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Common problems and solutions

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This topic lists questions or issues that you might encounter when working with ArcGIS Server and suggests possible solutions. If you don't find the problem you're looking for, you can also search for articles on the Esri Support Center website.





When starting ArcGIS Server, I get a warning stating that my /etc/hosts entry for this machine does not match the IP address of the machine.

ArcGIS Server has several processes that communicate among themselves. Therefore, the machine's IP address for the machine must be correct for those components to work. There are two ways to address this issue:

  • Remove the entry in the hosts file for the machine.
  • If the entry is needed for some other purpose required by your organization, update the IP address. To make these changes, superuser access is required. To obtain the current IP address, run the ifconfig command. Then, open /etc/hosts in a text editor and either delete or modify the line.

Why does the setup prevent me from installing ArcGIS Server if the ArcGIS Server installation user has a file handle limit of less than 65,535 and a process limit of less than 25,059?

ArcGIS Server is a data-intensive server product, and many of its data formats consist of hundreds of thousands of files. In heavily used systems, thousands or tens of thousands of files may be in use at any given time. If there are insufficient file handles and processes, requests may start failing randomly, leading to system downtime. The actual number of file handles and processes needed varies based on the data and the number of instances (threads/processes) running. Setting a file handle limit of 65,535 and a process limit of 25,059 will allow you to ensure that the system remains running.

There are soft and hard limits for file handles and processes on Linux. To determine the hard limits, use the ulimit -Hn -Hu (or limit -h descriptors if you're using csh) command. To determine the soft limits, use the ulimit -Sn -Su (or limit descriptors if you're using csh) command.

To increase the soft and hard limits, you'll need to edit the /etc/security/limits.conf file with superuser access. For example, you can add four lines in the file as follows:

<ArcGIS Server installation user> soft nofile 65535

<ArcGIS Server installation user> hard nofile 65535

<ArcGIS Server installation user> soft nproc 25059

<ArcGIS Server installation user> hard nproc 25059

After making this change, you'll need to log out and log back in with the particular user for the new values to take effect. To verify that the limits have been modified appropriately, use the ulimit -Hn -Hu and ulimit -Sn -Su commands as described above.

Why are some folders left behind after uninstalling?

When you uninstall ArcGIS Server, some folders and files are left on disk. These are left for your convenience if you reinstall or upgrade the product. If you don't plan on reinstalling, you can delete these files.

You might notice persisting files located at <ArcGIS Server installation directory>/arcgis/server/usr that include the following:

  • server directories
  • config-store
  • log files

Leaving these folders preserves map and globe caches, your installation configuration, and other server resources that you might want to keep if you reinstall. Server directories that you created and registered on your own are also not affected by uninstalling.

I get an error message about my license being expired.

If you receive a message about your license being expired, contact Esri Customer Service to obtain a new license and reauthorize ArcGIS Server using the ArcGIS Software Authorization Wizard.

How do I change ArcGIS Server to use a port other than 6080 and a site name other than arcgis?

By default, ArcGIS Server exposes its web services through port 6080 and uses a site name of arcgis. For example, the default URL to an ArcGIS Server site is The recommended way to expose your web services through a different port and site name is to install ArcGIS Web Adaptor.

I am concerned about the security implications of the primary site administrator password reset ( script. What can I do about this?

If you are in a highly secure environment, you should restrict file permissions to the configuration store, and disable the primary site administrator account. Performing these two tasks ensures that the primary site administrator account password reset script will have no effect on the security of your site.

To learn more, see Best practices for configuring a secure environment.

Will ArcGIS Server work when disconnected from the network?

If you have multiple GIS server machines participating in your ArcGIS Server site, the site requires the network to function.

If you have a one-machine deployment—that is, one GIS server machine participating in an ArcGIS Server site—ArcGIS Server will operate correctly when disconnected from the network as long as all the data referenced by your GIS services are stored locally on that machine. Additionally, if the GIS server machine is part of a domain and you have disconnected the computer from the domain, you must specify a local account as the ArcGIS Server account.

