Tim Dietrich

Custom Software Developer

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Installing FileMaker Server 12

In all of the years that I've been installing FileMaker Server (and it's more than I care to admit), I can think of maybe two or three times that I'd describe the process as being painless. For whatever reason, regardless of the hardware, the operating system, the version of FileMaker Server being installed, the process is consistently a nightmare. And my latest installation is no exception.

Let me start by describing the scenario:

• Mac Mini Server, Mid-2011, with 8 GB of RAM and dual 500 GB SATA hard drives.
• Fresh install of OS X 10.8.4, with the Server app installed.
• Java Version 7 Update 25.
• FileMaker Server 12.0.4.

You would think that an install like this would be a breeze. Nope.

First issue: The admin console would not start. I could get it to start from a Mac on the network, but it refused to start on the server itself. Turns out that the "webstart" file was downloading, but I couldn't see it. And the reason: Safari's "open safe files after downloading" preference was enabled (the default). I unchecked it, and it worked like a charm.

Second issue: The PHP Custom Web Publishing technology test was failing. This one really frustrated me, because I tried a number of different things, including using the version of PHP that ships with FileMaker, the version installed with OSX, etc. I think I reinstalled FileMaker Server a half dozen times. The IWP test worked perfectly, and I could see the database over the network with FileMaker Pro. The privileges were set properly... WTF? I closed the FMServer_Sample database, re-opened it, and the test worked.

Hours lost. Lots of cursing. Lots of frustration. An afternoon wasted...

But FileMaker Server is up and running.