Skip to main content

UNIX®, Linux, and macOS Server Installation

This page details the steps for attended server installations on UNIX®, Linux, and macOS.

Make sure you have completed the following before performing the steps on this page:

Server Installation Overview


  • A server installation installs only the components of InterSystems IRIS that are required on a server system.

  • The installation script, irisinstall, does the following:

    • Installs the InterSystems IRIS system manager databases.

    • Starts InterSystems IRIS in installation mode.

    • Installs InterSystems IRIS system manager globals and routines.

    • Shuts down InterSystems IRIS and restarts using the default configuration file (iris.cpf). Upgrade installations restart using their updated configuration files.


  • Standard InterSystems IRIS installation consists of a set of modular package scripts. The scripts conditionally prompt for information based on input to previous steps, your system environment, and whether or not you are upgrading an existing instance.

  • The first stage of the installation stores all gathered information about the install in a parameter file.

  • You then confirm the specifics of the installation before the actual install takes place.

  • The final phase performs the operations that are contingent upon a successful install, such as instance startup.

  • Server installations include the following component groups:

    • InterSystems IRIS Database Engine (including user database, Language Gateways, and Server Monitoring Tools)

    • InterSystems IRIS launcher

    • Web Gateway

Step 1: Choose Security Settings


  • You are prompted for initial security settings.

  • Input (2) to choose Normal security settings.


  • You can choose from the following initial security settings:

    • Minimal (1)

    • Normal (2)

    • Locked Down (3)

  • Minimal is only available for InterSystems IRIS installations. If you choose this, you can skip the next step; the installer sets the owner of the instance as root.

  • There are additional security settings that you can choose only through a custom install. See InterSystems IRIS Custom Installation for details.

  • See Initial InterSystems Security Settings for details on the different security settings and choosing one for your system.

Step 2: Define Instance Owner


  • If you selected Minimal or Locked Down in the previous step, you are prompted for additional information:

    • Instance owner — Enter the username of the account under which to run InterSystems IRIS processes. See Determining Owners and Groups for information about this account. Once InterSystems IRIS is installed, you cannot change the owner of the instance.

    • Password for the instance owner — Enter the password for the username you entered at the previous prompt, and enter it again to confirm it. A privileged InterSystems IRIS user account is created for this user with the %All role.

      This password is used not only for the InterSystems IRIS privileged user account, but also for the _SYSTEM, Admin, and SuperUser predefined user accounts. For more details on these predefined users, see Predefined User Accounts.

    • Password for the CSPSystem predefined user.


  • The passwords must meet the criteria described in the Initial User Security Settings table. Passwords entered during this procedure cannot include space, tab, or backslash characters; the installer reject such passwords.

Step 3: Determine Group to Start or Stop the Instance


  • You are prompted which group should be allowed to start and stop InterSystems IRIS.

  • Only one group can have these privileges, and it must be a valid group on the machine.

  • Enter the name or group ID number of an existing group; InterSystems IRIS verifies that the group exists before proceeding.

  • See Determining Owners and Groups for more information.

Step 4: Configure Additional Security Options


  • If you chose Normal or Locked Down for your initial security settings, you are asked if you want to configure additional security options.

  • Input N to continue with the installation using the defaults for the initial security settings you chose.


  • If you choose Y, you are prompted to configure additional settings:

    • Effective group for InterSystems IRIS — InterSystems IRIS internal effective group ID, which also has all privileges to all files and executables in the installation. For maximum security, no actual users should belong to this group. (Defaults to irisusr.)

    • Effective user for the InterSystems IRIS superserver — Effective user ID for processes started by the superserver and Job servers. Again, for maximum security, no actual users should have this user ID. (Defaults to irisusr.)

  • See Determining Owners and Groups for additional information.

Step 5: Install Unicode Support


Step 6: Configure Web Server


  • If a local web server is detected, you will be asked if you would like to use the web server to connect to your installation.

  • Input y. The web server will be connected automatically.

  • Input 1 to specify the Apache WebServer type.

  • Enter the location of the Apache configuration file. The default path is /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf.

  • Specify an Apache httpd port number. The default is 80 (8080 on macOS). Upgrade installs do not offer this choice; they keep the port numbers of the original instance.


    Specifying a custom web server port number during installation only modifies the WebServerPort CPF parameter. This should be the port number that your web server is configured to listen over. The default web server port number is 80 (8080 on macOS). Unless, you’ve configured your web server to listen over a different port number, you shouldn’t change this setting from the default.

  • Specify a SuperServer port number. This is 1972 by default (or, if 1972 is taken, this is 51733 or the first available subsequent number). The port number cannot be greater than 65535.


  • If a web server is not detected, you will be asked if you would like to abort. If you choose to continue the installation, you will have to configure your web server manually after the installation finishes.

  • If you choose not to connect a detected web server or set WebServer type to None, you will have to configure your web server manually after the installation finishes.


InterSystems recommends using the Apache httpd web server because it can be automatically configured during the installation process. Make sure it is installed and running before beginning the installation process. In most cases, it is not necessary to manually configure the Apache web server.

Step 7: Activate License Key


  • If the script does not detect an iris.key file in the mgr directory of an existing instance when upgrading, you are prompted for a license key file.

  • If you specify a valid key, the license is automatically activated and the license key copied to the instance’s mgr directory during installation and no further activation procedure is required.

  • If you do not specify a license key, you can activate a license key following installation. See Activating a License Key for information about licenses, license keys and activation.

  • On macOS, you may receive a prompt regarding network connections for irisdb. If so, select Allow.

Step 8: Review Installation


  • Review your installation options and press enter to proceed with the installation. File copying does not begin until you answer Yes.

  • When the installation completes, you are directed to the appropriate URL for the Management Portal to manage your InterSystems IRIS system. See Using the Management Portal for more information.

  • Continue to Post-Installation Tasks.

FeedbackOpens in a new tab