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This document guides you through how to create, access, stop, and build new images based on WebSphere Portal and Lotus Web Content Management images currently available on the IBM SmartCloud. You can use these instructions to launch and maintain your own custom WebSphere Portal server and Lotus Web Content Management solutions.
This document focuses on the process of setting up an instance of the image. It covers the following topics in detail:
- Initializing a new instance based on the image
- Accessing and managing WebSphere Portal server and Lotus Web Content Management
- Creating an IBM WebSphere Portlet Factory Project in Eclipse
An overview of how to manage WebSphere Portal is provided in this article, including links to product documentation for more detailed information and guidance on how to use the product to build a Web site.
This article is intended for users who have a general knowledge of Linux and how Linux works. Users should also have a good understanding of Linux commands and how to manipulate input and output.
Image contents and configuration
The WebSphere Portal and Lotus Web Content Management images are pre-installed and pre-configured instances of the products. Instances created based on these images are ready to use and have been pre-configured with certain features to make it easier to get started. The product configuration includes:
IBM WebSphere Application Server security is enabled, with the virtuser user ID serving as both the WebSphere Portal administrator and WebSphere Application Server administrator ID. During the provisioning of the image, you must set the password for the virtuser user ID.
WebSphere Portal light-startup-mode enabled.
Light-startup mode speeds up the start time for WebSphere Portal by deferring the start of individual Web applications and portlets until they are first requested by users. For more information about light-startup mode, refer to the WebSphere Portal information center topic, “Enabling and disabling portal light mode."
HTTP Server enabled.
The IBM HTTP Server is configured to provide ports 80 and 443 access to WebSphere Portal. (Section 3.2 below provides more details on how to use the HTTP Server.)
External DB2 database.
An instance IBM DB2 Enterprise Edition is installed and configured as WebSphere Portal and Lotus Web Content Management's external database and user repository. This provides an enterprise-class and highly performing database environment.
WebSphere Portlet Factory.
Eclipse and WebSphere Portlet Factory are installed (development image only).
Initializing a new instance of the image
The following sections outline prerequisite information and steps for creating an instance of an image. Details about how to use the IBM SmartCloud tools to access, set up an account, and create image instances are not provided here. Refer to the FAQ section in the IBM SmartCloud User's Guide
to become familiar with this process.
IBM SmartCloud instance information
IBM SmartCloud provides the flexibility to select from a number of different instance types to meet your computing needs. Each instance provides a predictable amount of dedicated computing capacity.
instance type is fine for development, single-user purposes only, and is what is used for the purposes of this document. The DB2 instance and JVM heap sizes have been reduced from their default values to fit into images of this size. In larger images, no reduction of default memory settings are applied
Note that the WebSphere Portal and Lotus Web Content Management Development images are running with a 32-bit version of the SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) operating system, so only 32-bit instance types can be used.
Managing image instances
IBM provides a simple, integrated, Web console for managing images, image instances, access keys, and storage instances on the IBM SmartCloud site
Accessing the image instance console access
The image is configured to allow secure shell (SSH) access with automatic idcuser user authentication, using a secure RSA private key based on the key pair specified at instance creation. Users need to save the RSA private key pair to a local file that can be used as input to SSH.
For Linux SSH users, the key pair file is provided on the command line via the -i parameter; for example:
ssh –i <location of rsa keypair file> <instance public address>
For Putty users, refer to the topic, “Connecting to your instance with Putty
,” for information about how to configure Putty with the public key for automatic authentication. There is also an online video that demonstrates how to set up Putty:
File transfer is allowed via secure cp along with the secure key pair used for SSH access.
Remote desktop access
In addition to SSH access, users can access the system by using a free Virtual Network Computing (VNC) client to connect to the graphical desktop.
The boot sequence of the new instance (described in the next subsection) also sets up desktop icons to help with starting and stopping the WebSphere Portal server as well as accessing the portal home page and administrative console.
To enable vncserver, start the VNC server and provide a password by typing the following on a console command line as virtuser:
You can now access the instance remotely using its public Domain Name System (DNS) host name or ipaddress; for example:
> vncviewer 188.8.131.52:1
Booting the image instance
When an image instance is first provisioned, users are prompted to accept the license agreements of software components pre-installed on the image. In addition, a sequence of product-specific instance configuration parameters allows users to configure the image according to their specific needs.
This subsection provides an outline and description of each step of the initial configuration process.
When an image instance is started for the first time, users go through the following interactive configuration steps in sequence before the system is ready to use:
- Pre-installed operating-system and software-license-agreement windows
- Instance-specific configuration, such as IP addresses, and access keys
- Password configuration windows
Let's discuss each interactive step:
Ready to launch
From the IBM SmartCloud Web site, log in and click the Add Instance button to add a system based on the desired WebSphere Portal and/or Lotus Web Content Management image to your list of running instances. Select the instance size, key pair, name of instance, and storage and IP options as shown in figure 1.
Figure 1. Adding a system instance
User password configuration windows
The next set of windows requires users to set the password for the virtuser, idcuser, and db2inst1
users (see figure 2). All users are the Linux operating system users, virtuser is also the WebSphere Application Server and WebSphere Portal administrative user managed separately in VMM, and db2inst1 is the database instance user.
When accessing your instance, use virtuser to start, stop, and log in to the WebSphere Portal and WebSphere Application Server administrative console.
Figure 2. Setting the user passwords
Pre-installed operating-system and software-license-agreement windows
The service-order-agreement window ensures that users have accepted all required operating-system licences and the license agreements of pre-installed software components before starting to use the instance (see figure 3).
Figure 3. Service agreement window
You must agree to all the licenses shown; otherwise, the instance does not launch. After you click Submit, the IBM SmartCloud provisions the system instance based on the information provided. The Cloud console reports when the system instance is ready to use, at which point it can be accessed by SSH or a Web browser.