I'm attempting to connect to the server in ArcGIS for Desktop through ArcGIS Web Adaptor, and my connection fails.

If your server administrator has configured the Web Adaptor to block administrative access to the server, you will not be able to connect to the server in ArcGIS for Desktop through the Web Adaptor URL using an administrative or publisher connection. Alternatively, you can connect directly to the GIS server in ArcGIS for Desktop by using the URL format For more information, see About connecting to ArcGIS Server in ArcGIS for Desktop.

Can I safely rename a GIS server machine in my ArcGIS Server site?

Yes. ArcGIS Server will automatically detect a machine name change and reconfigure your site to use the new name. After you use your operating system's tools to rename the machine, you may see the following message in the server logs:

ArcGIS Server has detected that the server machine [old machine name] has been changed to [new machine name]. ArcGIS Server will be updated automatically to use the new host name.

Depending on your site deployment, you may need to perform some additional steps to ensure that your site is configured properly to use the new machine name:

  • If you've enabled SSL for your site and your certificate was using the previous machine name, you'll need to generate a new SSL certificate and configure your site to use it. For full instructions, see Enabling SSL on ArcGIS Server.
  • If you've configured ArcGIS Web Adaptor to use your previous machine name, you'll need to configure it with a new URL that uses the updated machine name. For full instructions, see Configuring the Web Adaptor after installation.

How do I set access permissions on files created by ArcGIS Server at run time?

The files generated by ArcGIS Server at run time are only accessible by the account running ArcGIS Server. To change the access permissions of the files generated at run time (for example, server logs), you'll need to set the user file mode creation mask (umask) in the script. To edit this script, navigate to the <ArcGIS Server installation directory>/arcgis/server/usr directory.

  • By default, umask is set to 077, which means that no other users can read or write data to the runtime files. This is sufficient for most private ArcGIS Server systems.
  • If umask is set to 022, it allows only the account running ArcGIS Server to read and write data. However, anyone on the system can read the data.
  • Setting umask to 002 is a good option when the account running ArcGIS Server shares data with other users in the same group. Keep in mind that members of the group in which the account running ArcGIS Server belongs to can also create and modify data files. Those outside of the group are not allowed to create and modify data files.
  • Setting umask to 007 completely excludes users who are not group members of the account running ArcGIS Sever.

You'll need to restart ArcGIS Server immediately after modifying access permissions for your changes to take effect. Keep in mind that once you modify the umask setting to a value other than 077, you have altered the access permissions of all the files created by ArcGIS Server at run time.

I disabled HTTP-based communication in my ArcGIS Server site and now I can't access the help using the installed shortcuts.

After disabling HTTP-based communication, you will be unable to access local help documentation from the installed shortcuts since they are configured to use HTTP in their URLs. As a workaround, you can manually modify the shortcuts to use HTTPS. Keep in mind that this only applies to local help resources, not content hosted on the web by Esri.

I see an Invalid database connection or The data item is inaccessible error when I try to register a database with ArcGIS Server.

These errors can appear if the database client software or libraries are not found on the server machine. Each GIS server on your site must have the 64-bit version of the database client software installed before you can register your database with ArcGIS Server. See the following topics to learn about the required client software:

Once you have installed the client software, restart ArcGIS Server.

ArcGIS Web Adaptor does not recognize unavailable machines or new machines I've added to my site.

By default, ArcGIS Web Adaptor checks the site for new or unavailable machines every minute. If you've waited over one minute since a machine was added, removed, or disabled, and the Web Adaptor still doesn't recognize the changes, it could be because you changed the properties of the user who originally registered the Web Adaptor with the site.

