Using the built-in web server

The ColdFusion server configuration is built on top of Tomcat, also called the built-in web server. The built-in web server is useful in the following cases:

The built-in web server lets you run a previous version of ColdFusion (using an external web server) and ColdFusion (using the built-in web server) on the same computer while you migrate your existing applications to ColdFusion.

If your workstation runs ColdFusion but does not run an external web server, you can still develop and test ColdFusion applications locally through the built-in web server.

All web servers listen on a TCP/IP port, which you can specify in the URL. By default, web servers listen for HTTP requests on port 80 (for example, and are the same). Similarly, port 443 is the default port for https requests.

By default in the server configuration, the built-in web server listens on port 8500. For example, to access the ColdFusion Administrator through the built-in web server, specify http://servername:8500/CFIDE/administrator/index.cfm.

Note: URLs are case sensitive on UNIX operating systems.

If you enable the built-in web server during the installation process and the port is already in use, the installer automatically finds the next-highest available port and configures the built-in web server to use that port. To determine the port number used by the built-in web server, open the cf_root/runtime/conf/server.xml file in a text editor and examine the port attribute of the connector. For example, <Connector port="8504" protocol="org.apache.coyote.http11.Http11Protocol>.

Keep in mind the following when using the built-in web server:

  • Whenever possible, configure your external web server as part of the ColdFusion installation, except for the two cases mentioned previously (coexistence with a previous ColdFusion version, and when the computer has no web server). If you select the built-in web server by mistake, run the Web Server Configuration Tool manually to configure your external web server after the installation. For information about the Web Server Configuration Tool, see Web server configuration.

  • The default web root when using the built-in web server is cf_root/cfusion/wwwroot (server configuration). By default, the ColdFusion Administrator (CFIDE directory) is under this web root.

  • If you want the built-in web server to serve pages from a different web root directory, define a virtual mapping in the cf_root/cfusion/runtime/conf/server.xml file. Search for the string, “To add virtual directory.” Uncomment the entry context path below. To add a virtual directory, add the aliases attribute as shown below:

    <Context path="/" docBase="<absolute_path_to_CF_install_directory>\wwwroot" WorkDir="<cf_home>\runtime\conf\Catalina\localhost\tmp" aliases="/path1=<absolute_path_to_directory1>,/path2=<absolute_path_to_directory2>"></Context>
Important: If you have CFML pages under your external web server’s root, ensure that ColdFusion is configured to serve these pages through the external web server. If you did not configure ColdFusion to use an external web server, your external web server serves ColdFusion Markup Language (CFML) source code for ColdFusion pages saved under its web root.