Friday, December 14, 2007

Glass Fish Installation from Hell, really?

I like Sun's open source application server, GlassFish, thus when I feels a bit offended when Jevgeni Kabanov wrote an article about how difficult to install GlassFish, and comments that the documentation is suck, and not friendly..

Hm, ok, to give Jevgeni Kabanov benefits of doubts, I decided to do a fresh installation of GlassFish version 2, and observe the manual installation process myself..maybe he is right, as my GlassFish always pre-bundle with Netbeans, and so far, I haven't try to install GlassFish maually myself. it go..
a) I visit GlassFish's web site at

b) I click on "download GlassFish v2 now" icon, and directed to this page
, which I presented a step by step instruction on how to install GlassFish, follows by links to download GlassFish binary for various platform

c) I choose to download GlassFish build for Linux platform, as I am running on Ubuntu Gusty. Once download, I follows the documented instruction to install GlassFish, i.e
-> java -Xmx256m -jar "downloaded.jar"
-> cd glassfish
-> chmod -R +x lib/ant/bin
-> lib/ant/bin/ant -f setup.xml

d) Once setup, I follows the quick start guide to start the application server, i.e.
->Add the install-dir/bin directory as PATH env variable
-> Start the server "asadmin start-domain domain1"

e) To verify, I open my browser, and points the URL to http://localhost:8080, which I presented a welcome page, and messages stated my server is up and running running..BTW, port 8080 is default installation port, and u could change the default port by editing the setup.xml

f) To manage the server, I point my browser at http://localhost:4848 to access GlassFish admin console, I entered my given admin user id and password (ie admin, password, adminadmin) to login to the console. I presented a very nice GUI to manage my server, and deploy my application (WAR, EAR, and etc).

g) To deploy one of my application, I click "Deploy web application(.war)", select my war file, and click deploy, and just like that, my application is up and running..

That's it, the whole process takes less then 20 minutes (depends on how fast ur internet connection is to download the installation jar), and all the steps above are well documented at GlassFish's installation and quick start guide. I admit the installation process is "out of norm" and could be improve, but to go to the extends and claim it is installation from hell is bit too extreme, isn't?



Sidvicious said...

I agree. Its quite simple.

I think this guy just jumped the gun and wanted to cover for his idiocy by writing the blog.

Of course, it would be nice to have a zip based installer that contains a readme. I think GlassFish has multiple profiles, hence they have dumbed down the installation to something very basic. Fronting it with a script would help make it even simpler.

Your blog helps set right the extremeness of that other blog.

Anonymous said...

Did you read the blog entry?

"etf: I never saw any installation instructions. I downloaded and couldn’t find them. Most products have at least a brief installation manual in the root directory of the distribution and people expect to find it there."

How difficult would it be to put a text file in the zip download that gives instructions? What a nice project when the developers call their users idiots.

Sidvicious said...

Yes, I did read his blog and this blog.

The response from GlassFish project is excellent. See here
I don't think they are calling him an idiot.

I am a GlassFish user too. The project's developers provide excellent forum responses and the quality of the product is pretty good. So I find the terming of this experience hellish as pretty extreme and lame without giving the forum a try and asking for help. A poor workman blames the tool!

As this blog entry from Coolboy shows, the instructions are there at the same page you download. Yes, the project should add a readme or installation instructions with the downloaded bundle. It will certainly help.

Wonder why he never posted his questions to the GlassFish forum instead of this blog rant?

anjanBacchu said...

hi there,

It's important that installation be easier than running the command line. I mean, it is NOT too much to expect someone to run a command in the command line if you're expecting to deploy to a J2EE appserver

BUT would it hurt anyone if there's a PDF/text file ?

googling for installation instructions gives the required info BUT sure, it doesn't hurt to have a script based install. Then, again if you want a cross platform install, it doesn't come easy.

But didn't the glassfish team create a new GUI installer for Java on ?