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This guide describes how to install PowerFolder Server on Linux based operating systems.

1. Before you start

Some points to note:

  1. Please check the minimum requirements, which are necessary to install and run PowerFolder Server. Further details can be read on the System Requirements page.
  2. Make sure you either requested a trial license or purchased a commercial license for PowerFolder Server. You will need the account email you requested/purchased with and the current password for the account to activate the server.
  3. You must be able to operate a Linux command prompt to continue. If not, please contact your system operator to assist you or take a look at our managed Cloud Server products.
  4. We recommend to create a dedicated user for running PowerFolder Server on the system and create a home folder for that user, where you place the program files and resources as described later on this page.

Creating a dedicated user

On most Linux based systems the process of creating a user and a home directory for this user can be accomplished by a few simple commands:

mkdir /home/<username> # Creates a home directory for the user
useradd -d /home/<username> <username> # Creates the user and sets his home directory
chown -R <username> /home/<username> # Sets the correct permissions on the user's directory, so he can write in it

Adjusting limits for open file handles

Since PowerFolder Server needs to work with a lot of files, it is strongly recommended to raise the maximum number of possible open files, so you don't run into problems when your installation is becoming larger.

On most Linux systems this can be done by editing the file /etc/security/limits.conf and adding two lines below: 

<user> soft nofile 128000
<user> hard nofile 256000

(warning) <user> needs to be replaced by the name of the dedicated user you created above.

Some systems may require the PAM module to limit sessions to be loaded:

 session required

(info) Fixes the log file error: Too many open files

Adjusting limits for inotify watches

PowerFolder Server is using inotify to watch for changes in the filesystem. For the same reason the open file handles limit was raised before, we also need to raise the number of the maximum possible inotify watches.

This can be done by instructing the kernel to raise the limit using the command below:

echo '262144' > /proc/sys/fs/inotify/max_user_watches

However the above command is just temporary till the server restarts. To make this change permanent, you have to edit the file /etc/sysctl.conf and add/edit the line below:


(info) Fixes the log file error: Error watching /mnt/PowerFolders/myfolder : No space left on device

Adding support for UTF-8

PowerFolder needs to be able to store files with UTF-8 encoded filenames to support clients which synchronize files using special characters from other languages.

Please make sure the Linux Kernel you are running supports this. In the Linux Kernel configuration please set File systems > Native language support > Default NLS Option to UTF-8 and make sure NLS UTF-8 is checked at the end of the list.

The startup script already includes setting the locales to the correct values, however you can also add the two lines below to the .bash_profile file in the home directory of the user, who runs PowerFolder Server. If it doesn't exist you can create it there.

export LC_ALL=en_US.UTF-8
export LANG=en_US.UTF-8

Disabling SELinux

Some Linux distributions come with SELinux pre-installed and activated. SELinux is known to interfere with the PowerFolder Server reverse proxy and HTTP tunneling mechanism, which is also used in cluster environments. Therefore SELinux needs to be disabled before running PowerFolder Server. To disable SELinux:

  1. Open /etc/selinux/config with a text editor
  2. Change the value for SELINUX to disabled. Example: 

  3. Reboot the machine.
  4. Check if SELinux is now disabled:

    cat /selinux/enforce

    (tick) If it's disabled the returned value should be 0.




2. Download and extract the installation package

  1. Download the .tar.gz distribution for Linux based servers from our download site.
  2. Place the .tar.gz file in the home directory of the dedicated user for PowerFolder Server. The process of creating a user and a home directory for that user is described in the first section on this page.
    (info) We recommend to place the program files into a sub-directory of your home directory, e.g. "/home/<username>/powerfolder". 
  3. Extract the .tar.gz file with the command "tar zxvf PowerFolder-Server-Latest.tar.gz.

3. Using an external database (Optional)

For evaluation purposes and in small to mid-sized installations you use the internal database which is delivered with PowerFolder Server. There is no additional setup needed for that, since it is running out-of-the box if no other external database is defined.

In larger installations or when planning a scale-up over time, we recommend to use an external database. The steps needed to set this up, are described in our database setup guide.

(warning) Later migrations from the internal database to an external one is currently not supported, therefore this one should be considered before setting up a live environment.

4. Start PowerFolder Server

Since the basic preparations are now finished, you can continue to start the installation:

  1. Go to the installation directory where you extracted the contents of the the installation package.
  2. Start the server:

    ./ start

    (warning) Please note that the file needs executable permissions for the user who starts PowerFolder Server. If the permissions are not correct, please set them:

    chmod u+x

    (info) If the web console is not immediately ready, please give it up to five minutes and try again.

5. Start PowerFolder Server with systemd

To enable auto start behavior for Linux it is needed to create a PowerFolder.service file in /etc/systemd/system


ExecStart=/home/<OS-username>/PowerFolder-Server/ start
ExecReload=/home/<OS-username>/PowerFolder-Server/ reload
ExecStop=/home/<OS-username>/PowerFolder-Server/ stop

TasksMax = 31000
LimitNOFILE = infinity
LimitMEMLOCK = infinity


Use the following commands to register the service in systemd.

Register service
sudo systemctl enable PowerFolder.service
sudo systemctl daemon-reload

  1. If you have your database installed on the PowerFolder Server you also can add to the Unit section:
    1. Wants=<database service file> (e.g. mysql.service)
  2. If you are using an apache web server you can add this too, to the "Wants=" parameter.
  3. The "Wants=" parameter can also be replaced with the stricter "Requires=" Parameter.
  4. User must not be root!

This can only work when editing the file. You need to show the file where PowerFolder is installed:

e.g.: SERVER_INSTALL=/home/<OS-username>/PowerFolder-Server

If you don't configure this parameter the server won't find its Java executables and will state this as the error in Log Files of systemd.

After doing all the above steps you can control your PowerFolder server with systemd the supported commands are

  • START Startup the PowerFolder server.
  • STOP - Shutdown the PowerFolder server.
  • RESTART - Stops and Starts the PowerFolder server.
  • RELOAD - Reloading the configuration from the server-configuration file. Some parameters might need a restart. Check our Wiki article "Server Configuration File" if the desired parameter needs a restart or not.
  • STATUS - Shows the current status of the service.

The commands only works if the server got started via systemd.

6. Configure PowerFolder Server

Now initial installation steps are done and your PowerFolder Server is ready for configuration and adding the first users. Please continue with our configuration guide.




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