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For both a managed domain or a standalone server, a number of common configuration concepts apply:

Extensions

An extension is a module that extends the core capabilities of the server. The WildFly 8 core is very simple and lightweight; most of the capabilities people associate with an application server are provided via extensions. An extension is packaged as a module in the modules folder. The user indicates that they want a particular extension to be available by including an <extension/> element naming its module in the domain.xml or standalone.xml file.

Profiles and Subsystems

The most significant part of the configuration in domain.xml and standalone.xml is the configuration of one (in standalone.xml) or more (in domain.xml) "profiles". A profile is a named set of subsystem configurations. A subsystem is an added set of capabilities added to the core server by an extension (see "Extensions" above). A subsystem provides servlet handling capabilities; a subsystem provides an EJB container; a subsystem provides JTA, etc. A profile is a named list of subsystems, along with the details of each subsystem's configuration. A profile with a large number of subsystems results in a server with a large set of capabilities. A profile with a small, focused set of subsystems will have fewer capabilities but a smaller footprint.

The content of an individual profile configuration looks largely the same in domain.xml and standalone.xml. The only difference is standalone.xml is only allowed to have a single profile element (the profile the server will run), while domain.xml can have many profiles, each of which can be mapped to one or more groups of servers.

The contents of individual subsystem configurations look exactly the same between domain.xml and standalone.xml.

Paths

A logical name for a filesystem path. The domain.xml, host.xml and standalone.xml configurations all include a section where paths can be declared. Other sections of the configuration can then reference those paths by their logical name, rather than having to include the full details of the path (which may vary on different machines). For example, the logging subsystem configuration includes a reference to the "jboss.server.log.dir" path that points to the server's "log" directory.

WildFly 8 automatically provides a number of standard paths without any need for the user to configure them in a configuration file:

  • jboss.home - the root directory of the WildFly distribution
  • user.home - user's home directory
  • user.dir - user's current working directory
  • java.home - java installation directory
  • jboss.server.base.dir - root directory for an individual server instance
  • jboss.server.data.dir - directory the server will use for persistent data file storage
  • jboss.server.log.dir - directory the server will use for log file storage
  • jboss.server.tmp.dir - directory the server will use for temporary file storage
  • jboss.domain.servers.dir - directory under which a host controller will create the working area for individual server instances (managed domain mode only)

Users can add their own paths or override all except the first 5 of the above by adding a <path/> element to their configuration file.

 The attributes are:

  • name -- the name of the path.
  • path -- the actual filesystem path. Treated as an absolute path, unless the 'relative-to' attribute is specified, in which case the value is treated as relative to that path.
  • relative-to -- (optional) the name of another previously named path, or of one of the standard paths provided by the system.

A <path/> element in a domain.xml need not include anything more than the name attribute; i.e. it need not include any information indicating what the actual filesystem path is: 

Such a configuration simply says, "There is a path named 'x' that other parts of the domain.xml configuration can reference. The actual filesystem location pointed to by 'x' is host-specific and will be specified in each machine's host.xml file." If this approach is used, there must be a path element in each machine's host.xml that specifies what the actual filesystem path is:

A <path/> element in a standalone.xml must include the specification of the actual filesystem path.

Interfaces

A logical name for a network interface/IP address/host name to which sockets can be bound. The domain.xml, host.xml and standalone.xml configurations all include a section where interfaces can be declared. Other sections of the configuration can then reference those interfaces by their logical name, rather than having to include the full details of the interface (which may vary on different machines). An interface configuration includes the logical name of the interface as well as information specifying the criteria to use for resolving the actual physical address to use. See Interfaces and ports for further details.

An <interface/> element in a domain.xml need not include anything more than the name attribute; i.e. it need not include any information indicating what the actual IP address associated with the name is:

Such a configuration simply says, "There is an interface named 'internal' that other parts of the domain.xml configuration can reference. The actual IP address pointed to by 'internal' is host-specific and will be specified in each machine's host.xml file." If this approach is used, there must be an interface element in each machine's host.xml that specifies the criteria for determining the IP address:

An <interface/> element in a standalone.xml must include the criteria for determining the IP address.

Socket Bindings and Socket Binding Groups

A socket binding is a named configuration for a socket.

The domain.xml and standalone.xml configurations both include a section where named socket configurations can be declared. Other sections of the configuration can then reference those sockets by their logical name, rather than having to include the full details of the socket configuration (which may vary on different machines). See Interfaces and ports for full details.

System Properties

System property values can be set in a number of places in domain.xml, host.xml and standalone.xml. The values in standalone.xml are set as part of the server boot process. Values in domain.xml and host.xml are applied to servers when they are launched.

When a system property is configured in domain.xml or host.xml, the servers it ends up being applied to depends on where it is set. Setting a system property in a child element directly under the domain.xml root results in the property being set on all servers. Setting it in a <system-property/> element inside a <server-group/> element in domain.xml results in the property being set on all servers in the group. Setting it in a child element directly under the host.xml root results in the property being set on all servers controlled by that host's Host Controller. Finally, setting it in a <system-property/> element inside a <server/> element in host.xml result in the property being set on that server. The same property can be configured in multiple locations, with a value in a <server/> element taking precedence over a value specified directly under the host.xml root element, the value in a host.xml taking precedence over anything from domain.xml, and a value in a <server-group/> element taking precedence over a value specified directly under the domain.xml root element.

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