBC sub-component checkbox shows up as disabled and is unchecked by default. This is because the ODBC module is installed by default.
- In the GUI installers, all the modules are pre-installed.
I’m unable to download the trial version, I’m ending on https://www.adobe.com/products/coldfusion/download-trial/get-started.html and there is no link there to download the server. I’ve tried with several browsers, no luck
Do you mean you got the form and filled it in, then got no download or link? It does that for some (no download. It’s just an unfortunate choice on Adobe’s part to not offer a link.)
I hear you saying you’ve tried multiple browsers, but have you tried either an incognito or private window? Or clearing cookies for the site? It seems a cookie issue and this has worked when I’ve tried it.
One other point that’s related to the comments below: I am noticing that the CF docs page on installing CF2021 also itself makes no mention of the GUI installer.
I understand that there was a time months before the release where some (within Adobe) were lobbying to ditch the GUI installer entirely, and perhaps that has led to confusion in the docs (and in the community).
It would be helpful if that docs page did clarify how one CAN still get and use the traditional GUI installer.
Priyank, while you’re right, Peter makes a good point. The article (at least as originally written) opened with “ColdFusion (2021 release) introduces an entirely new install experience by promoting the zip installer as the mainline installer and dropping the GUI server installer altogether.”
Maybe that’s a wording whereby Aayushi was referring to how this new feature “promotes the zip installer as an ALTERNATIVE to the GUI installer”, but it’s indeed not what it says. Also, Aayushi refers a couple of times to “the earlier gui” or things that “were configurable in the GUI installers”, both adding to the implication for any objective reader that indeed there was no longer a GUI installer.
Only if they read to the last two sentences refer to “the GUI installer”. It does seem that a little refinement in the article’s wording might help avoid confusion, while still promoting the benefits of the zip installer. Also, perhaps you may want to slip in the phrase “Express”, as this lightweight zip installer has also been referred to in the docs and recent presentations as the “Express” installer.
Finally, note that a couple of the links in the doc mistakenly go to a URL whose domain starts with https://chl-author.corp.adobe.com rather than helpx.adobe.com. Hope one of you can attend to that–and perhaps get someone to make sure this is not a problem in others of the many useful recent articles you guys have been sharing. And thanks for all of them! 🙂
We have both the installers available. You can visit http://www.adobe.com and download the ZIP installer along with EXE. Not all admins are familiar with zip installer and how to use it. Let me know in case of any issue downloading it.
“dropping the GUI server installer altogether.” – not true.
You still have the option of the GUI installer for CF2021. The version I downloaded has this filename:
ColdFusion_2021_GUI_WWEJ_win64.exe (1.2Gb installer – which is massive!)
I do like the zip installer however.
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