There is an updates XML syntax for configuring message brokers - see here
So we decided that using XML would make this configuration much easier. we use XBean to perform the XML configuration.
For details of the XML see the Xml Reference
The default ActiveMQ configuration: current default config.
From the binary distributionthere is an activemq script allowing you to run a Message Broker as a stand alone process from the command line easily providing the $ACTIVEMQ_HOME/bin directory is on your PATH.