Confluence Setup Guide

Before running the Confluence Setup Wizard, as described below, you should have already completed installing Confluence.

When you access Confluence in your web browser for the first time, you will see the Confluence Setup Wizard. This is a series of screens which will prompt you to supply some default values for your Confluence site. It will also offer some more advanced options for setting up data connections and restoring data from a previous installation.

1. Start the Setup Wizard

  1. If Confluence is not already running, start it now:
    • If you are running the Confluence distribution on Windows, click Start > Programs > Confluence > Start Confluence Server.
    • Or, run the start-up script found in the bin folder of your installation directory:
      • start-confluence.bat for Windows.
      • for Linux-based systems.
  2. Go to the following web address in your web browser: http://localhost:8090
    The above web address uses port '8090'. If you chose a different port during installation, change '8090' to the number you chose. If an error message appears, check that you are using the port which you specified during installation.

On this page:

2. Choose your Installation Type

In this step, you will choose whether you want a trial or a production installation.

Option 1: Trial Installation - Set up Confluence with the embedded HSQLDB database and default settings. This option will also generate an evaluation license and install a Demonstration space with some example content. You can upgrade to another type of database later on.

Choose this option if:

  • You want to evaluate Confluence or if you are new to Confluence.
  • You do not have a Confluence licence. 
 For production use, we strongly recommend that you connect to an external database rather than using the embedded database. The evaluation installation is therefore not suitable for production environments.

Option 2: Production Installation - Customise your Confluence instance to use your own database and your own data.

The production installation offers the following options:

  • Connect Confluence to an external database. Recommended for Confluence used in production environments.
  • Restore data from an existing Confluence database.
  • Install Confluence without the demonstration content.

3. Enter your License Key

Trial installation: Follow the prompts in the setup wizard to generate an evaluation license.  Once your license has been generated go to step 8 below

Production installation: Find your Confluence license key and paste it into the License Key field, shown on the screenshot above.

If you already have a license key, you can retrieve it from the Atlassian website.

If you do not already have a Confluence license, you can obtain one now:

  • To get a free evaluation license:
    1. Click generate an evaluation license online on the setup wizard, shown on the screenshot above.
    2. Follow the prompts to generate your license key and insert it into the setup wizard's licensing screen automatically.
  • To get a commercial, academic, non-profit or open source license:
    1. Copy your Server ID from the setup wizard's licensing screen, shown on the screenshot above.
    2. Choose the license type you need from the list on the Atlassian website.
    3. Complete the online order form.

4. Production Installation: Database Configuration

Screenshot above: Database configuration

The above screen appears if you have chosen a production installation of Confluence. You can choose to use the embedded database supplied with your Confluence installation, or to connect to an external database.

  • Option 1: Embedded Database — If you select this option, Confluence will use an embedded HSQLDB database. You should only select this option for the purposes of evaluating or demonstrating the use of Confluence. You can migrate to an external database later on if you wish.
  • Option 2: External Database — If you wish Confluence to use an external database, select your database type from the dropdown list and then click the 'External Database' button.
    • For production purposes, you should use an external database to ensure your data is kept safe and consistent.
    • If you choose PostgreSQL, please make sure that the version you install is supported by Atlassian. It is possible that we do not yet support the latest version of PostgreSQL.
    • Read the page about supported platforms for more information about which databases are supported. For details about choosing an external database, refer to the page on system requirements. For information about configuring an external database, see Database Configuration.

5. Production Installation: External Database

Before you Start

  • Character encoding:
    • We strongly recommend that character encoding is consistent across your database, application server and web application, and that you use UTF-8 encoding.
    • Before setting up your database, please read about configuring character encoding.
  • Database name: When creating a new external database, give it the name 'confluence'.

You can choose how you wish Confluence to connect to your database - via a direct JDBC connection or via a server-managed datasource connection. Choose one of the two options below.

Option 1: Direct JDBC — This uses a standard JDBC database connection. Connection pooling is handled within Confluence.

Screenshot above: Standard (JDBC) connection

Supply the following information:

  • Driver Class Name – The Java class name for the appropriate database driver. This will depend on the JDBC driver, and will be found in the documentation for your database. Note that Confluence bundles some database drivers, but you'll need to install the driver yourself if it is not bundled. See Database JDBC Drivers for details.
  • Database URL – The JDBC URL for the database you will be connecting to. This will depend on the JDBC driver, and will be found in the documentation for your database.
  • User Name – A valid username which Confluence will use to access your database.
  • Password – The password corresponding to the above username.

You will also need to know:

  • The size of the connection pool Confluence should maintain. If in doubt, just go with the default provided.
  • What kind of database you're connecting to, so you can tell Confluence which dialect it needs to use.

Option 2: Datasource — This asks the Java application server for a database connection. You will need to have configured a datasource in your application server. For information about configuring an external database, see Database Configuration.

Screenshot above: Datasource connection

Supply the following information:

  • Datasource Name — The JNDI name of the datasource, as configured in the application server.
    Note: Some servers will have JNDI names like jdbc/datasourcename; others will be of the form java:comp/env/jdbc/datasourcename. Consult your application-server documentation.

