Confluence Developer Instance Quick Setup

March 26th, 2010 by

This short tutorial shows how to set-up a developer instance of the popular Confluence Wiki from Atlassian in a few minutes.

It’s a prerequisite for a few following tutorials regarding the Confluence API and plug-in development for this system.

We want a quick install so we are going to run Confluence with the embedded servlet container and HSQL database.


*update* Meanwhile it is way much easier to use Atlassian’s Plugin SDK using atlas-mvn run or atlas-mvn-run-standalone –product confluence –version x.x.x but if you need to setup an independant instance, this article still might be useful.


  • Java 5 – if you’re going to use Confluence 3.2 take Java 6
  • A text editor ;)


  1. Read the system requirements – if you don’t match them – sorry – QQ
  2. Go to
  3. Select your favourite operating system and download the stuff ..
  4. While downloading you may register an user account at – you will need a license to run Confluence (evaluation licenses exists – do not worry – but be sure to pick up the right license and read the license details)
  5. Unpack the downloaded archive to a desired directory
  6. Set up a home directory for Confluence .. e.g.:
    mkdir -p /opt/confluence-3.2-data
  7. Find the config file confluence/WEB-INF/classes/ and change confluence.home to the new directory:
  8. Confluence uses port 8080 – if this port is already in use – check out how to change the port Confluence is running on
  9. Start Confluence using the startup-Script in the installation-bin directory e.g.: sh
  10. Take a short rest then point your browser to http://localhost:8080 – you may also watch the logs (logs/catalina.out) – if you see something like “INFO: Server startup in 1960 ms” – Confluence is ready …
  11. Now you should see some forms asking for a license key – click on “generate an evaluation license online“, log in with your Atlassian account
  12. Generate the evaluation license key and enter it into your Confluence installation and click on “Standard installation
  13. In the next step you may enter the data for the administrator user of your Confluence installation
  14. Finished – now you may play around in the demonstration space, check out the features in the sexy macro browser or take a look at the well-documented Confluence API and develop a plug-in – I am going to recur to the last subject in another article soon! I promise ! :)

If you encountered problems during the installation process – head over to the excellent documentation from Atlassian!


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