How I installed ColdFusion 8 on Mac OS X

Posted on August 7, 2007 | 25 comments

The setup steps below are taken from a rough article I put together covering Cairngorm, Flex 3, and ColdFusion 8. The setup used ColdFusion 8 through Apache (XAMPP) all on Mac OS X.



  1. Download latest XAMPP for OS X
  2. Follow instructions on XAMPP’s site: Installation, Start, Test
    ColdFusion 8

  1. You need Admin rights to install ColdFusion 8 on Mac OS X.
  2. Download the Developer Edition of the ColdFusion 8 from
  3. Unzip the downloaded Mac OS X version of the ColdFusion 8
  4. Open a Terminal. Type “sudo open ” in the terminal. Then navigate to the “ColdFusion 8” that you unzipped. Drag it over to the Terminal app, it will paste the path for you (should look something like “sudo open /Users/renaun/Desktop/downloads/ColdFusion\ 8\”. Click enter.
  5. Now we are in the ColdFusion Wizard, here are what I selected as the installation options
    1. Clicked Ok
    2. Clicked Next
    3. Clicked “I accept….” and then Next
    4. Checked the Developer Edition and then clicked Next
    5. Select the “Server Configuration” option , then click Next
    6. I had no other installs, so left it checked No, and clicked Next
    7. I did not want the documentation, startup scripts, or Adobe LiveCycle Data Services ES. I unchecked all 3 and then clicked Next
    8. I left the default install directory “/Applications/ColdFusion8″, and clicked Next
    9. I did not need to update from earlier versions of ColdFusion, so I left it No and clicked Next
    10. I left “Configure web server connected for ColdFusion” selected and clicked on the Add button. Use the values below to fill out the form, then click OK
    11. Web Server: Apache
    12. Config. Dir: /Applications/xampp/etc
    13. Dir and file name of server binary: /Applications/xampp/xamppfiles/bin/httpd
    14. Dir and file name of server control script: /Applications/xampp/xamppfiles/bin/apachectl
    15. Click Next
    16. I put my CFIDE in the default Mac web sites folder, which I changed the “DocumentRoot” value in the /Applications/xampp/etc/httpd.conf file of xampp also. So select your default web server DocumentRoot. Either:
      Click Next
    17. Enter a password for the CFIDE administration login and click Next
    18. Enabled RDS and give a password if you want. I did not, click Next
    19. Provide your Mac OS X user’s password and click Next
    20. Click Install and wait for it to install
    21. Click Ok, and it will open the CFIDE administration login wizard
    22. Log in with your password setup eariler in the wizard
  6. To Start/Stop ColdFusion manual open a Terminal app and type in Either:
    sudo /Applications/ColdFuions8/bin/coldfusion start
    - or -
    sudo /Applications/ColdFusion8/bin/coldfusion stop
  7. NOTE: sudo /Applications/ColdFusion8/runtime/bin/jrun -start coldfusion
    sudo /Applications/ColdFusion8/runtime/bin/jrun -stop coldfusion

  • skippy dickerson

    Thanks for the post…can you point me to a tutorial on installing apache on mac os10.

    I come from the PC side and apache on a mac has me more frustrated than a fat girl in a victoria secrets.

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  • Renaun Erickson

    The steps for installing Apache through XAMPP is very easy and found on their site.

  • dave

    thanks for the guidlines for installing coldfusion over xammp, coldfusion pages are now rendering but had a little problem that all my php have stopped rendering. Can’t figure out whats been changed i guess its the http.conf file… any ideas what to do


  • Renaun Erickson

    What is the value of your DocumentRoot in the http.conf?
    I assume you haven’t touched the http.conf? Where did you place the CFIDE folder?

  • Doron Katz

    I got an error when i loaded the wizard after installation stating : You don’t have permission to access /CFIDE/administrator/index.cfm on this server.

    Is there something else im supposed to set as well?

  • Renaun Erickson

    This sounds like an Apache permissions error. Make sure your DocumentRoot directive is set to your path to CFIDE. By default XAMPP will define the DocumentRoot to something like “/Applications/xampp/htdocs/”. And then check the actually permissions on the files to make sure the user running Apache has perssions to access the files (less likely the issue).

  • Doron Katz

    Hi Renaun. I checked the httpd, and I did set it up to my location “/Library/WebServer/Documents”. Still get the 403 forbidden. Checked the xampp conrol panel –> Starting XAMPP for MacOS X 0.6.3…
    XAMPP: XAMPP-Apache is already running.
    XAMPP: Starting MySQL…
    XAMPP: XAMPP-ProFTPD is already running.
    XAMPP for MacOS X started.

    I also checked the folder permissions for Documents, it has System, I changed to appserver, still get the forbidden error. I think im running apache 1.3.x, not sure if that’s an issue.

  • Ken DeBlieu

    Hi Renaun,
    I was able to load CF 8 using your instructions but had to us apache 2.052 since I have a Powerbook g4 ppc. I cannot get a connection with the apache server. I did not touch the config files. Can you give me some help?

  • Renaun Erickson

    @Doron If you are running 1.3.x you might have Mac’s apache version running. Check this by going to System Preferences -> Sharing -> Services. Under the “Select a service to change its settings” list box make sure “Personal Web Sharing” is turned off.

    @Ken also confirm that you are not running the default Mac apache. Expound on “cannot get a connection”. Is apache running? can you server a basic html page?

  • Ken DeBlieu

    I’m not running the default apache. The running question is something that may be the problem. I start apache from the system preferences window. I confirms it is running, but when I open a page on localhost/~deblieu, I get a server not found error.
    I have uninstalled and re-installed apache several days ago.
    Thanks for the response.

  • Lacey

    I did exactly what you said, but why do I keep getting a 404 error?

