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Create a site

A site is a deployment of ArcGIS Server. The first time you open ArcGIS Server Manager, you'll be asked whether you want to create a site or join an existing site. The steps below describe how to create a site.

When you create a site, you'll be prompted to enter an account that will act as the primary site administrator. You'll use this account to initially sign in to Manager and configure security. This account is different than the ArcGIS Server account you provided during installation.

  1. Open ArcGIS Server Manager. The URL to open Manager in a browser is, or you can use the installed shortcut.

    If you're prompted for a username and password, someone already created a site with this machine or joined it to an existing site.

  2. Click Create New Site.
  3. To create a site, you are required to define a username and password as the primary site administrator. You'll use this account to initially sign in to Manager and configure security. It has unrestricted access to the ArcGIS Server site. The default name for the account is siteadmin but you can provide a different name if you want.

    The primary site administrator is recognized only by ArcGIS Server; it is not an operating system account, and it is managed separately from the user accounts in your user store. You can disable it once you've created other administrative accounts.

    Provide a username and password for the primary site administrator account and click Next.

  4. Type the paths where you want the default server directories and configuration store to be created. These folders hold information essential to your site. If you'll have multiple machines in your site, specify UNC paths to two shared folders that you've previously prepared. This will allow all machines in the site to see the directories.

    Click Next.


    ArcGIS Server configuration store or directory path lengths cannot exceed 260 characters.


    The logs directory is not related to the server directories or the configuration store location. For more information, see Server logs.

  5. Examine the details about the site you're going to create. When you're ready to create the site, click Finish.

    It can take a few minutes to create the site. Once the site creation has completed, you are prompted to sign in to the new site using the primary site administrator account. You are then taken to your new site, where you can see some preconfigured services running.

On any subsequent attempts to open Manager, you will be prompted for your username and password. You can either provide the primary site administrator name and password, or you can provide a user to whom you have granted administrator or publisher privileges using the ArcGIS Server security mechanisms.

To add more machines to your site, first install ArcGIS Server on those machines. When you attempt to access Manager for the first time on those machines, choose Join An Existing Site and provide your site's information. See Join an existing site for more information.


When you create or join a machine to a site, logs at the Verbose level are written to <ArcGIS Server installation directory>\usr\logs\<machine name>\server. If the site creation or join fails, you can open the logs with a text editor to get more information about the problem.

Once the site creation or join is complete, the logs are moved to <ArcGIS Server installation drive>\arcgisserver\logs and the log level is set to Warning. If the ArcGIS Server account does not have permission to create or write to this folder, the site creation or joining the site will fail. If you don't want to give the ArcGIS Server account permissions to create folders on your entire drive, you can manually create this folder in advance and grant the ArcGIS Server account permissions to write to it.