LabKey Server supports a number of options to control its startup behavior, particularly as it relates to first-time installations and upgrades.

By default, the server will start up and provide status via the web interface. Administrators can log in to monitor startup, installation or upgrade progress. If the server encounters an error during the initialization process, it will remain running and provide error information via the web interface.

Three Java system properties can be passed as -D options on the command-line to the Java virtual machine to adjust the behavior, like


The following options are available. All default to false:

  • synchronousStartup: Ensures that all modules are upgraded, started, and initialized before Tomcat startup is complete. No HTTP/HTTPS requests will be processed until startup is complete, unlike the usual asynchronous upgrade mode. Administrators can monitor the log files to track progress.
  • terminateAfterStartup: Allows "headless" install/upgrade where Tomcat terminates after all modules are upgraded, started, and initialized. Setting this flag to true automatically also sets synchronousStartup=true.
  • terminateOnStartupFailure: Configures the server to shut down immediately if it encounters a fatal error during upgrade, startup, or initialization, with a non-zero exit code. Information will be written to the log files.

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