    XAMMP installed correctly…

    When I clicked on “Launch CF Admin…” I got a 404 error, The requested URL /CFIDE/administrator/index.cfm was not found on this server.

    Why is this happening? I appreciate your help, thank you!

  • Kent


    First, thanks for posting this method. I really like the idea of using XAMPP with ColdFusion.

    Regrettably, it doesn’t seem to work with Leopard. I feel as if I’ve tried every imaginable JRUN configuration (i.e., with/without LifeCycle, Docs, RDS), as well as the same set of variables with CF MX7, plus CF8 and the version of Apache that comes with Leopard. In all cases, I have yet to see the CF administrator screen. The most common error message is:

    You successfully completed the first step in installing
    Adobe ColdFusion 8.

    However, the Adobe ColdFusion 8 service does not appear
    to be running, the web server connectors did not install
    successfully, and the web server and/or website could not
    be reached on port 80. Possible reasons include the Adobe
    ColdFusion 8 service failed to start, the 2902 or 51020
    ports are blocked, or the web server and/or website is not
    running or is not configured to listen on port 80 (in which
    case this is not an error).

    Do the following to complete the installation:

    1) Consult the Installation Guide about how to manually
    configure the web server connector
    2) Ensure that any firewall software blocking ports 2902 or
    51020 is disabled
    3) Ensure that the Adobe ColdFusion8 service is started
    4) Manually configure your web server connectors
    5) Ensure that your web server and websites are started
    6) Continue your installation by logging in to the Configuration
    Wizard at http://localhost:80/CFIDE/administrator/index.cfm

    After one of the CF8 installs, I was able to confirm that XAMPP and CF were running but when I pointed the browser at the CF Admin index.cfm page, the browser would attempt to “download” the file (both FireFox and Safari did this).

    On another occasion (CF8 – JRUN, Leopard, XAMPP), I got the same 404 message reported above.

    Any ideas?

  • Tony

    I’m in the same boat as Kent. I’ve also got Leopard on an Intel mac mini. I installed XAMPP fine, I’m also able to access its control panel using http://localhost:80. When I try http://localhost:80/CFIDE/administrator/index.cfm my browser downloads the file as index.cfm.class into my downloads directory. So I can’t access the CF admin.

    Why are .cfm files not recognized after CF has been installed?


  • Renaun Erickson

    if the cfm’s are not being recognized, the the Apache’s httpd.conf was not setup properly. Do you have the AddType .cfm code, and if so, then it might be the module. What version of Apache is on the XAMPP version you installed?

    The mod_jrun module has to be compiled for the right Apache version and I can’t remember what ColdFusion supports. I believe there was a bug with the module and Apache 2.2, but there was a technote or update about it i believe.

  • Anita Austin

    I have been using CF8 on my MacBook Pro for several months.

    Last night I installed the “Security Update 2008-001 (Universal)” (1.0). I can’t get .cfm files to run.

    The ColdfusionLauncher, says it has started, but I can’t bring up anything at

    Has anyone else had this problem?

  • Paul

    Worked perfectly on a fresh OSX 10.5.2 install. Much much easier then any other guide I have seen.

  • Mike Benner

    Does anyone have a solution for the downloading. I am new to Apache and am not sure how to set the config file properly.

  • Phil

    @Kent & @ Tony – Uninstall your CF 8. Go back to Adobe and download the installer again. It’s now CF 8.0.1. I tried to install 8 as you did and had the same issue. After uninstalling it, restarting that issue doesn’t happen.

    Due to previous bad installs, I tried to install this with XAMPP. It goes pretty smooth. My only issues is the “Forbidden” error when i try to get to the CFadmin as @Doron has. So if sombody figured that out, let me know.

  • Susan

    when i try to browse to cf8 admin login it prompts me to download the cfm file, i tried adding index.cfm to httpd.config but no change

  • Renaun Erickson

    You haven’t configured the httpd.conf to properly work with the coldfusion adapter.

  • http://noneyet Blake Southwood

    I just bought CF8 and DWCS3 and installed MySQL5.
    No luck getting CF8 to work. Either it’s a path error
    or for some unknown reason I can’t get localhost or
    even to work. I’ve called Adobe and no answer.
    I’ve emailed the world.
    I’m a former web developer and I’ve never encournterd this problem before. I have a macbook pro with 10.5.3 and I selected the built in web server after trying Apache first. I’ve followed the instructions in the white books and the Forta volumes and I still can’t get
    one line of CF code to work. And I can’t connect to a databas yet. I can’t get the CF Admininistrator to appear either.
    Very, very frustrating and dissappointing since this is
    clearly a design error.

  • Alex Sante

    I was able to get things working after messing around with httpd.config file a bit.

    Here’s what I did…

    1) I placed my cfide directory under /Applications/xampp/htdocs
    2) I changed my DocumentRoot setting to: “DocumentRoot “/Applications/xampp/htdocs”
    3) Modified and put index.cfm at the front:

    DirectoryIndex index.cfm index.html index.php index.htmls index.htm

    Some of this stuff may have been overkill but it worked. Feel free to email me if you need help alex[at]gearsource[dot]com

  • Tarun Das

    while running a CF file in Dreamwaver I am getting error mesage like “An attmept was to access an unnamed file that past its end” anyone have a solutio for the error mesage

  • chris hough

    I wanted to write you to say thank you for posting this, it really helped me reconfigure my install. one thing i discovered was xampp is 32bit so you have to use the 32 bit version of cf, and the jrun starts for 8 are:

    sudo /Applications/JRun4/bin/jrun -start cfusion
    sudo /Applications/JRun4/bin/jrun -stop cfusion

  • Lissa

    Thank you for the post. even it was posted 2 years ago, but it really make my life easier. ^_^