Setting your JIRA application home directory

The JIRA application home directory contains key data that help define how JIRA works. You must have a JIRA home directory specified for your JIRA instance before you can start it. This document describes how to specify the location of the JIRA home directory for your JIRA instance.

One JIRA home per JIRA instance

You can only have one JIRA home directory per JIRA installation. If you have multiple JIRA installations, you will need to set up a JIRA home directory for each installation. A lock is placed at the root level of a JIRA home directory when it is created to ensure that it can only used by one JIRA installation.

On this page:

You only need to specify the location of the root directory for your JIRA home. The sub-directories will be created automatically when JIRA is started or when you use a function in JIRA that requires a particular sub-directory.

How do I set my JIRA home?

There are a few methods available for specifying the location of your JIRA application home directory in JIRA. However, please be aware of the notes below before your specify this location.

Recommended Methods

The recommended methods for specifying the location of your JIRA home directory in JIRA are to:

  • Use the JIRA configuration tool to change the location of your JIRA home directory.
  • Edit the file and set the value of the ' jira.home' property to the desired location for your JIRA home directory (this location should be something different than the application directory, or you may run into problems later). If you are specifying this location's path on Windows, use double back-slashes ("\") between subdirectories. For example, X:\\path\\to\\JIRA\‌\Home.
    (info)If you define an UNC path in Microsoft Windows, be sure to double escape the leading backslash: \\\\machinename\\path\\to\\JIRA\\home
    (info) See the JIRA installation directory page to find where this file is located.
  • Set an environment variable named JIRA_HOME in your operating system whose value is the location of your JIRA home directory. To do this:
    • On Windows, do one of the following:
      • Configure this environment variable through the Windows user interface (typically through 'My Computer' or 'Computer')
      • At the command prompt, enter the following command (with your own JIRA Home path) before running JIRA from the command prompt:
        • set JIRA_HOME=X:\path\to\JIRA\Home
          (warning) Please set your JIRA_HOME  environment variable value using this format, where:
          • X is the drive letter where your JIRA Home Directory is located and
          • no spacing has been added around the equal sign ('=')
      • Specify the command above in a batch file used to start JIRA.
    • On Linux/Solaris, do one of the following:
      • Enter the following command at a shell/console prompt (with your own JIRA Home path) before running JIRA:
        • export JIRA_HOME=/path/to/jira/home
      • Specify the command above in a script used to start JIRA.

(warning) Please note: If you have specified different values for a 'jira.home' property in the file and a JIRA_HOME environment variable, the value of the JIRA_HOME environment variable takes precedence.

Alternative method

Alternatively, you can specify the location of your JIRA home directory as property within your application server:

  • Configure a new web context property called 'jira.home' for your application server. To do this, you need to define this web context property inside a <parameter/> element (as a child of the <context/> element) in your server.xml file.
    (info) The server.xml file is located within the conf subdirectory of your JIRA application installation directory.

    <Context ...>
      <Parameter name="jira.home" value="c:/jira/home"/>

(warning) Please note: A 'jira.home' web context property defined in your application server overrides the value of the 'jira.home' property defined in your file. However, a JIRA_HOME environment variable defining your JIRA home directory will override either of these 'jira.home' values.

What location should I specify for my JIRA home?

You can specify any location on a disk for your JIRA home directory. Please be sure to specify an absolute path.

Please note that you cannot use the same JIRA home directory for multiple instances of JIRA. We recommend locating your JIRA Home Directory completely independently of the JIRA installation directory (i.e. not nesting one within the other) as this will minimize information being lost during major operations (e.g. backing up and restoring instances).

How do I change my JIRA home?

  1. Set your JIRA home to the new location, using your preferred method as described in "How do I set my JIRA home?" (above).
  2. Restart JIRA.

What is stored in the JIRA home directory?

The following page describes the data stored in the JIRA home directory: JIRA application home directory.


  • If you are using the Windows installer, you do not need to configure the JIRA home directory separately, as you will be prompted to specify this location during the installation process.
  • The JIRA installer may not be able to create the home due to permission problems. If this is the case, please see JIRA is Unable to Start due to Could not create necessary subdirectory.

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