This chapter will familiarise you with how to use the Apache ActiveMQ Artemis server.

We’ll show where it is, how to start and stop it, and we’ll describe the directory layout and what all the files are and what they do.

This document will refer to the full path of the directory where the ActiveMQ distribution has been extracted to as ${ARTEMIS_HOME}.

1. Installation

You can get the latest release from the Download page.

The following highlights some important folders on the distribution:

|___ bin
|___ examples
|      |___ common
|      |___ features
|      |___ perf
|      |___ protocols
|___ lib
|      |___ client
|___ schema
|___ web

binaries and scripts needed to run ActiveMQ Artemis.


All manner of examples. Please refer to the examples chapter for details on how to run them.


jars and libraries needed to run ActiveMQ Artemis


XML Schemas used to validate ActiveMQ Artemis configuration files


The folder where the web context is loaded when the broker runs.

2. Creating a Broker Instance

A broker instance is the directory containing all the configuration and runtime data, such as logs and message journal, associated with a broker process. It is recommended that you do not create the instance directory under ${ARTEMIS_HOME}. This separation is encouraged so that you can more easily upgrade when the next version of ActiveMQ Artemis is released.

On Unix systems, it is a common convention to store this kind of runtime data under the /var/lib directory. For example, to create an instance at /var/lib/mybroker, run the following commands in your command line shell:

Before the broker is used, a broker instance must be created. This process requires the use of the Command Line Interface which is better explained in its own chapter.

In the following example a broker instance named mybroker will be created:

$ cd /var/lib
$ ${ARTEMIS_HOME}/bin/artemis create mybroker

A broker instance directory will contain the following sub directories:


holds execution scripts associated with this instance.


holds the data files used for storing persistent messages


hold the instance configuration files


holds any custom runtime Java dependencies like transformers, plugins, interceptors, etc.


holds rotating log files


holds temporary files that are safe to delete between broker runs

At this point you may want to adjust the default configuration located in the etc directory.

2.1. Options

There are several options you can use when creating an instance. For a full list of options use the help command:

$ ./artemis help create
        artemis create - creates a new broker instance

        artemis create [--addresses <addresses>] [--aio] [--allow-anonymous]
                [--autocreate] [--blocking] [--cluster-password <clusterPassword>]
                [--cluster-user <clusterUser>] [--clustered] [--data <data>]
                [--default-port <defaultPort>] [--disable-persistence]
                [--encoding <encoding>] [--etc <etc>] [--failover-on-shutdown] [--force]
                [--global-max-size <globalMaxSize>] [--home <home>] [--host <host>]
                [--http-host <httpHost>] [--http-port <httpPort>]
                [--java-options <javaOptions>] [--jdbc]
                [--jdbc-bindings-table-name <jdbcBindings>]
                [--jdbc-connection-url <jdbcURL>]
                [--jdbc-driver-class-name <jdbcClassName>]
                [--jdbc-large-message-table-name <jdbcLargeMessages>]
                [--jdbc-lock-expiration <jdbcLockExpiration>]
                [--jdbc-lock-renew-period <jdbcLockRenewPeriod>]
                [--jdbc-message-table-name <jdbcMessages>]
                [--jdbc-network-timeout <jdbcNetworkTimeout>]
                [--jdbc-node-manager-table-name <jdbcNodeManager>]
                [--jdbc-page-store-table-name <jdbcPageStore>]
                [--journal-device-block-size <journalDeviceBlockSize>] [--mapped]
                [--max-hops <maxHops>] [--message-load-balancing <messageLoadBalancing>]
                [--name <name>] [--nio] [--no-amqp-acceptor] [--no-autocreate]
                [--no-autotune] [--no-fsync] [--no-hornetq-acceptor]
                [--no-mqtt-acceptor] [--no-stomp-acceptor] [--no-web] [--paging]
                [--password <password>] [--ping <ping>] [--port-offset <portOffset>]
                [--queues <queues>] [--relax-jolokia] [--replicated] [--require-login]
                [--role <role>] [--security-manager <securityManager>] [--shared-store]
                [--silent] [--slave] [--ssl-key <sslKey>]
                [--ssl-key-password <sslKeyPassword>] [--ssl-trust <sslTrust>]
                [--ssl-trust-password <sslTrustPassword>] [--static-cluster <staticNode>]
                [--use-client-auth] [--user <user>] [--verbose] [--] <directory>

        --addresses <addresses>
            Comma separated list of addresses

            Sets the journal as asyncio.