For example, if the account used to register ArcGIS Web Adaptor with the site was disabled, the password changed, or the role type was demoted to a role that does not have administrative privileges, the Web Adaptor will be unable to check the status of your site for new or unavailable machines. To fix this issue, you'll need to reconfigure the Web Adaptor. For full instructions, see Configuring the Web Adaptor after installation.

Where are the server configuration files that I used in ArcGIS Server 10.0 and earlier versions?

The plain text server configuration files that were used in ArcGIS Server 10.0 and earlier versions are no longer part of the server architecture beginning at version 10.1. You may find similar looking files in the configuration store, but these files are not intended to be manually edited, and you may severely disrupt your server's stability if you choose to directly modify them. Instead, you should use ArcGIS Server Manager to adjust your server properties. ArcGIS Server also exposes the ArcGIS REST API, which you can use to safely script changes to your server configuration. See Logging in to Manager and Scripting ArcGIS Server administration to get started.

How do I change the temp directory used by ArcGIS Server?

The default location for the temp directory is <ArcGIS Server installation directory>/arcgis/server/temp. To specify a different temp directory, you will need to set the SERVER_TEMP_DIR variable in the script. To edit this script, browse to the <ArcGIS Server installation directory>/arcgis/server/usr directory. Remove the # sign in front of the SERVER_TEMP_DIR environment variable, and specify the location of a new temp directory. The location you specify must be accessible by the account that was used to install ArcGIS Server.

# -----------------------------------------------------------------------
# Modify this section to change the temp directory
# The default location for the temp directory is at
# <ArcGIS Server installation directory>/arcgis/server/temp.
# The specified directory needs to be accessible by the account
# that was used to install ArcGIS for Server.
# -----------------------------------------------------------------------

For your settings to take effect in the script, you'll need to restart ArcGIS Server. You can do this by manually restarting each GIS server in your deployment by running the script.

Can I configure the same ArcGIS Web Adaptor to work with both ArcGIS Server and Portal for ArcGIS?

No. You cannot configure the Web Adaptor to work with both. You can only configure ArcGIS Web Adaptor to work solely with ArcGIS Server or Portal for ArcGIS.

I attempted to create or join an ArcGIS Server site and something failed. How do I troubleshoot the issue?

If you encounter a failure when creating or joining an ArcGIS Server site, you can troubleshoot the issue by addressing the error messages reported in the create site or join site summary panel. Additionally, a log of the event is recorded on disk, located at <ArcGIS for Server installation directory>/arcgis/server/usr/logs/<machine name>/server. The messages in the log can provide additional insight into what caused the issue. To view the log, browse to the logs directory and open the log in a text editor.

I can't log in to Manager.

To log in to Manager, you must provide a user name and password that has been granted administrator or publisher privileges to the GIS server. User names and passwords are case sensitive. You must provide the proper case to log in to Manager. Talk with your server administrator to find out which user name and password you should use. If you are the administrator, provide the user name and password that you specified when creating the site. For more information, see Logging in to Manager.

Which browsers are supported by ArcGIS Server Manager?

To have access to the best possible user experience, it is recommended that you use ArcGIS Server Manager in either a Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explorer 9, 10, or 11 browser. Using Internet Explorer 8 may result in a lower-quality display of Manager.

In version 10, I could retrieve my Bing Maps key from Manager. How do I do this in 10.3.1?

The ability to retrieve your Bing Maps key using Manager was removed beginning at 10.1. You should visit the My Esri website or contact your Esri customer service representative to find out about your key.

When attempting to publish a service definition file in Manager, I can only browse my local file system. Why can I not see the server's file system?

When you publish a service definition file (SD), it's uploaded to the server. By design, Manager only shows you the file system of the local machine when browsing for an SD.

The common workflow is to sign in to Manager on the machine containing the SD, choose to publish a service, then browse to the SD. The SD is then automatically uploaded to the server and deployed as a service.

I upgraded to ArcGIS 10.3.1 for Server and now my service URL and instance name are different than they were at 10.

