Installing GeoServer on OSX (again, after 4 years)

A few years back I wrote up my experience installing GeoServer on my Macbook. I thought I’d take another stab at it and see how it goes on a newer Mac, this time running Snow Leopard (10.6.8 Macbook pro).

I’m sure some groups are packaging GeoServer into some sort of simple to install packages that I should know about, but not being daunted by the “hard way” I’m following my new user approach to getting through this: pretend I know nothing. First stop – Then I clicked my way through Download, Stable version and selected Mac OSX Installer – imagine that! My confidence is buoyed as I feel I’m on the right track.

This is brilliant, guys, you couldn’t have made it easier. I only wondered if I should have grabbed the OS Independent download instead, but I won’t test fate by deviating from the obvious at this late hour.

Now that the geoserver-2.1.1.dmg file (56MB) has been downloaded from Sourceforge, let’s see what we got. Can it get easier than this?

GeoServer OSX Installer Package
I dragged the GeoServer icon onto the Applications icon but got an error about the Applications alias. Rather than fiddle, I opened a new Finder window and dragged it directly to the Applications folder – no problem.

Now, what do we get when we launch GeoServer from the Applications icon?

After select the Server -> Start menu it throws a few log lines up the console window and announces that GeoServer is started. Right away my web browser pops up with the GeoServer Welcome Page:

A successful, and very easy, install. You should now have a look at the GeoServer docs to get started with the real utility of the application. Good work GeoServer dev team, I was thrilled to not touch a war file or go hunting for a Tomcat install this time!

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Tyler Mitchell

Product and marketing leader, author and technology writer in NoSQL, big data, graph analytics, and geospatial. Follow me @1tylermitchell or get my book from

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