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ArcGIS Server command line utilities

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ArcGIS Server includes some scriptable utilities that allow you to administer the server from the operating system command line. These are installed as a series of scripts in <ArcGIS for Server installation location>/tools/admin. These utilities can be run directly from this location or by referencing the full path to the directory.

With these utilities, you can do things such as:

  • Start and stop services
  • Add and remove machines from a cluster
  • Publish services from a service definition (.sd) file
  • Back up or restore a site configuration
  • Define new map caches
  • Build and delete map caches
  • Convert map caches between exploded and compact formats

The utilities only support token-based authentication. If your site uses web-tier authentication, you'll need to run these scripts using a built-in account and specify the local URL to your site, as described in the section below.

Common parameters

The parameters described in the following table are used in many of the utilities:



The name of an ArcGIS Server user who will execute the utility. The user must have the appropriate level of privileges to execute the action. If your site is configured with web-tier authentication, specify a built-in user, such as the primary site administrator account.


The password of the user who was specified with the -u parameter.


The URL of the site, in one of the following formats:

If your site is configured with web-tier authentication, you'll need to specify the local URL to your site.


Prints help for the utility.

In the following example, you can see these parameters at work. This example uses the -lc (list clusters) command of the Manage Site utility to list the clusters in the site:


At 10.2.2 and earlier versions, you were required to reference the Python directory and Python extension (.py) when executing the utilities from the command line. At 10.3, this is no longer required. You can run the utilities directly from the command line without referencing these Python dependencies.

If you implemented logic that automates the execution of these utilities, you need to update your scripts to remove the Python dependencies, for example:

  • <ArcGIS Server installation location>/arcgis/server/tools/python
  • The .py extension when referring to the name of the command line utility

See the following example below for correct usage:

<ArcGIS Server installation location>/arcgis/server/tools/admin/managesite -u admin -p admin -s -lc