Installing Jira applications on Windows from Zip File

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In this guide we'll run you through installing a Jira application in a production environment, with an external database, manually using a zip file.

This method gives you the most control of the installation process.

Other ways to install Jira: 

  • Evaluation - get your free trial up and running in no time.
  • Installer – install Jira using the Windows installer. 
  • Linux – install Jira on a Linux operating system.

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Before you begin

Before you install Jira, there's a few questions you need to answer. 

Are you using a supported operating system and Java version?
Tell me more about this...

Check the Supported platforms page for the version of Jira you are installing. This will give you info on supported operating systems, databases and browsers.

Good to know:

  • We don't support installing Jira on OSX.
  • You can use either the JDK (Java Development Kit) or JRE (Java Runtime Environment).
  • We only support the version of Apache Tomcat that is bundled with Jira.
Are you using a 32-bit operating system?
Tell me more about this...

If you’re installing Jira on a 32-bit system, you need to decrease the maximum heap size available to Jira. The default for 64-bit systems is 2GB, which is too much for a 32-bit system, and may not fit into the available memory.

Complete these steps after extracting files from the archive, but before starting Jira.

Step 1: Rename the default setenv file.

  1. Go to <Jira-install-directory>/bin, and delete the setenv.bat / .sh file (or change its name).

  2. Rename setenv32.bat / .sh to setenv.bat / .sh. Jira will use this file on startup.

Step 2: Add the properties to the file.

  1. Go to Jira’s home directory, and edit the file. If the file isn’t there, you can create it.

  2. Add the following properties:


Do you want to run Jira as a Windows Service?

Tell me more about this...

Running Jira as a service in Windows means that your Jira application will automatically start up when Windows is started.

You should use the Windows installer if you want to run Jira as a Service.

If you choose not to run Jira as a service:

  • You will start and stop Jira by running the start-jira.bat file in your Jira installation directory.
  • Jira will be run as the Windows user account that was used to install Jira, or you can choose to run as a dedicated user (this user must have full read and write access to the installation directory and home directory).
  • Jira will need to be restarted manually if your server is restarted.
What database do you plan to use? 
Tell me more about this...

To run Jira in production you'll need an external database. Check the Supported platforms page for the version you're installing for the list of databases we currently support. If you don't already have a database, PostgreSQL is free, easy to set up and has been extensively tested with Jira.

Good to know:

  • Set up your database before you begin. Step-by-step guides for all supported databases are available in Connecting Jira applications to a database.
  • Use UTF-8 character encoding.
  • If you're using Oracle or MySQL you'll need to download the driver for your database.
  • The embedded H2 database can be used for evaluating Jira, but you'll need to migrate to another database before running in production. You may find it easier to use external database from the start.

Do you have a Jira license?

Tell me more about this...

You'll need a valid Jira Software, Jira Core, or Jira Service Management license to use Jira.

Good to know:

  • If you have not yet purchased a Jira application license you'll be able to create an evaluation license during setup.
  • If you already have a license key, you'll be prompted to log in to to retrieve it, or you can enter the key manually during setup.
  • If you're migrating from Jira Cloud, you'll need a new license forJira.

Is your JAVA_HOME variable set correctly?
Tell me more about this...

Before you install Jira, check that you're running a supported Java version and that the JAVA_HOME environment variable is set correctly.

Jira applications can run with OpenJDK, Oracle JDK or JRE.

To check the JAVA_HOME variable:

Open a command prompt and type echo %JAVA_HOME% and hit Enter. 

  • If you see a path to your Java installation directory, the JAVA_Home environment variable has been set correctly.
  • If nothing is displayed, or only %JAVA_HOME% is returned, you'll need to set the JAVA_HOME environment variable manually.

