New Windows Installer

Update: As of GeoServer 2.0.1, the legacy installer has been merged into the new installer. This means that during installation, you now have a choice on whether to install GeoServer as a Windows service or to run it manually.

GeoServer has provided a Windows installer for the past 4 years (since at least version 1.2.4, if not before). It has always been simple and functional, providing a modest wrapper for the Jetty container found in the binary distribution.

However, there are a number of ways in which GeoServer works in this environment that could be more in the spirit of Windows. So, with the release of GeoServer 1.7.5, we have redesigned the way GeoServer integrates with Windows, in the form of a new installer.

This new installer offers a host of new user-friendly features. First of all, GeoServer now shows up as a Windows service, in line with other server software such as Apache HTTP Server or PostgreSQL . This alleviates the need to have a command line window persist on the desktop when running GeoServer. Integration with Windows Services allows administrators the ability to automate the management of GeoServer, although starting and stopping GeoServer is also still possible from the Start Menu as before.

GeoServer now appears on the Add/Remove Programs list. It was always possible to uninstall via the Start Menu, but the uninstall option is now in a place where more users will expect it to be.

The installer itself has been redesigned as well. It now allows you to link to an existing data directory (if you have previously created one). Also, it allows (and encourages) you to change the username and password for the web administration interface, a feature unique to this installer. (In all other cases, it is necessary to edit the file.)

There are other some other user-friendly features added, such as the requirement (and check) for administrator rights to run the installer, to prevent errors during the install process.

Since this installer is very new and has not been tested on all platforms, we have included a link to the legacy installer that functions just like previous versions. But we encourage everyone to try out the new installer (and provide feedback on what works and what doesn’t) so that we can make the experience better. All in all, we feel that this is a marked improvement in the GeoServer Windows experience. Enjoy.


  1. Posted June 15, 2009 at 3:05 am | Permalink

    Dear all,
    it’s a great news. I will try it this week, and I will inform you if I have some problem.

    Best regards

  2. Posted June 15, 2009 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    today it’s impossible to download it from sourceforge.

    It would be fantastic to have bittorrent download option.

    Once again thank you,


  3. Posted June 15, 2009 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Hi all,
    finally I was able to download and install the new windows installer. I’m able to start the service, but I have this error:

    HTTP ERROR: 503

    I have opened the log file, and I have this error:
    “Unable to load the Wrapper’s native library ‘wrapper.dll'”

    I have a 64-bit windows system. Is it possible to use this installer with it?

    Thank you,


  4. Mike T
    Posted June 18, 2009 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    This installer is pretty awesome. I’m a big fan that it is a Windows service with no persistent CMD.exe console.

    My only issue was that when I ran “Start service” is that it didn’t start, and the console disappeared without any notification (i.e., no message saying “Service started successfully, press any key to continue”, or an error messge). Not knowing if the service started or not, I browsed the services via services.msc, which confirmed the service didn’t start. Trying to start it manually showed an limited error message that the service failed to start. Checking the geoserver log file, I realized that JAVA_HOME was incorrect, even though I correctly specified it in the installer. So, I fixed it by editing my system variables for the correct JAVA_HOME. All good now.

  5. Mike Pumphrey
    Posted June 19, 2009 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Currently, this installer works on 32-bit systems only. Sorry, I neglected to mention this.

  6. Sebastian Roberts
    Posted June 19, 2009 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Upgraded to Geoserver 1.7.5, and now I can’t get it to start. I get the error Unable to execute Java command. The system cannot find the file specified. I used the windows installer, and didn’t have a JAVA_HOME environment variable set. I created one and pointed to -> C:Program FilesJavajdk1.6.0_13 but I still get the same error.

  7. Stephen Mather
    Posted June 30, 2009 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Works a charm on Windows Server 2003 R2 standard, service pack 2. Now, if I could specify my port on the installer… . But, editing jetty.xml isn’t a big deal… . It’s probably healthier for me to know where all the config files are.

  8. Garima
    Posted July 1, 2009 at 4:21 am | Permalink

    I was using geoserver 1.7.4. It worked properly untill one day it stopped working showing http 503 error. I have checked variables, settings of browser, reinstalled 1.7.4, installed 1.7.5 n some older versions too, but none is working.

  9. steven
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    It is difficult to install the new in vista, and the service is up,but got HTTP 503 error.

  10. Mikael Kuldkepp
    Posted July 29, 2009 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Sebastian Roberts>In the wrapper.conf file replace JAVA_HOME with C:Program FilesJavajdk1.6.0_13 so thefifth row we be something like Files/Java/jdk1.6.0_13/bin/java

    Dont put any doubble quotes

  11. Sveinn Ríkarður Jóelsson
    Posted October 19, 2009 at 4:18 am | Permalink

    I have not been able to get the new installer or rather installation to work on vista or windows server 2008 using 1.7.5-1.7.7 (don’t think the wrappers are different). I can get it running but not working, localhost:8080 gives the usual 404 error and points me to known context on the server (javadoc and geoserver). The javadoc link (http://localhost:8080/javadoc/) gives me a not found error (404) but the geoserver link (http://localhost:8080/geoserver) gives me “Error 503, SERVICE_UNAVAILABLE”.

    If I use IP address instead of “localhost” I get a plank page after a long wait (http://[ip-address]:8080/geoserver/)

    Anyone reading this have any ideas explanations?

  12. Chris Watson
    Posted January 24, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Permalink


    Used the Windows Installer (geoserver-2.0.1-ng.exe) for a local install on WinXP. Found two new issue not noted above and confirmed another.

    1) Installer looking for JDK

    The JDK message in the installer (indicating that JDK is required, JRE insufficient) conflicts with this message:

    Note: As of version 2.0, a Java Runtime Environment (JRE) is
    sufficient to run GeoServer. GeoServer no longer requires a
    Java Development Kit (JDK).


    I successfully pushed through this by pointing the installer at my JRE folder (in my case, C:Program FilesJavajre6) and the installer allowed this.

    Here’s another location where I noticed this inconsistency:

    “In order to install and run this application …. Download and install a Java Development Kit”
    Ref: C:Program FilesGeoServer 2.0.1RUNNING.txt

    2) JAVA_HOME variable not set

    As mentioned in several comments above, JAVA_HOME variable was not set as an Win environment variable. I also confirmed service was not running using Mike T’s advice (services.msc).

    I then followed Mikael Kuldkepp’s advice and edited wrapper.conf and set Files/Java/jre6/bin/java (no quotes).


    3) Windows error

    I did find I needed some patience, apparently to wait all the hooks to engage, because after selecting Start|Programs|”GeoServer 2.0.1″|”GeoServer Web Admin Page”, I got an error message:

    “Windows cannot find ‘http://localhost:8080/geoserver/web/'” etc. etc. And, my browser and failed to connect.

    I looked once more at services.msc and the service was indeed running. So I tried again and got the same Windows error, but the browser gave me the “Welcome” page!

    So, something is buggy with Windows running the command (I tried it from the command prompt also). Opening the page directly in the browser works fine.

    Overall, this is a great tool

    Thanks for the dev work.

    ps – I see this thread “[geoserver-devel] New Windows installer for 2.0.1 please?” so … FYI I used the installer dated 2010-01-20 downloaded from SF 2010-01-23

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