How to clone an existing CQ instance


For QA, testing purposes or regular release cycles it might be useful to take a snapshot of an existing CQ5 instance such as one already running in production and use it as a clone.

This article describes what steps are required to create a CQ5 clone and run it independently. Please note that this procedure assumes that CQ5 is running out of the box with Day's CQ Servlet Engine and quickstart capabilities.

Answer, Resolution

CQ5 comes with CRX as its underlying repository which in turn offers an online backup [1] feature. This allows for easy creation of snapshots while guaranteeing uptime of the instance to be cloned. The zip-file created by the backup process contains the complete instance.


  • create an online backup (see [1])
  • copy the backup zip-file to the target machine where the new instance will be running
  • unpack the zip-file in the target directory where the cloned CQ5 instance will be located
  • delete all files named in
    • crx-quickstart/repository/shared/journal/control
    • crx-quickstart/repository/shared/version/control
    • crx-quickstart/repository/shared/workspaces/<>/control
  • delete file crx-quickstart/repository/
  • delete all stale .lock files (if existing)
  • delete all stale optimize*.tar files (if existing)
  • delete all stale files (if existing)

After this procedure has finished, following list of items need to be checked:

  • if running on the same machine, please change the port of the cloned instance
  • once the instance has been started, check configurations and adapt if needed:
    • replication agents
    • admin passwords
    • custom application-specific configuration settings


CQ5.1, CQ5.2, CQ 5.3

[1] Online Backup