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Websphere file system

websphere application server network deployment websphere application server network deployment

Like other application servers, also Websphere ships with a file system which contains both the server configuration files and the binaries. Basically, the WAS Filesystem structure is split into two core sections:

  • WAS Product installation: containing folders used by different profiles
  • WAS Profiles: containing key folders which belong to a profile


The amount of directories contained in a WAS installation is quite large as the application server creates a bunch of folders for internal use. We will focus on the folders which are used across this book. If you need further information consult the IBM Infocenter at

The application server installation will create the following structure under your WAS_ROOT:

  • bin: contains the core WAS binaries, tools and scripts used to administer the application server.
  • java: contains the IBM SDK which is used to run WAS.
  • logs: contains the WAS installation and configuration logs. Useful to debug installation  issues.
  • scriptLibraries: contains a large set of Jython scripts which can be used to manage WAS using the wsadmin scripting tool.
  • profiles: contains the list of profiles which are installed in WAS. Discussed in the next section.
  • profileTemplates: the XML files in this folder are used by Websphere to create new profiles. Depending on the type of WAS distribution you are using (WAS, WAS ND) you can find out different templates in this folder.
  • properties: contains product-level configuration stored as properties such as the list of installed profiles. You should not attempt to modify the files in this folder.
  • uninstall: contains the scripts used to uninstall the application server.

The following picture depicts the core WAS file system structure:

websphere application server network deployment websphere application server network deployment

Digging into the profiles file system

A profile contains the actual configuration of an application server. Within this folder you will find all the server profiles that you have created so far. The following list outlines which are the key folders used by a WAS profile:

  • bin: contains the script to administer the server profile. Most of the time these scripts recall the server-wide scripts contained in the WAS_ROOT/bin folder.
  • config: contains the server configuration which is stored as XML files. WAS ships with a large set of XML files which reflect the available server scopes (Cell/Node/Server). We will discuss more in detail about the server configuration in the next recipe.
  • installableApps: contains the default WAS applications which (depending on the type of installation used) can be installed or not. Contains the defaultApplication.ear example application.
  • installedApps: contains the deployed applications installed on WAS.
  • logs: contains the WAS runtime logs. This is a key folder for administration of the server and of the applications deployed on it.
  • properties: Websphere supports setting server specific properties which are persisted in this folder.
  • temp: contains runtime temporary files. You might find useful digging in this folder if you need to debug JSPs, as it contains the converted Java classes.