            Enables anonymous configuration on security, opposite of
            --require-login (Default: input)

            Auto create addresses. (default: true)

            Block producers when address becomes full, opposite of --paging
            (Default: false)

        --cluster-password <clusterPassword>
            The cluster password to use for clustering. (Default: input)

        --cluster-user <clusterUser>
            The cluster user to use for clustering. (Default: input)

            Enable clustering

        --data <data>
            Directory where ActiveMQ data are stored. Paths can be absolute or
            relative to artemis.instance directory ('data' by default)

        --default-port <defaultPort>
            The port number to use for the main 'artemis' acceptor (Default:

            Disable message persistence to the journal

        --encoding <encoding>
            The encoding that text files should use

        --etc <etc>
            Directory where ActiveMQ configuration is located. Paths can be
            absolute or relative to artemis.instance directory ('etc' by

            Valid for shared store: will shutdown trigger a failover? (Default:

            Overwrite configuration at destination directory

        --global-max-size <globalMaxSize>
            Maximum amount of memory which message data may consume (Default:
            Undefined, half of the system's memory)

        --home <home>
            Directory where ActiveMQ Artemis is installed

        --host <host>
            The host name of the broker (Default: or input if clustered)

        --http-host <httpHost>
            The host name to use for embedded web server (Default: localhost)

        --http-port <httpPort>
            The port number to use for embedded web server (Default: 8161)

        --java-options <javaOptions>
            Extra java options to be passed to the profile

            It will activate jdbc

        --jdbc-bindings-table-name <jdbcBindings>
            Name of the jdbc bindings table

        --jdbc-connection-url <jdbcURL>
            The connection used for the database

        --jdbc-driver-class-name <jdbcClassName>
            JDBC driver classname

        --jdbc-large-message-table-name <jdbcLargeMessages>
            Name of the large messages table

        --jdbc-lock-expiration <jdbcLockExpiration>
            Lock expiration

        --jdbc-lock-renew-period <jdbcLockRenewPeriod>
            Lock Renew Period

        --jdbc-message-table-name <jdbcMessages>
            Name of the jdbc messages table

        --jdbc-network-timeout <jdbcNetworkTimeout>
            Network timeout

        --jdbc-node-manager-table-name <jdbcNodeManager>
            Name of the jdbc node manager table

        --jdbc-page-store-table-name <jdbcPageStore>
            Name of the page store messages table

        --journal-device-block-size <journalDeviceBlockSize>
            The block size by the device, default at 4096.

            Sets the journal as mapped.

        --max-hops <maxHops>
            Number of hops on the cluster configuration

        --message-load-balancing <messageLoadBalancing>
            Load balancing policy on cluster. [ON_DEMAND (default) | STRICT |

        --name <name>
            The name of the broker (Default: same as host)

            Sets the journal as nio.

            Disable the AMQP specific acceptor.

            Disable Auto create addresses.

            Disable auto tuning on the journal.

            Disable usage of fdatasync (channel.force(false) from java nio) on
            the journal

            Disable the HornetQ specific acceptor.

            Disable the MQTT specific acceptor.

            Disable the STOMP specific acceptor.

            Remove the web-server definition from bootstrap.xml

            Page messages to disk when address becomes full, opposite of
            --blocking (Default: true)

        --password <password>
            The user's password (Default: input)

        --ping <ping>
            A comma separated string to be passed on to the broker config as
            network-check-list. The broker will shutdown when all these
            addresses are unreachable.

        --port-offset <portOffset>
            Off sets the ports of every acceptor

        --queues <queues>
            Comma separated list of queues with the option to specify a routing
            type. (ex: --queues myqueue,mytopic:multicast)

            disable strict checking on jolokia-access.xml

            Enable broker replication

            This will configure security to require user / password, opposite of

        --role <role>
            The name for the role created (Default: amq)

        --security-manager <securityManager>
            Which security manager to use - jaas or basic (Default: jaas)

            Enable broker shared store

            It will disable all the inputs, and it would make a best guess for
            any required input

            Valid for shared store or replication: this is a slave server?

        --ssl-key <sslKey>
            The key store path for embedded web server

        --ssl-key-password <sslKeyPassword>
            The key store password

        --ssl-trust <sslTrust>
            The trust store path in case of client authentication

        --ssl-trust-password <sslTrustPassword>
            The trust store password

        --static-cluster <staticNode>
            Cluster node connectors list, separated by comma: Example

            If the embedded server requires client authentication

        --user <user>
            The username (Default: input)

            Adds more information on the execution

            This option can be used to separate command-line options from the
            list of argument, (useful when arguments might be mistaken for
            command-line options

            The instance directory to hold the broker's configuration and data.
            Path must be writable.

Some of these options may be mandatory in certain configurations and the system may ask you for additional input, e.g.:

./artemis create /usr/server
Creating ActiveMQ Artemis instance at: /user/server

--user: is a mandatory property!
Please provide the default username:

--password: is mandatory with this configuration:
Please provide the default password:

--allow-anonymous | --require-login: is a mandatory property!
Allow anonymous access?, valid values are Y,N,True,False

Auto tuning journal ...
done! Your system can make 0.34 writes per millisecond, your journal-buffer-timeout will be 2956000

You can now start the broker by executing:

   "/user/server/bin/artemis" run

Or you can run the broker in the background using:

   "/user/server/bin/artemis-service" start

3. Starting and Stopping a Broker Instance

Assuming you created the broker instance under /var/lib/mybroker all you need to do start running the broker instance is execute:

/var/lib/mybroker/bin/artemis run

Now that the broker is running, you can optionally run some of the included examples to verify the broker is running properly.

