Automated setup for Bitbucket

This page describes how the Bitbucket Data Center and Server Setup Wizard can be completed automatically, that is without the need for manual interaction in the browser. See Getting started for an outline of the tasks that the Setup Wizard assists with when setting up Bitbucket manually.

You might want to configure this when automating the provisioning of Bitbucket Data Center, for example. Of course, you'll need to configure provisioning tools such as Puppet or Vagrant yourself.

Note that you can also automate the 'install and launch' phase of provisioning Bitbucket – see Running the Bitbucket Server installer for information about how to run the installer in the console and unattended modes.

1. Get a license for Bitbucket

You can get a new Bitbucket license by:

If you already have a licensed instance of Bitbucket, you can find the license in the Bitbucket admin area.

2. Set the configuration properties

After installing Bitbucket, but before you start Bitbucket for the first time, edit the file to add the properties in the table below. Use the standard format for Java properties files.

Note that the  file is created automatically in the  shared  folder of your  Bitbucket home directory when you perform a database migration. Create the file yourself if it does not yet exist. See Configuration properties for information about the properties file.

Add these properties to the file:


The display name for the Bitbucket application.

The base URL.

The Bitbucket license.

Use the \ character at the end of each line if you wish to break the license string over multiple lines.

setup.sysadmin.username=usernameCredentials for the system admin account.
setup.sysadmin.displayName=John Doe

The display name for the system admin account.

An empty property is ignored.

setup.sysadmin.emailAddress=sysadmin@yourcompany.comThe email address for the system admin account.

JDBC connection parameters.

Use the appropriate values for your own JDBC connection.

For Postgres, If no parameter is manually specified in the jdbc.url, Bitbucket Server will automatically append ?targetServerType=master in the JDBC URL. 



(Smart Mirroring only) On the mirror, specifies the base URL of the primary Bitbucket Data Center instance that the new mirror will be mirroring from. See Set up a mirror for more information.

You should specify the JDBC properties so that Bitbucket can connect to the external database.

If any of the following required properties are not provided in the properties file, when you start Bitbucket the Setup Wizard will launch at the appropriate screen so that you can enter values for those properties.

3. Start Bitbucket

Start Bitbucket as usual. See Start and stop Bitbucket.

Bitbucket reads the file and applies the setup properties automatically.

When you now visit Bitbucket in the browser, you see the welcome page.


The Setup Wizard launches in the browser

The Setup Wizard will run if there are missing configuration properties, such as the license string, in the file. Check the properties file and compare it with the table in Step 2 above. Alternatively, the setup can be completed using the web UI.

Write access for the file

Once the automated setup process completes, the relevant properties in the file are commented out. This requires that the system user has write permission on the properties file. 

Bitbucket fails to start with a 'Could not acquire change log lock.' error

If Bitbucket is forced to quit while modifying the file, you may not be able to restart Bitbucket, and  atlassian-bitbucket.log contains the above error.

See this KB article for information about how to resolve this: Bitbucket Server Does Not Start - Could not acquire change log lock

Last modified on Oct 27, 2022

Was this helpful?

Provide feedback about this article
Powered by Confluence and Scroll Viewport.