Adam Tuttle

Resolving Apache/ColdFusion connection error in MAMP Pro

I've been using MAMP Pro for a while to do local ColdFusion development on my Macbook. It makes installing, configuring, and connecting Apache, MySQL, and (shudder) PHP an absolute breeze. And with a little bit of know-how, you can add ColdFusion into the mix to make a stack that is not only easy to use, but fun. When I was consulting, it was well worth the $60 pricetag to be able to use multiple hostnames, but if you only need 1 hostname or are perfectly happy to work out of subfolders of http://localhost/, then the free version of MAMP would be fine for you.

I'm not going to show you how to install ColdFusion 9 into MAMP Pro, because there is already a great video that shows how to install ColdFusion 8 into MAMP Pro, and the install process for CF9 is not different enough to warrant a whole new video by itself. Instead, I'm going to show you how to fix an error that I consistently ran into during the installation process detailed in that video.

At right around the 19 minute mark of that video, the presenter has completed installing ColdFusion and configured MAMP to connect to it; so he restarts his MAMP services to give it a go. At this point, I get the error:

Start Apache failed
Apache wasn't able to start. Please check log for more information.

How do you fix this? Well, why don't I show you?

If this version is too small, you can view it full screen, or you can watch the HD copy on Vimeo.

Hopefully this proves helpful to others out there that want to run CF9 on MAMP or MAMP Pro. I know it drove me nuts for a while.

6 responses:

Shannon Hicks

Shannon Hicks

Go Phillies...

I only like two baseball teams... The Cubs and anyone whoever's playing against the Yankees. :)
Eric Ryan Jones

Eric Ryan Jones


You using the latest MAMP? I can't seem to get it to work for me.. MAMP now uses Apache 64bit but your hack doesn't work... ideas?


Hi Eric,

I've since switched away from MAMP, sorry. I now just use the included Apache and MySQL installs in OSX.


In case anyone else is still trying to run MAMP PRO 1.9 and ColdFusion 9 and is also trying to run on OS X Lion, here is what worked for me getting these talking to each other:

After I'd run the ColdFusion installer, I had to follow the steps in the video above - only to find, though, that there wasn't a wsconfig folder let alone a wsconfig/1 folder into which to copy the replacement file! I was puzzled. After a little bit of googling, I found that I needed to install Java for Lion. Still didn't quite fix the problem. So, I uninstalled ColdFusion 9 and ran the installation again. This time, after getting through all the steps and running the web server connector utility etc, it worked. So, I am up and running. I may still, I suppose, need to update to MAMP PRO 2.0 as 1.9 isn't supposed to be Lion compatible but, for now, I'd like to try to avoid that.


I have tried following the video and I too can't get MAMP and CF9 to connect. Like Liz I find that the wsconfig/1 directory keeps vanishing when I use the Webserver Connector Utility, along with it's contents. This happens when I try to configure for MAMP and CF9 connector setup but it fails to complete with the error that it can't find the file connectors/apache/intel-macosx64/prebuilt/
This is true... when I download the x64 version of CF9 and install, the wsconfig.jar file contains a directory at connectors/apache/intel-macosx/prebuilt/ that contains 3 mod_jrun flavors. But notice that the dir inside of apache is intel-macosx, not intel-macosx64. So either the script being run by the utility is in error or the directory bundled in the .jar file is wrong. I also keep running into permissions issues that foul up the Webserver Connector Utility preventing any password I enter (when it prompts for it) from working. I finally figured out I had to chmod -R 777 on the wsconfig directory in ColdFusion9/runtime/lib directory
I can find no directions on any website that works for me using MAMP 2.1.x and CF9 x64bit.

I have installed CF9 5 times now, fiddled with the httpd.conf file (which never gets auto-written with the CF jrun connection lines). I'm bald from pulling out hair.
If you/anyone can help I'd sure appreciate knowing where to find it and/or how to do this.


Well I gave up too soon. I found an article that describes my situation perfectly and it had the solution that WORKED! Yeehaa! It is here:

Hope this saves some other people's hair.

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