By default, ArcGIS Server exposes its web services through port 6080 and uses a site name of arcgis. The services you create at 10.1 and later releases will include port 6080 and arcgis as part of the service URL. For example:

ArcGIS Server versionURL example

10.1 and later releases

If you want to preserve your version 10 service URLs and instance name at 10.1 or later, you should install ArcGIS Web Adaptor. The Web Adaptor connects ArcGIS Server with your enterprise web server, allowing you to configure a URL for your site that matches your ArcGIS 10 deployment. For more information, see About ArcGIS Web Adaptor.

Why can't I publish MXDs, MSDs, address locators, and other GIS resources to the server using Manager?

Beginning at ArcGIS 10.1 for Server, GIS resources that you attempt to publish to ArcGIS Server are put through a more rigorous analysis process to make sure they are ready to be exposed on the web. Since you'll need to analyze your GIS resources before publishing, ArcGIS for Desktop has now become the primary tool that you'll use to publish services to ArcGIS Server.

However, if you are in a cloud or highly secure environment, you can create service definition files that can be published to ArcGIS Server using Manager. Service definition files offer you a way to take a snapshot of your GIS resources and data and publish them to ArcGIS Server as services at a later time. Any GIS resource can be analyzed and encapsulated as a service definition file in ArcGIS for Desktop. Once the service definition file is created, you can browse to it in Manager and publish it as a service.

For more information, see About publishing services.

After creating an ArcGIS Server site, I notice services appearing in the services list in Manager. What are these? Why can't I delete some of them?

The ArcGIS for Server installation comes with a variety of preconfigured services that help you do common tasks such as the following:

  • Caching maps and image services (CachingTools, ReportingTools)
  • Publishing services (PublishingTools)
  • Printing web maps (PrintingTools)
  • Performing geometric calculations (Geometry)
  • Previewing the functionality of ArcGIS Server (SampleWorldCities)
  • Synchronizing data between clients and ArcGIS Server (SyncTools)

Essential services, such as CachingTools, PublishingTools, and ReportingTools are started by default and cannot be deleted. Stopping these services would be detrimental to the performance and functionality of ArcGIS Server.

Nonessential services, such as Geometry and PrintingTools are stopped by default. If you need to use these services, you can explicitly start them in Manager or ArcGIS for Desktop. The SampleWorldCities map service is started by default and can be deleted at any time.

Keep in mind that server resources are consumed only when a service is started and requested to perform a task. For more information, see the preconfigured services section of What's included with ArcGIS Server.

I added a service to a web app, but the service seems to be unavailable.

If your web app references a service from a remote server (a different server from the one where your web app is hosted), the server hosting your web app needs to have permission from the remote server to access the service. Often, the server hosting your web app is the one installed with ArcGIS Web Adaptor, and the server hosting your services is a GIS server. If these two servers reside on different domains, the web browser plug-in running the web app is not allowed to access the service for security reasons. To access services across web domains, a client access policy file must be present in the root directory of the web server hosting the service.

If your server administrator has enabled security on your ArcGIS Server site, this file may need to be modified to include the domain of the server hosting your web app. For more information, see Restricting cross-domain requests to ArcGIS Server.

I updated my map document then stopped and started my service, but I don't see the updates in my map service.

At 10.0 and earlier versions of ArcGIS Server, any changes made to the GIS resource referenced by a service could be made available to clients by restarting the service. At 10.1 and later releases, you'll need to overwrite the service so clients see changes to your GIS resource and its source data.

For instructions on how to overwrite your service, see Overwriting a service in ArcGIS for Desktop.

How do I install custom fonts for use with ArcGIS Server?

ArcGIS Server only supports TrueType fonts and OpenType fonts. For fonts to be used successfully within a GIS service, the font must either reside on the server or the font must be embedded within the GIS resource. For example, most fonts can be embedded into a map document, but occasionally you may come across a situation in which a layer uses a font that is not embeddable. When you publish, a warning (20025) will display in ArcGIS for Desktop indicating that the layer uses fonts that are not embeddable and are not on the server.