Install a Jira application

1. Download Jira

Download the zip file for your operating system:

2. Create the installation directory

  1. Create your installation directory (with full control permission) – this is where Jira will be installed. Avoid using spaces or special characters in the path. We'll refer to this directory as your <installation-directory>

  2. Extract the Jira zip file to your <installation-directory>. We recommend using 7zip or Winzip.

3. Create the home directory

  1. Create your home directory (with full control permission) – this is where Jira data like logs, search indexes and files will be stored. This should be seperate to your installation directory. We'll refer to this directory as your <home-directory>
  2. Tell Jira where to find your <home-directory> when it starts up.  There are two ways to do this:

    (Preferred) Set an environment variable...

    You can set an environment variable named JIRA_HOME in your operating system with the absolute path to your <home-directory>.

    Open Command Prompt and execute the following:

    set JIRA_HOME=X:\path\to\jira-home

    where x is the drive where you created your <home-directory>.

    You can then specify the command above in a script used to start Jira.

    Edit the file...

    Edit <installation-directory>\atlassian-jira\WEB-INF\classes\ file in any text editor.

    After jira.home add the absolute path to your home directory. You will need to escape the backslashes, for example:


    If you define an UNC path you will need to double escape the leading backslash, for example:


4. Check the ports

By default Jira listens on port 8080. If you have another application running on your server that uses the same ports, you'll need to tell Jira to use a different port. 

Show me how to do this...

To change the ports:

  1. Edit <installation-directory>\conf\server.xml

  2. Change the Server port (8005) and the Connector port (8080) to free ports on your server.

    In the example below we've changed the Server port to 5005 and the Connector port to 5050.

    <Server port="5005" shutdown="SHUTDOWN">
       <Service name="Catalina">
          <Connector port="5050"

5. Start Jira

  1. Run <installation-directory>/bin/start-jira.bat to start the install process.  
    A command prompt will open. Closing this window will stop Jira.
  2. Go to  http://localhost:8080/ to launch Jira in your browser (change the port if you've updated the Connector port).
Trouble starting JIRA?
  • If the command prompt window closes immediately, your JAVA_HOME variable may not be set correctly.

Set up your Jira application

6. Choose set up method

Choose I'll set it up myself.

7. Connect to your database

  1. If you've not already done so, it's time to create your database. See the 'Before you begin' section of this page for details. 
  2. Choose My own database
  3. Choose your database type then enter the details for your database. 

    Show me how to do this...

    JIRA connects to your database using a standard JDBC database connection. Connection pooling is handled within JIRA, you can change this using JIRA configuration tool later.

    If you're using Oracle or MySQL there's an extra step: 

    • Download and extract the appropriate database JDBC drivers. See Supported platforms to get the right version.
    • Drop the JAR file into your <jira-installation>/lib folder before continuing with the setup wizard.

    In the setup wizard:

    • Driver Class Name – the Java class name for your database driver. If you're not sure, check the documentation for your database.
    • Database URL – the JDBC URL for your database. If you're not sure, check the documentation for your database.
    • Username and Password – A valid username and password that JIRA can use to access your database.

8. Set application properties

  1. Give your Jira site a name.
  2. Choose whether your site should be private or anyone can sign up. You can change this later. 
  3. Enter your base URL - this is the address people will use to access your Jira site. 

9. Enter your license

Follow the prompts to log in to to retrieve your license, or enter a license key.

10. Create your administrator account

Enter details for the administrator account.  You can add more administrators after set up is complete.

11. Set up email notifications

Enter details of your mail server.  This will allow Jira to send notifications when issues change.

12. Start using Jira

That's it! Your Jira site is accessible from your base URL or a URL like this: http://<computer_name_or_IP_address>:<port>

Here's a few things that will help you get your team up and running:


Running into problems installing Jira?
  • If your web browser window shows an error the first time you try to access Jira, wait for 30 seconds or so and then refresh the page.
  • If the command prompt window closes immediately, your JAVA_HOME variable may not be set correctly.

 Head to Installation Troubleshooting in our Knowledge Base for more help.  

Last modified on Oct 6, 2021

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