JIRA, Confluence, Intranets and Windows Firewall

For my work with Quest Consultants, I've been working on setting up version control, issue tracking, and document control. After doing quite a bit of research, I settled on a few Atlassian products, integrating JIRA and Confluence with Subversion (you just can't beat TortoiseSVN for a Subversion client).

Installation goes off without a hitch, generally speaking, but I started to run into a singular, most annoying problem: I couldn't access the site on the intranet.

Logging in from the machine where JIRA and Confluence were installed, I could hit localhost:8080 and localhost:8090 just fine. I could hit machineName:8080 and machineName:8090 just fine, too. Attempting to hit them from another machine on the intranet via the browser got me nowhere. Installing the Telnet server and clients on Windows 71 got me nowhere.

I spent ages looking around and ignoring the obvious solution, because Windows 7 explicitly asked me if I wanted to allow access to JIRA and Confluence through the firewall, giving me the option to block all traffic, allow intranet traffic, allow internet traffic, or allow all traffic. I picked intranet traffic and moved on, content to know I'd solved my problem.

Not so. Either the installer didn't report its requirements correctly, or Windows didn't ask. Either way: Windows 7 was allowing access to the applications, but not to the ports the Tomcat Servlets listen on. So no traffic was ever hitting the server. Open up ports 8080 and 8090, and boom: everything worked. The same thing applies to any other Atlassian apps (Fisheye, etc.), and I would guess it's generally applicable to web applications listening for traffic on nonstandard ports in a Windows 7 environment.

Takeaway: Even if Windows asks you about application permissions, you have to set port permissions manually yourself.

Lesson learned: always check the firewall settings first.

For those who have yet be initiated into the wonders of administering Windows Firewall, here's a basic walkthrough:

  1. Open the Start Menu and go to Control Panel
  2. Open the Windows Firewall program. There are three ways to get to this:
    1. If you have your view set to icons (large or small), just look for Windows Firewall; it's in the list near the bottom.
    2. If you have your view set to Category, select System and Security, then Windows Firewall
    3. In either view, simply type "firewall" into the search bar at the top right and click on Windows Firewall
  3. Click Advanced Settings
  4. Click Inbound Rules
  5. Click New Rule under Actions on the left side of the screen
  6. Select Port in the list of types of rule
  7. Leave TCP selected, and specify all the Altassian application listener ports you need open - in my case, it was just 8080 and 8090; if you're running others they'll have their own. Click Next.
  8. Select Allow the Connection; click Next.
  9. Specify the domains you want the rule to apply to. I left Domain and Private checked, but unchecked Public for security reasons. Click Next.
  10. Give the new rule a name (I went with "JIRA and Confluence Ports") and, if you want, a description. Click Finish.

That should do it!

1 Seriously: why aren't they installed by default, along with tftp and a half dozen other incredibly useful utilities you have to install manually?


  • Richard thought to say:

    Thanks! Was struggling with the same problem. Why don’t they mention it in the documentation or do it automatically for you? Strange. Also, their documentation is so confusing, i struggled cos i didn’t create the confluence database in postgre before running Confluence program setup. Why why why?

    Offer a rejoinder↓
    • I know! I did pass this back on to them via customer service, but whether it’ll ever get fixed in the documentation, who knows. (It certainly should, since the documentation is all built in Confluence and it’s all of a 1-sentence addition.)

      Offer a rejoinder↓
  • Henrik Olsen thought to say:

    Thank you so much for this awesome post! I’ve been messing about with this infernal thing for a while now and this fixed it all. Keep up the good work! :D

    Offer a rejoinder↓

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