To stop the Apache ActiveMQ Artemis instance you will use the same artemis script, but with the stop argument. Example:

/var/lib/mybroker/bin/artemis stop

Please note that Apache ActiveMQ Artemis requires a Java 11 or later.

By default the etc/bootstrap.xml configuration is used. The configuration can be changed e.g. by running ./artemis run -- xml:path/to/bootstrap.xml or another config of your choosing.

Environment variables are used to provide ease of changing ports, hosts and data directories used and can be found in etc/artemis.profile on linux and etc\artemis.profile.cmd on Windows.

4. Configuration Files

These are the files you’re likely to find in the etc directory of a default broker instance with a short explanation of what they configure. Scroll down further for additional details as appropriate.


system properties and JVM arguments (e.g. Xmx, Xms, etc.)

user/role mapping for the default properties-based JAAS login module

user/password for the default properties-based JAAS login module


embedded web server, security, location of broker.xml


core broker configuration, e.g. acceptors, addresses, queues, diverts, clustering; full reference


security for Jolokia, specifically Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS)

logging config like levels, log file locations, etc.


standard Java configuration for JAAS security


remote connectivity and security for JMX MBeans

4.1. Bootstrap Configuration File

The bootstrap.xml file is very simple. Let’s take a look at an example:

<broker xmlns="">

   <jaas-security domain="activemq"/>

   <server configuration="file:/path/to/broker.xml"/>

   <web path="web">
      <binding uri="http://localhost:8161">
         <app url="activemq-branding" war="activemq-branding.war"/>
         <app url="artemis-plugin" war="artemis-plugin.war"/>
         <app url="console" war="console.war"/>

Configures JAAS-based security for the server. The domain attribute refers to the relevant login module entry in login.config. If different behavior is needed then a custom security manager can be configured by replacing jaas-security with security-manager. See the "Custom Security Manager" section in the security chapter for more details.


Instantiates a core server using the configuration file from the configuration attribute. This is the main broker POJO necessary to do all the real messaging work.


Configures an embedded web server for things like the admin console.

4.2. Broker configuration file

The configuration for the Apache ActiveMQ Artemis core broker is contained in broker.xml.

There are many attributes which you can configure for Apache ActiveMQ Artemis. In most cases the defaults will do fine, in fact every attribute can be defaulted which means a file with a single empty configuration element is a valid configuration file. The different configuration will be explained throughout the manual or you can refer to the configuration reference here.

5. Other Use-Cases

5.1. System Property Substitution

It is possible to use system property substitution in all the configuration files. by replacing a value with the name of a system property. Here is an example of this with a connector configuration:

<connector name="netty">tcp://${}:${activemq.remoting.netty.port:61616}</connector>

Here you can see we have replaced 2 values with system properties and activemq.remoting.netty.port. These values will be replaced by the value found in the system property if there is one, if not they default back to localhost or 61616 respectively. It is also possible to not supply a default (i.e. ${}), however the system property must be supplied in that case.

5.2. Windows Server

On windows you will have the option to run ActiveMQ Artemis as a service. Just use the following command to install it:

 $ ./artemis-service.exe install

The create process should give you a hint of the available commands available for the artemis-service.exe

5.3. Adding Bootstrap Dependencies

Bootstrap dependencies like logging handlers must be accessible by the log manager at boot time. Package the dependency in a jar and put it on the boot classpath before of log manager jar. This can be done appending the jar at the variable JAVA_ARGS, defined in artemis.profile, with the option -Xbootclasspath/a.

the environment variable JAVA_ARGS_APPEND can be used to append or override options.

5.4. Adding Runtime Dependencies

Runtime dependencies like diverts, transformers, broker plugins, JDBC drivers, password decoders, etc. must be accessible by the broker at runtime. Package the dependency in a jar, and put it on the broker’s classpath. This can be done by placing the jar file in the lib directory of the broker distribution itself, by placing the jar file in the lib directory of the broker instance, by setting the system property artemis.extra.libs with the directory that contains the jar file, or by setting the environment variable ARTEMIS_EXTRA_LIBS with the directory that contains the jar file, A broker instance does not have a lib directory by default so it may need to be created. It should be on the "top" level with the bin, data, log, etc. directories. The system property artemis.extra.libs is a comma separated list of directories that contains jar files, i.e.


The environment variable ARTEMIS_EXTRA_LIBS is a comma separated list of directories that contains jar files and is ignored if the system property artemis.extra.libs is defined, i.e.

export ARTEMIS_EXTRA_LIBS=/usr/local/share/java/lib1,/usr/local/share/java/lib2

5.5. Library Path

If you’re using the Asynchronous IO Journal on Linux, you need to specify java.library.path as a property on your Java options. This is done automatically in the scripts.

If you don’t specify java.library.path at your Java options then the JVM will use the environment variable LD_LIBRARY_PATH.

You will need to make sure libaio is installed on Linux. For more information refer to the libaio chapter.