Understanding Virtual Instances

Understanding Virtual Instances

Liferay DXP can host multiple “portals” on one installation. These are called Virtual Instances. Each Virtual Instance has completely separate data and configurations. Each is accessed via a unique domain name and for all intents and purposes, is a separate Liferay-based implementation that shares an installation with additional instances.

Configuration of a Liferay DXP system happens at different scopes. Configuration at the virtual instance scope is the next most broad scope after the system scope.


The system scope is the highest level configuration scope. All virtual instances are impacted by configuration done at this scope. The instance scope applies only to one particular virtual instance.

If your installation contains only one virtual instance, there’s no practical difference between a system scoped configuration and a virtual instance scoped configuration. Both types of configuration apply throughout your system.

Perhaps you already have a server hosting a Liferay DXP installation and a database. It has many Users, Sites, and specific instance settings. If you require a second similar installation, then adding a Virtual Instance might be right for you.

Because of the unique domain name, visitors are directed to the correct Virtual Instance. Because Virtual Instances share an application server and OSGi container, they also share these customizations:

  • All custom code you’ve deployed
  • System-scoped configurations (e.g., .config files and changes made in Control PanelConfigurationSystem Settings).
  • Application server configuration.

You can add and manage Virtual Instances in Control PanelConfigurationVirtual Instances.

Add and manage virtual instances of Liferay in the Control Panel's Virtual Instances section.

You can configure an instance in Control PanelConfigurationInstance Settings. The Instance Settings are organized into three sections:

  • Platform
  • Security
  • Content and Data

This section of articles focuses on the Platform settings.

Instance Settings has several Platform categories.