Server Start

Every time a server starts, CFConfig will load configuration into your server by convention. For Lucee servers, settings go in the server context by default. Since each CommandBox Lucee server only has a single web context, the differentiation is mostly moot.

Import from JSON file

CFConfig will attempt to locate a JSON file containing exported server configuration. If it finds a JSON file, it will import it into the starting server as it comes up.

Here are the locations CFConfig will look for a JSON file and the order it will look for them in. After CFConfig files a JSON file in one location, it stops looking.

Environment Variable

If an environment variable exists with the name CFConfigFile, CFConfigWeb, or CFConfigServer it will be used as an absolute path to the JSON file or a relative path in relation to the web root.. An example of setting this in Windows would be:

C:/> SETX cfconfigfile "C:/path/to/myConfig.json"
C:/> SETX cfconfigweb "C:/path/to/myConfig-web.json"
C:/> SETX cfconfigserver "C:/path/to/myConfig-server.json"

And on Unix...

$> cfconfigfile=C:/path/to/myConfig.json
$> cfconfigweb=C:/path/to/myConfig-web.json
$> cfconfigserver=C:/path/to/myConfig-server.json
$> export cfconfigfile
$> export cfconfigweb
$> export cfconfigserver

Note: CommandBox won't pick up new environment variables in Windows until you close and reopen the shell.

It's not necessary to use cfconfigfile and cfconfigsever at the same time since they do the same thing. They are both provided for consistency. If you use both, they will all be imported!

Technically, you can also use one of the following env vars to do the same thing since CommandBox supports a generic syntax to override any server.json property, but given the options above, it's not necessary to use these unless you want to or specifically want to override the settings in the server.json.


server.json properties

If there is a CFConfig property in your server.json file, it will be used to help control how your JSON configs are imported. All JSON file paths can be absolute or relative paths from the folder the server.json lives in.

"cfconfig" : {
   // Single JSON file to import into Adobe or the Lucee server context
   "file" : "path/to/file.json",
   // Same as "file" but for consistency with Lucee
   "server" : "path/to/file.json",
   // Will load into lucee/railo web context
   "web" : "path/to/file.json",
   // Import scheduled tasks as paused
   "pauseTasks" : true
// Backwards compat fallback
"CFConfigFile" : "path/to/file.json"
"CFConfigPauseTasks": true

Note, you would never need to use all the properties above at the same time. The two top level ones are only supported for backwards compatibility. For an Adobe server, or a Lucee server in which you only care about importing settings into the server context, you can just use cfconfig.file . For a Lucee server in which you want to import settings into the server AND web context, you can use cfconfig.server and cfconfig.web.

ModCFML Support for Lucee Contexts

If you are using CommandBox's ModCFML support with Lucee, there can be a different set of settings for each Lucee web context. By default, all "web" settings will load into the web context that corresponds with the default CommandBox web root for the server. You can specify a JSON file for each web context in your server.json like so


The path to the web root as Lucee sees it is appended to the web key after a hypen (-). CFConfig will pre-emptively create the web context folders based on the hash of the web root.

Multiple JSON files

Since there are several overlapping conventions, it's possible to have more than one JSON file. For example, you could have a cfconfigfile environment variable set as well as a cfconfig.file key in your server.json. In this case, BOTH JSON files will be imported. When there are two more more JSON files being imported into the same web or server context, the first file will be an overwrite as usual and all subsequent files will be imported in "append" mode so they add to the settings in the previous file.

.cfconfig.json File in Webroot

if and ONLY IF no other settings (env vars, or server.json properties) are found to specify a JSON file to import, CFConfig will look for the following files in the web root by convention.

  • .cfconfig.json - Use this for Adobe or for Lucee's server context

  • .cfconfig-web.json Use this for the Lucee web context

  • .cfconfig-server.json Use this for the Lucee server context (same as .cfconfig.json )

If the only convention file found for an Adobe server is .cfconfig-web.json or .cfconfig-server.json, it will still be used but just imported into Adobe's single context.

Set Individual Settings

If you don't want to have a full JSON file, but just want to set some ad-hoc settings, you can do this via environment variables. These will load regardless of whether a JSON file was imported so it gives you a chance to override specifics like passwords. Environment variables are also perfect for cloud environments and Docker images.

Variable names

When a server starts up, all environment variables will be looped over, and all the ones that start with cfconfig_ will be used. The naming format is cfconfig_xxx where xxx is the name of a valid config item such as adminPassword or requestTimeout.

Here's an example of what setting that up on Windows might look like:

C:/> SETX cfconfig_adminPassword "myCoolPass123"

And on Unix...

$> cfconfig_adminPassword=myCoolPass123
$> export cfconfig_adminPassword

Now, every time a CommandBox server is started on this machine, that password will be loaded in, even if a previous JSON import had another password.

If you want to target the web context for your settings, you can use the syntax cfconfig_web_xxx like so:


Admin Passwords on Lucee

As a safety precaution, any time an adminPassword setting is present in an auto-imported JSON file or a cfconfig_adminPassword environment variable is set on a Lucee server, the server start interceptor will set that password into the web context as well as the default server context. This is to prevent a production server getting deployed with no password on the web context.

This only applies to the auto server start interceptors documented on this page. if you manually run a cfconfig import or cfconfig set command, it's up to you to also set things like passwords into the server and web contexts.

Production Password Protection

On both Lucee and Adobe servers, when the server profile is set to production, CFConfig will not allow your sever to start with an empty password or with the Adobe default password of commandbox. If any of those scenarios are detection in a production profile, CFConfig will set a random password and output it in the verbose console logs for you to refer to later.

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