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Install a FileMaker 2023 Server in Linux in Parallels Desktop

Let us show you how to install a new virtual machine with Linux on macOS, so we can have a local server to test. Works fine with various virtual machine software packages like Parallels, VMWare Fusion or UTM.

First, let us start with creating a new virtual machine. After we clicked the plus button on the VM list window, the new window offers us Ubuntu 22, so lets Parallels download and install it.

Once this is done, you click on the user to login and set your new password. This will be the password you need later for sudo. And thus right away after we login, parallels asks this password to install the tools and then offers to restart the linux machine. For the Ubuntu assistant, we can click next a few times as usual, e.g. without location services or an Ubuntu account. Since Parallels has integration, we can just drag & drop files to the Linux desktop, so we copy fms_20.1.1.38_Ubuntu22_arm64.zip, LicenseCert.fmcert and for MBS Plugin the Linux ARM version with dynapdf.so, libxl.so and MBS.6484.fmx. We can unpack the zip archive with the GUI. Alternatively you can download these files on a Mac and then upload them via SFTP using an app like Transmit or Fetch to the linux VM. For the install file, make sure you have the right download from Claris with either ARM or AMD in the file name.

Now let's install the FileMaker Server 2023. We open a terminal window. You may first want to run "sudo apt-get update" and "sudo apt-get upgrade" to install latest updates. This may take a while and if the question for grub installation comes, you can just press return key. The we use "cd Desktop" to go to the desktop folder with our downloads. Then we run "sudo apt install ./filemaker-server-VN.BN-amd64.deb". The install script outputs a lot of messages and asks questions. First question is about installing some packages and since Yes is the default answer, we can just press return key. Then comes the license question and we answer with "y" and return key. Next we answer "0" with return key for primary machine. And we can define our user name and password. For our test machines, this is simply admin/admin, but for your production machine, the user account name should be much different and not related to your own name or admin, so people can't just guess the name. And for a production machine, please use a password with 15+ digits. Store it in the password manager and don't waste time to remember it.

Now we copy MBS.6484.fmx file into the following folders:
sudo cp MBS.6484.fmx "/opt/FileMaker/FileMaker Server/Web Publishing/publishing-engine/wip/Plugins"
sudo cp MBS.6484.fmx "/opt/FileMaker/FileMaker Server/Web Publishing/publishing-engine/cwpc/Plugins
sudo cp MBS.6484.fmx "/opt/FileMaker/FileMaker Server/Database Server/Extensions"
sudo cp dynapdf.so "/opt/FileMaker/FileMaker Server/Database Server/Extensions"
sudo cp libxl.so "/opt/FileMaker/FileMaker Server/Database Server/Extensions"
The last two libraries for DynaPDF and LibXL are optional of course.

By putting the libraries there before FileMaker Server is setup, we make sure the plugins can be found right away without restarting server.

Let's go to the admin page with a browser, e.g. inside the VM with the "https://localhost/admin-console/signin" URL. If you are not on the same machine, please replace localhost in the URL with the IP. You may need to tell the browser to continue with the self signed certificate, since it can't be verified.

Next you pick the default certificate or import your certificate. If you have a lot of servers, you get a wildcard certificate, so you can use the same for all servers and just give each server an unique subdomain. Once you are done with the certificate, you should see the admin console.

In the tab Connectors in the Plug-ins section, we enable plugins for all three engines: FileMaker Script Engine Plug-ins, Web Publishing Plug-ins and FileMaker Data Plug-ins. For the first section, you also need to enable the plugin explicitly. If it doesn't show up, you may need to check whether you got the right plugin (ARM vs. Intel one) and restart server to have it read the plugin folder content. For WebDirect and Data API, no list of plugins is shown.

Now you can of course start WebDirect and Data API in the admin console. If you look in the Logs folder, you see some log files from MBS Plugin:

While developing, you may run MBS("Trace") and watch live all the calls. Just open a Terminal window and run this command:
tail -f /opt/FileMaker/FileMaker Server/Logs/StdErrServerScripting.log
And then see live trace logs of what is happening. e.g. let's run this script:

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("Trace") ]
Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("Version") ]
Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("Platform") ]
Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("Plugin.Path") ]

In WebDirect and you see the log live like this:

We are done and can now add more files to this test installation. It is very convenient to have a VM in Parallels on a Macbook to try things with servers on the go.
Let us know if you have questions. Claris FileMaker Plugin
10 05 23 - 14:31