You will also need to know:

  • What kind of database you're connecting to, so you can tell Confluence which dialect it needs to use.

6. Production Installation: Load Content

Screenshot above: Load content

Select one of the following options:

  • Example Site - This option will load Confluence's 'Demonstration Space'. Select this if you are using Confluence for the first time, or if you want the Demonstration Space for your other Confluence users. The Demonstration Space helps to familiarise you with Confluence and what it can do for you. You can then continue using your Confluence deployment as normal - there's no need to reinstall later.
  • Empty Site - Select this option if you are already familiar with Confluence. You will need to create at least one space before you can start adding content to the site.
  • Restore from Backup - Select this option if you want to use Confluence data from a previous installation.

7. Production Installation: Restore Data from Backup

This option allows you to reload your data from an existing Confluence installation into your new Confluence site during the initial setup procedure. You can choose to upload data from a zipped backup file, or to restore from a backup file on your file system.

Option 1: Upload a zipped backup to Confluence - This option will load the data from a zipped backup file.
(To create a backup file from your existing version of Confluence, go to the 'Backup & Restore' section of your Administration Console.)

To restore from a zipped backup:

  1. Browse for the relevant daily backup file or a file you have created via a manual backup.
  2. Check 'Build Index' to build the data index, used for the search.
  3. Click the 'Upload and Restore' button.

Option 2: Restore a backup from the filesystem - This option is recommended if you have a very large daily backup file (greater than 100MB), or a daily backup file that is already on the server and doesn't require uploading.

  1. Copy the XML backup file into the restore directory inside your confluence Home directory and then refresh the page. You should now see your backup file appear on the 'Restore Data' screen (pictured above), in the box beneath the heading 'Restore a backup from the filesystem'.
  2. Check 'Build Index' to build the data index, used for the search.
  3. Click the 'Restore' button.

When the restore process has finished, you are ready to log in to Confluence. The system administrator account and all other information has been transferred from your previous Confluence installation.

8. Set Up User Management 

Screenshot above: User management

You can choose to manage Confluence's users and groups inside Confluence or in JIRA.

  • If you do not have Atlassian JIRA installed, or if you would prefer to set up external user management later, choose Manage users and groups within Confluence.
  • If you have JIRA installed, the setup wizard gives you the opportunity to configure the JIRA connection automatically. This is a quick way of setting up your JIRA integration with the most common options. It will configure a JIRA user directory for Confluence, and set up application links between JIRA and Confluence for easy sharing of data. Choose Connect to JIRA.

9. Connect to JIRA

Screenshot above: Connecting to JIRA in the Confluence setup wizard

Enter the following information:

  • JIRA Base URL– The web address of your JIRA server. Examples:
  • JIRA Administrator Login: Username – Enter the username of a user with the 'JIRA System Administrators' global permission in JIRA.
  • JIRA Administrator Login: Password – Enter the password that the above user uses to sign in to JIRA.
  • Confluence Base URL – JIRA will use this URL to access your Confluence server. The URL you give here will override the base URL specified in your Confluence administration console, for the purposes of the JIRA connection.
  • User Groups – Specify one or more JIRA groups whose members should be able to use Confluence. The default group is jira-users. (These groups will receive the 'can use' permission in Confluence.)
  • Admin Groups – Specify one or more JIRA groups whose members should have administrative access to Confluence. The default group is jira-administrators. (These groups will receive the 'Confluence system administrator' and 'Confluence administrator' permissions in Confluence.)

For full details and a troubleshooting guide, see Configuring JIRA Integration in the Setup Wizard.

10. Set Up System Administrator

The system administrator has full administrative power over your Confluence instance. This person will be able to add more users, create spaces, and set further Confluence options. Please refer to the overview of global permissions for more information.

Hint: If you are evaluating Confluence, set yourself as the administrator. 
  1. Enter the following information to set up your system administrator's user account:
    • Username — The username under which the system administrator will log in to Confluence, e.g. 'jsmith'.
    • Password — The password which the system administrator will use to log in.
    • Confirm — Enter the same password again.
    • Name — The system administrator's full name, e.g. 'John Smith'.
    • Email — The system administrator's email address, e.g. ''.
  2. Click 'Next'.

11. Setup is Complete

Congratulations! You have installed and set up Confluence. Click Start using Confluence to open the Demonstration space in your Confluence wiki. This space contains some sample content and ideas, to help you get started quickly.

Click Further Configuration if you want to go directly to the Administration Console and complete administrator's tasks including configuring a mail server, adding users, changing the base URL and more. Refer to the Confluence Administrator's Guide for more information.

12. Install add-ons (optional)

If you have chosen a package that includes add-ons such as Team Calendars or the SharePoint Connector you can now install these from within Confluence.

In the Administration Console go to Find New Add-ons and search for your add-on.   Follow the prompts to install the add-on. 

See Finding new add-ons for more information on how to find and install the add-ons. 

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