Rename ArcGIS Server Hostname

Note: This post is for ArcGIS Server 9.2 Java (any platform)

Did you ever install ArcGIS Server Java first and then go ahead and change the host name of the machine only to realize now the you will have to either re-install or run post install or contact support to fix ArcGIS Server.

Did you ever have an disk image with ArcGIS Server Java installed and configured, then you go ahead and ghost the image on many machines only to realize that all the hostnames are the same.

Don’t worry, In this post you will find information on what files has got the entries of the host name and for what purpose. This will also give you a good understanding of how ArcGIS Server Manager and Web Services Handler uses these configuration files.

Note: These files are for version 9.2, I will update the post shortly after the 9.3 is released.

The five files of concern are:

C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\server\system\Server.dat
C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\java\manager\service\tomcat\managerserver\webapps\arcgismanager\WEB-INF\classes\
C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\java\web_output\services\WEB-INF\classes\
C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\java\manager\service\lib\
C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\java\manager\config\applications\build\

1.  <ArcGIS Install Dir>\server\system\Server.dat

This files stores the actual name of the machine where the SOM is running. Also here the URL’s to the virtual directories such as the arcgisjobs, arcgisoutput and arcgiscache is set. If your ArcGIS Services are not previewing correctly in ArcCatalog or if the web service end point url’s are shown incorrectly than you should check this file. You can edit this file in any text editor, but once you make any changes to this file be sure to restart the ArcGIS Server processes (both ArcGIS Server Manager and  ArcGIS Server Object Manager).

2. <ArcGIS Install Dir>\java\manager\service\tomcat\managerserver\webapps\arcgismanager\WEB-INF\classes\

I am not sure on the importance/functionality of this file, but this file has one hostname attribute to startup the manager web application with the correct host name.

3. <ArcGIS Install Dir>\java\web_output\services\WEB-INF\classes\

This is a pretty important configuration file. This file has all the details needed including the hostname of where the SOM is installed for the Web Services handler to initialize. So if you are unable to log into manager and also get an HTTP 503 error when you access the services wsdl (http://machinename:8399/arcgis/services?wsdl) then you need to make sure this file has the right entries. There is nice knowledge base article on this issue and here is the link.

4. <ArcGIS Install Dir>\java\manager\service\lib\

This file defines a host name parameter to indicate to the manager tomcat instance as to where to start the new tomcat instance to host all the webapps (port 8399)

5. <ArcGIS Install Dir>\java\manager\config\applications\build\

This file both a URL and SERVER properties which has a hostname entry primarily used by the manager web application to deploy the web application.

Few tips to make your life easier:

  • If you are creating an image to ghost then instead of using the machinename try using localhost both during the install and post-install of ArcGIS Server. This way the image is portable and no changes are needed
  • If you are using Windows XP then make sure you have turned the built in firewall off (this prevents the DCOM from making the necessary connections) and also make sure the Simple File Sharing is turned off. This is enabled by default and you will have to manually turn this off, its best done i nthe image so that you will not have to do this for every ghosted machine. (How: My Computer -> Tools -> Folder Options -> View -> Advanced Settings -> All the way to the bottom)

19 Responses to “Rename ArcGIS Server Hostname”

  1. guilhem Says:

    It has been of great help. Thanks.

  2. tomaka Says:

    For ArcGis Server 9.3, the last config file was mooved to :
    C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\java\manager\config\

    Another way to proceed is to change the machine hostname for 5 minutes, rerun the arcgis post install

  3. Christian Junk Says:


    I have to create a vSphere master image with ArcGIS Server 10. I would like to clone this image and change the hostname for each running machine. Do you know if I can use your ‘localhost’-trick?

    When I use ‘localhost’ during installation and post-install can I access ArcGIS server from other machines?

    Best regards,

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