Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Migration to liferay 5.2.2.: ServiceContext, JAVA_HOME, 7cogs, Cannot allocate memory

Migration to 5.2.2 continued:

Ok friends - here are some of the pitfalls I encountered. I hope it helps some of you who read this.


Coming from JBoss it was quite a surprise to me to get the good old "JAVA_HOME not defined" error message. So I had to search where to set point it to in my linux (ubuntu 6.06) based virtual private server environment.

Finally I found out that the following path seemed to be a good one:

(Note: The full command to set the parameter is "export JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib/jvm/java-1.5.0-sun" )

2. Cannot allocate memory

Also an old friend. The main trick was just to lower the memory that java would get.
So I set in the file the following:

JAVA_OPTS="$JAVA_OPTS -Xmx192m -XX:MaxPermSize=128m -Xms128m -Dfile.encoding=UTF8 -Duser.timezone=GMT$CATALINA_HOME/conf/jaas.config -Dorg.apache.catalina.loader.WebappClassLoader.ENABLE_CLEAR_REFERENCES=false"
(Note: The little linux command free -m helped a lot identifying the problem)

3. The new ServiceContext approach

Finally after the server started running I realized some errors in my own code (yes - the great JSF portlets :) ) due to simplifications of the liferay API.

Liferay has moved some repetitive context related attributes into an own ServiceContext class

In detail I changed my code from

themeDisplay.getPlid(), this.getName(),
this.getEntryText(), now.get(Calendar.MONTH), now
now.get(Calendar.YEAR), now.get(Calendar.HOUR), now
.get(Calendar.MINUTE), false, true, trackbacks,
tags, true, true, themeDisplay);
to the following:

ServiceContext serviceContext = ServiceContextFactory.getInstance(BlogsEntry.class.getName(), req);

BlogsEntryLocalServiceUtil.addEntry(liferayUser.getUserId(), this.getName(), this.getEntryText(),
now.get(Calendar.MONTH), now.get(Calendar.DAY_OF_MONTH), now.get(Calendar.YEAR), now.get(Calendar.HOUR), now.get(Calendar.MINUTE),
false, true, trackbacks, serviceContext);

4. Removal of 7cogs example data

As you might have noticed the new version of liferay comes along with some example data. That is a great idea - especially for beginners. Also it shows the new features of the WOL-portlet. ("World of Liferay" :) )
Unfortunately it is a bit tricky to remove the sample data afterwards. Even after removing the hooks - the data stays in the DB of course. And unfortunately it overwrites your default "instance" (that is your first website / company id)

So what I did is:
  1. Restore my VPS backup :)
  2. Remove the 7cogs folder before the first server start

I hope my migration posts help you. As always: I'm happy about all feedback and follow up questions.

"Migration" from 5.1.0 (JBoss 4.2) to 5.2.2 (Tomcat 5.5) - general steps

Hello everybody,

finally I did it: I managed the "migration" from 5.1.0 to 5.2.2.

As some of you might now the change to 5.2. is quite a major change for liferay.
Funnily the final reason for me to migrate was a quite small change: In 5.2.2. finally Blog-Entries get a HTML Title and a friendly URL. This is quite important from an SEO perspective.
(By the way: Big thanks to the liferay community - I triggered this feature by myself by writing a forum post about it - and it has been implemented quite quickly afterwards!)

Why do I write "Migration" in quotationmarks?
After some bad experiences while trying to migrate from 4.3.5 to 5.1.0 (over 4.4.2) I came up with a new "migration" strategy: I install a fresh new bundle and make the necessary changes in the file system. This seems to work with much less problems to me.

Here are the general steps I use to follow:

Step 1: The new installation

  1. point to database (+ potentially install driver) - now in
  2. config mail service - now in
  3. configure the start script (for tomcat:

Step 2: Do the post installation steps

  1. Transport additional webcontent (In my case I had some html and applets in a folder. This needs to go into the ROOT folder)
  2. Finalize the file (Normally you have to take everything that is in the _legacy_ properties provided by liferay. This goes especially for authorizations - you can't login if you are migration from an old version due to some algorithm changes)
  3. (optional) In my case I have to change the port to 9080 - so I have to modify the web.xml file of tomcat
  4. provide "authentication"files for google or yahoo webmastertools

Said and done. :)

No honestly: Of course it cost my about two days again - but this time especially due to some tomcat specific things I wasn't used to - and some changes in 5.2.2.
But I will describe this in the next post.