Running a Jira server on Mac OSX

I’m currently using Jira at Mutual Mobile where I work, and I’m looking at using it with my hobby projects. It appears that this can be done very inexpensively if I host it myself on my Mac. I’d probably want to do that anyways, if not just from a learning perspective, but because of the cost ($70 one time cost for almost all the Atlassian apps):

  • Jira 10 users ($10 one time)
  • GreenHopper ($10)
  • Bonfire ($10)
  • Confluence ($10)
  • FishEye ($10)
  • Bamboo ($10)
  • Crucible ($10)
  • Jira Mobile Connect (free)
  • gliffy (free, $10 donation to requested)

I am choosing not to go with HipChat because I’m using Google+, nor Team Calendars because I’m using Google calendars for my simple needs.

Installing Jira on OSX

Installation on OS X is possible, although not officially supported by Atlassian.

  1. Identify $JAVA_HOME on your system. On my Mountain Lion system typing /usr/libexec/java_home results in /System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/1.6.0.jdk/Contents/Home
  2. Ensure the $JAVA_HOME environment variable is set. Type “echo $JAVA_HOME”. It should display the path. If not, set it to do so. A good option  for Mountain Lion is to add it to the /etc/launchd.conf  by adding “setenv JAVA_HOME <path>”. If you’re not familiar with editing in the terminal, try “sudo nano /etc/launchd.conf”. Reboot, and verify that “$JAVA_HOME/bin/java -version” works.
  3. Purchase and download a copy of Standalone Jira, and extract the files. Put the files in a location of your choice. I chose my user folder /Users/ronlisle.
  4. Set JIRA_HOME
    In terminal, from the Jira home directory, run ./bin/
    When prompted, enter a JIRA_HOME directory path.
    I chose to create a jiraHome directory in my Google Drive directory.
  5. Create a dedicated user to run Jira
    Open system preferences, select Users & Groups, click on + to create a “Jira” standard user.
  6. Start Jira
    In terminal from the Jira installation directory, ./bin/
  7. Run the setup wizard
    Open a browser to “http://localhost:8080”

By default, the installation will use the built-in HSQL database. This is suitable for evaluation only. If you have a MySQL database available, then I recommend that you switch to it:

  1. Create an MySQL database user (eg. jiradbuser)
  2. Create an MySQL database (eg. jiradb)
  3. If needed, copy the MySQL JDBC driver.
    It wasn’t needed during my installation.
  4. Configure Jira to use the MySQL db (./bin/

I tried using MySQL running on my host server, but switched to using MySQL running on my Mac because it is faster and it enables me to work completely offline. Whichever your choose, be sure to keep backups.

Installing Confluence on OSX

  1. Create a “confluence” directory in your User home directory.
  2. Download and extract the Confluence zip file to that confluence directory.
    At the time I did this, the current version is 4.3.2 so I named this ~/confluence/confluence-4.3.2
  3. Edit the ~/confluence/confluence-4.3.2/bin/ to add the line (at the top):
    export JAVA_HOME=/System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/1.6.0.jdk/Contents/Home
  4. Create a “data” directory in the confluence directory (~/confluence/data).
  5. Edit the …/confluence/confluence-4.3.2/confluence/WEB-INF/classes/ file and replace the last line to indicate your install directory as follows:
  6. Change the port assignment for confluence so that it doesn’t conflict with Jira.
    Edit the conf/server.xml file to set Server port=8015 and Connector port=8090
  7. Create a local MySQL database and user:
    Create database confluence;
    grant all privileges on confluence.* to ‘confluenceuser’@’localhost’ identified by ‘confluencepass’;
  8. Start confluence by running bin/
  9. Open confluence by browsing to http://localhost:8090

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