To address this issue, you'll need to install the fonts directly on ArcGIS Server. To so do, copy the fonts you want to use and place them in the <ArcGIS Server installation directory>/arcgis/server/fonts directory. Make sure the account running ArcGIS Server has read permission on the font files. For the changes to take effect, you'll need to restart ArcGIS Server.

I try to publish a service definition in Manager and my browser crashes.

Service definitions that contain source GIS datasets can take a long time to publish because the data must be transferred to the server. However, it is a known limitation that service definitions over 2 GB in size cannot be published when running Manager in the Internet Explorer or Firefox web browsers. Service definitions over 2 GB can be published when you run Manager in Google Chrome.

If you're unsure whether your service definition is over 2 GB, examine its properties immediately after you create it. If you didn't change the default staging location, the service definition will be in C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Local\ESRI\Desktop<version number>\StagingFolder.

When attempting to publish a map service in ArcMap, I click File > Share As but the Service option is unavailable (grayed out).

If your ArcMap session is running in Layout View, the option to share the map as a service is unavailable. Switching to Data View will allow you to publish the map as a service. See Displaying maps in data view and layout view.

I encounter an error in ArcGIS for Desktop when attempting to publish a GIS resource that references data in a Samba directory.

If the data referenced by your GIS resource resides in a Samba directory, you may encounter the following error in ArcGIS for Desktop when publishing:

Packaging succeeded, but publishing failed. ERROR 001369: Failed to create the service.

This failure may result from opportunistic locking, or oplocks, which is a Windows file-locking feature. When oplocks are enabled in a Samba directory, the Windows machine is allowed to cache files locally. Usually, this is the machine that is being used to publish the service. If a second machine needs access to the data, it must receive an oplocks break from the Windows machine before the file is synchronized back to the second machine. Usually, this is the machine that the service is being published to. If a break is received by the Windows machine during publishing, the subsequent data synchronization may cause publishing to fail.

To work around this issue, you'll need to disable oplocks for each Samba directory you have configured. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. On the machine hosting Samba, open smb.conf.
  2. For each directory configured to be accessible through Samba, add the following properties:

         oplocks = false
         level2 oplocks = false

  3. Save smb.conf.
  4. Run the command testparm to verify that the properties appear in the Samba configuration file.
  5. Restart Samba (SMB) and NetBIOS (NMB) services.

For more information about oplocks, see File and Record Locking in the Samba configuration documentation.

What OGC-compliant services can I publish with ArcGIS Server?

Using ArcGIS Server, you can publish Web Coverage Services (WCS), Web Feature Services (WFS), Web Map Services (WMS), Web Map Tile Services (WMTS), and Web Processing Services (WPS). Additionally, you can configure map services to return Keyhole Markup Language (KML) if requested.

Learn more about OGC support in ArcGIS Server

I'm having trouble creating a service that contains layers from a database or geodatabase.

To understand how to configure the correct permissions required for database and geodatabase data, see Making your data accessible to ArcGIS Server.

I started creating a map cache, and it's taking a long time. When will it finish?

The amount of time needed to create your map cache depends on the scale levels you have chosen, the amount of server resources you have dedicated to generating the cache, and the settings you have chosen (tile format, storage format, and so on). These factors are discussed in detail in the section Anticipating cache creation time in the topic Planning a map cache.

I recently updated my map and globe caches. Are client applications automatically aware that the updated tiles are available?

If you update an area of a map or globe cache, users of ArcMap, ArcGlobe, and ArcGIS Explorer who have already visited that area and extent must clear their local image caches before they can see the updates. As a server administrator, you need to alert your users when updated data is available so that they know to clear their caches. Consult the help system for your client application for instructions on how to clear the local cache.