How To: Create a Gold Copy of Adobe CQ Instances – Part 1 of 5

by | Oct 14, 2013 | Web Content Management | 0 comments

A Gold Copy is an image of a fully patched and Custom Configured Adobe CQ instance that leverages the use of run-modes and sling:OsgiConfig nodes.  Once established, the Gold Copy can be “cloned” by System Administrators to efficiently create reliable subsequent installations.

Gold Copies, commonly used in the DBMS world, are still catching on in the world of CRX.  This is surprising when you consider how valuable they can be when something goes wrong, or in situations as routine as adding a new instance when a new developer joins the team.

run-modes [1] allow you to tune your AEM instance for a specific purpose such as: author, publish, test, development, intranet or others. By default, every Adobe CQ instance has to be one of two types: author or publish. These can be extended to address specific needs, for example: author,developer (author instance for developer’s local instances); author,qa (author instance for Quality Assurance instance); publish,preprod (publish instance in pre-production environment); or even much more specific settings like publish,production,us (production instance for publishing content in the US).

To start an instance in different run-modes, use one of the following methods:

  1. quickstart file name: you can provide author or publish run-modes only (depreciated)
  2. -r parameter: when running the java -jar… command you can add -r parameter to set the proper run-mode. For this you must rename your quickstart file to something like cq-quickstart-p4503.jar and provide -r option to the java command, ie: java -jar cq-quickstart-p4503.jar -r publish,qa -gui (publish instance for quality assurance)
  3. edit …/crx-quickstart/conf/
  4. edit start up script under bin folder (preferred method)

sling:OsgiConfig [2] nodes allow you to store configuration parameters for almost all bundles. This is the preferred method as opposed to manually accessing properties dialog box for each bundle in Adobe Web Console (Formerly known as Apache Felix Console).

Here are the steps to set configuration using OSGi config nodes in the repository:

  1. under /apps create a config sling:folder node for configuration affecting all instances (run-modes)
  2. under /apps create a sling:folder node for configurations affecting quality assurance publish instances
  3. under the newly created node create a new node for each OSGi PID you wish to configure; these node have to be of type sling:OsgiConfig
  4. add properties to the newly created nodes with the values you want to set such properties to

There are four major areas of configurations that System Administrators must deal with when installing Adobe CQ for the first time or when restoring a crashed instance. These areas are as important as having a healthy running instance. Blogs 2-5 will cover these sections, and they are: custom configurations, sanity configurations, security configurations and optimization.

Custom Configurations:

  •     Install Service Packs
  •     Remove Geometrixx Web site
  •     Modify Start Script
  •     Change admin password
  •     configure Forward Replication Agent
  •     configure Reverse Replication Agent
  •     configure flush Agent
  •     mappings configurations
  •     clustering author and publishers
  •     dispatcher configuration

Sanity Configurations:

  • version purge
  • Custom Bundles’ log
  • CQ WCM page statistics/CQ multivariate statistics
  • CRX Bundle cache Size
  • DAM renditions
  • CQ HTML Library Manager Settings
  • Email Service Configuration

Security Configurations:

  • remove Geometrixx users
  • change password to default users
  • create users for replication
  • add clickjacking headers
  • disable WebDAV access
  • disable CRXDE Light access
  • disable Debug Mode
  • protect against Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
  • prevent Denial of Service attacks (DoS)


  • Optimize Tar Files
  • Merge Tar Index Files
  • Consistency Check and Fix
  • Run Garbage Collector
  • Check Datastore consistency
  • CSS and JS minify
  • CRX search index’s resultFetchSize param
  • TarJournal File Maximum size
  • Set logging level
  • Apache Sling JSP Script Handler
  • Apache Sling Java Script Handler
  • CQ HTML Library Manager Settings
  • Day CQ HTTP Header Authentication Handler

The crx-quickstart folder we will get after unpacking and applying all configurations described in all 5 parts of this blog (“Creating a Gold Copy of AEM/CQ instances“) will become our Gold-Copy.



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