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How do I install DS (All versions) so that the instance files are separate to the install files?

Last updated Jun 15, 2021

The purpose of this article is to provide information on installing DS so that the instance files (user data) are separate to the install files (binaries). This setup allows you to separate all your backend database files and configuration in a separate file system to your binaries.

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You can install your backend database files and configuration (instance files) in a separate file system to your binaries if required.


Any support patches received from ForgeRock will need to be installed in the classes directory where the instance files are stored rather than the /path/to/ds/classes/ directory if you have this setup.

Instance.loc file

The instance.loc file was deprecated in DS 5 and removed in DS 5.5.

In DS 5, the instance.loc file, which is located at the top level of your unzipped DS binary directory, indicates where the instance files are stored. The instance.loc file is used by all DS tools to locate the server data and configuration. The instance.loc file is created during setup if the --instancePath option is used. It must not exist prior to running the setup command, else setup will error.

Installing DS so that the instance files are separate to the install files

To install DS so that the binaries are in /opt/ds and the instance files are in /var/ds, you should do the following:

  1. Download the latest DS zip file from BackStage.
  2. Navigate to the /opt directory (where you want to install DS) and unzip the DS zip file (for example, This creates /opt/ds/...
  3. Run the setup command per Setup Hints. You must include the --instancePath option, which should point to the directory where you want the instance files located. For example:
    • DS 7 and later: $ ./setup --instancePath /var/ds --ldapPort 1389 --adminConnectorPort 4444 --rootUserDN uid=admin --rootUserPassword password --hostname --acceptLicense
    • Pre-DS 7: $ ./setup --instancePath /var/ds --ldapPort 1389 --adminConnectorPort 4444 --rootUserDN "cn=Directory Manager" --rootUserPassword password --hostname --acceptLicense

The setup tool creates the /var/ds directory if it does not already exist and populates this directory with all the data and configuration files needed by the server.

See Also

How do I relocate the backend database files in DS (All versions) on to a separate file system?

FAQ: Installing and configuring DS

Installation Guide

File Layout

Related Training


Related Issue Tracker IDs

OPENDJ-3121 (Setup fails to create the lib/extensions directory in the instance.loc path, if a instance.loc file is used.)

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