Working with an image instance
Now that you've completed the instantiation of a WebSphere Portal and Lotus Web Content Management 7.0.0 image, we now discuss how to get started with the system. For more information about how to administer, customize, and develop applications for WebSphere Portal and Web Content Management, refer to the developerWorks product documentation page
The file system directories for the various components are shown in table 1.
Table 1. File system locations
WebSphere Portal installation directory
WebSphere Application Server installation directory
Application server configuration profile
WebSphere Portal log directory
DB2 install directory
DB2 instance directory
IBM HTTP Server installation directory
Eclipse installation directory (development image only)
WebSphere Portlet Factory installation directory (development image only)
Starting and stopping WebSphere Portal
The IBM SmartCloud automatically starts WebSphere Portal and Lotus Web Content Management as part of the instance activation process. However, you can also control starting and stopping WebSphere Portal by using the WebSphere Application Server startServer.sh and stopServer.sh shell scripts, respectively.
Open a secure shell session with your new instance, switch user (su) to virtuser
, and then change to the /opt/IBM/WebSphere/wp_profile/bin directory. Your WebSphere Portal server should start automatically when you start or reboot your image. If it does not, run the following command from within this directory to start WebSphere Portal:
Likewise, stop WebSphere Portal by using the following command within the same directory:
./stopServer.sh WebSphere_Portal -user virtuser -password <password>
Note that with the stopServer.sh script, you must specify the administrative user (virtuser) and password that were provided in the password configuration pages during the initial setup of this instance.
If you are accessing the graphical desktop remotely via VNC, use the icons on the virtuser desktop for starting and stopping WebSphere Portal.
Starting and stopping the HTTP Server
The system comes pre-configured with the IBM HTTP Server to allow ports 80 and port 443 access to WebSphere Portal. When a new instance is provisioned, the HTTP Server is started, but it may be necessary to re-start the server during the instance lifetime.
To start the HTTP Server, change to the /opt/IBM/HTTPServer/bin directory and run the following command:
sudo ./apachectl start
Likewise, to stop the HTTP Server, run the following command:
sudo ./apachectl stop
The HTTP Server reads its application server plug-in configuration from /opt/IBM/HTTPServer/Plugins/config/webserver1/plugin_cfg.xml, which is automatically refreshed during instance creation.
Using WebSphere Portlet Factory
The image comes pre-installed with WebSphere Portlet Factory and Eclipse for developing portlet applications. To use WebSphere Portlet Factory:
1. Connect to the instance via the VNC Viewer or remote X terminal as virtuser
2. After logging in, you can either change to the /opt/eclipse directory and run the command:
Or click the WebSphere Portlet Factory desktop icon.
3. After Eclipse is started, you may be prompted with the window shown in figure 4.
Figure 4. Select a workspace
4. Enter your desired location, for example, /home/virtuser/workspace, and click OK.
5. To change the workspace perspective, select Window > Open Perspective > Other, select WebSphere Portlet Factory, and click OK.
6. To create a WebSphere Portlet Factory Project, select File > New > WebSphere Portlet Factory Project, and follow its wizard.
For more information, refer to the WebSphere Portlet Factory product page
Accessing the site from a browser
After WebSphere Portal has started, you can access it using the following URL:
http://<public host name>/wps/portal
The link is also available from the Getting Started section of the IBM SmartCloud Control Panel for any given instance.
WebSphere Portal Server and Lotus Web Content Management Standard Edition can be serviced on the instance just like any other native installation of this software.
Corrective service packages, in the form of iFixes (or, “interim fixes”, which address a particular product issue) or fixpacks (regular, cumulative roll-ups of iFixes into a single installable unit), are available for download from the IBM Support Portal Web sites for WebSphere Portal
and Lotus Web Content Management
To install iFixes and fixpacks you must use the WebSphere Portal Update Installer, download-able from Support Technote #4006942, WebSphere Portal Update Installer.
Alternatively, you may wish to re-apply your customizations to a new instance created from an image that has been updated to a more recent service level. To do this, you must first extract all custom artifacts from the instance so that they can be applied again. For example, you need to export:
- Content libraries, using the ConfigEngine's export-wcm-data task.
- WebSphere Portal configurations, including all portlet WAR files and other J2EE resources, using the xmlaccess utility.
Then, after creating a new instance, you can import these artifacts into the new instance, using the appropriate administration utilities.
This article introduced the availability of WebSphere Portal V7 and Lotus Web Content management on the IBM SmartCloud, describing the steps to launch, customize, and maintain instances of the pre-installed and pre-configured software to facilitate getting started quickly.
Whether you're interested in trying out the software for the first time, in providing a consistent, disposable platform for your application developers, or in implementing a long-running, highly available software stack for your testers, the images on the IBM SmartCloud can help.
Look for future articles on capturing private images, on details of the different versions of software, and on the various license models available in the IBM Cloud.
WebSphere Portal information center:
Lotus Web Content Management Edition information center:
developerWorks Cloud computing overview:
Cloud: WebSphere Portal Server and Lotus Web Content Management Standard Edition:
developerWorks article, “Cloud computing with Linux”:
WebSphere Portal wiki article, "IBM SmartCloud getting started guide - WebSphere Portal V6.1.5:"
About the author
Paul Kelsey is an Advisory Software Engineer who has worked with IBM WebSphere Portal for 8 years. His areas of expertise include WebSphere Portal and WebSphere Application Server security and third-party security integration, such as IBM Tivoli® Access Manager and CA SiteMinder. He's also worked on ConfigEngine and Site Management and, most recently, on WebSphere Portal total cost of ownership and cloud initiatives such as new golden topologies, Amazon EC2, and IBM SmartCloud.