Running ColdFusion 9 on Windows 10

CommandBoxLogoMost of us find it impossible to install and run Adobe ColdFusion (ACF) 9 on Windows 10. There are a select few that suspiciously find it easy to install and run on Windows 10.

One of the more popular methods is to create a Windows 7 Virtual Machine (VM) and install Windows 7 there. I’ve even done that. But what you find, particularly on Hyper-V, is that it lacks portability. I can’t reasonably send another developer my VM. #1 due to licensing issues #2 it can be huge depending upon the size you reserved for the virtual drive.

But thanks to the Ortus team, and with a little open mindness, CommandBox takes care of this issue. From the Ortus website: “CommandBox is a standalone, native tool for Windows, Mac, and Linux that will provide you with a Command Line Interface (CLI) for developer productivity, tool interaction, package management, embedded CFML server, application scaffolding, and some sweet ASCII art. It seamlessly integrates to work with any of our *Box products but it is also open for extensibility for any ColdFusion (CFML) project as it is also written in ColdFusion (CFML) using our concepts of CommandBox Commands. It tightly integrates with our contribution community; ForgeBox, so developers can share modules world-wide.”

So basically what’s going on here, in this blog entry’s context, is CommandBox will run ACF 9+, Railo 4.2 and Lucee 4.5+. This is done by running a WAR in Java against CommandBox’s own web server which still supports ACF9 integration. Technically you’re supposed install Java 1.7 for official support of ColdFusion 9. However, from what I’ve seen, it runs just fine on Java 1.8.

Here are the easy steps in Windows to get you running in less than 10 minutes:

  1. Download CommandBox at I suggest “With JRE Included”.
  2. Extract the contents to something like C:\CommandBox. For all other OS’s see Installation.
  3. Open a Command Prompt
  4. Go to your new directory, such as “CD C:\CommandBox”
  5. Type “box” and enter
  6. This will then initiate Box for the first time and then take you to the Box CLI.
  7. Change the directory to your first website that needs ColdFusion 9, in this example. ex: “cd \websites\cf9test”
  8. Here we will set the ColdFusion engine, version, hostname (optional) and name (optional). Run:
    server set app.cfengine=adobe@9 (this will run the latest version of ACF 9)
    server set (be sure to set in DNS or your hosts file to or you will get a “Cannot assign requested address: JVM_Bind” error)
    server set name=cf9
  9. Step #8 will be saved in server.json and never needs to be done again as long as that file is intact. For more configuration arguments, see Server.json.
  10. Type “start” and enter**
  11. This will download the ColdFusion 9 WAR and extract it and then initialize it. This may take a number of minutes.
  12. Once CF9 is “installed” a browser window will open up to “http://cf9test.local” or whatever you set the to. If you didn’t define it will open up to “”. Either way it will use a random port number. This port number can be defined in the server.json configuration file.
  13. Append “/CFIDE/Administrator” to the URL it is using. If you accidentally closed the browser tab, look for the blue CF task icon in your task bar. Click it once and click “open browser”.
  14. The password to the ACF admin is “commandbox”
  15. Configure necessary settings such as data sources or enable J2EE session variables if needed.
  16. Then go back to your root URL and you should be up and running.

There is so much you can do with CommandBox, including https, URL rewrite and even generating CFM frameworks. See the CommandBox Manual for more.

*When setting the server name, this will allow you to keep configurations stored such a DSN in the admin. You can use a general name such as “cf9” and use it among different instances or you can use a more specific name just for that instance or a group of instances such as “mysite”. Without it, you have a chance of loosing or overwriting configurations in the CF Admin.

There is a way to script out you ColdFusion config, such as DSN’s, using CFConfig CLI. However as of this post writing, it doesn’t allow you to use ColdFusion 9. But feel free to experiment using this with other versions or later down the road.

There are a number of other ways to configure your servers as well. See Configuring your CommandBox servers on first start by Brad Wood.

**The trick to thinking here is the webroot for the website being loaded up in your browser, is the directory you run “start” in.