Websphere configuration files

As we have just learnt, the application server configuration files are stored in a directory tree starting at the config directory under your Profile Root.

At the top of the hierarchy is the cells directory, which contains a subdirectory for each cell. Each cell contains a cell.xml file, which provides configuration data for the cell and files (such as security.xml, virtualhosts.xml, resources.xml, and variables.xml) which provide configuration data that applies across every node in the cell. Below the cells directory you can find the following directory structure:

  • The clusters subdirectory, which holds a subdirectory for each cluster defined in the cell. Each cluster subdirectory holds a cluster.xml file, which provides configuration data specifically for that cluster.
  • The nodes subdirectory, which holds a subdirectory for each node in the cell. Each node contains a configuration file specific for that node named node.xml and also security.xml, resources.xml and variables.xml files, which provide configuration data that applies only to the node and overrides the configurations specified in the containing cell level.
  • The servers directory which always contains a server.xml file that provides configuration data specific to that server.
  • The applications subdirectory, which holds a subdirectory for each application deployed in the cell. Under the application subdirectory is a deployments directory that contains a deployment.xml file with contains the relevant information about the application deployment.

The following is an example configuration file tree structure:



     cell.xml resources.xml virtualhosts.xml variables.xml security.xml



           node.xml variables.xml resources.xml serverindex.xml



              server.xml variables.xml


              server.xml variables.xml





              application.xml ibm-application-ext.xml ibm-application-bnd.xml

As an administrator, you should rarely ever have to edit these files, and if you do feel at some point that you need to, remember that you can seriously damage your WAS installation if you do not fully understand the effect of changes to these files.

In some scenarios, however, such as application server migration your starting point are usually the configuration files therefore it’s important to know where the configuration is actually persisted.

Most of the time you could be interested to keep an eye on the server.xml configuration file, which contain information about:

  • Services
  • Components
  • Process Definitions



As you can see from the above example, this file can be located in the following path:


For example, in the profile we have earlier created it’s located at:


Francesco Google+