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Thread: Issues starting Wowza

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default Issues starting Wowza

    1. To run Wowza manually on Linux:

    According to this page:

    There are two methods:
    ~$ /etc/init.d/WowzaMediaServer start
    ERROR: Missing license file: (/usr/local/WowzaMediaServer/conf/Server.license)
    You must first run Wowza Media Server 3 in standalone mode to enter serial number. Execute the following commands to run in standalone mode:
    cd /usr/local/WowzaMediaServer
    The script is found in /usr/local/WowzaMediaServer/bin/
    Also, the license is in the correct place and should not be causing any issues.

    /sbin/service WowzaMediaServer start
     -bash: /sbin/service: No such file or directory
    If I do it manually:
    ~$ /usr/local/WowzaMediaServer/bin/
    It starts, but not as a service. As soon as the window closes, so does Wowza.

    So the docs are wrong, and the thing won't start.

    So here are my three questions:
    1. How do I start it manually.
    2. How do I have it auto-start as a service (Very funny: "If your platform doesn't support chkconfig, see your Linux distro documentation." and leave it at that.)
    3. How do I get it to stay on even when closing the terminal.

    [And, unrelated, #4: Red5 has free live support (IRC) and very good docs. Wowza has no live support, an email support that has thus far incorrectly answered questions, and docs that are wrong all over the place - the PDFs are terrible, the websites is out of date, and the terminal feedback is as stated. (I complained about this path issue FOUR years ago.) I am feeling a little bad about plunking down $1K on something that I can't even get to start. Is there any place I can find a list of advantages of Wowza that will make me feel better about the purchase.]

  2. #2


    Hi Sam,

    1) According to the error, Wowza thinks that the Server.license file is missing. That is why it won't start in this case. It is just a simple bash script test that verifies if the file exists. Please confirm /usr/local/WowzaMediaServer/conf/Server.license file exists and is readable by the user starting Wowza. The startup scripts should be run as root user on linux has they have to write to folders that only root user can write to.

    2) /sbin/service is a RedHat command for starting and stopping services on linux. It runs the /etc/init.d/WowzaMediaServer command. The error you are getting suggests that your linux installation is not RedHat based. Again, this command must be run as root or using sudo.

    3) The command is only used to start Wowza in standalone mode from the terminal. It must be run from the /usr/local/WowzaMediaServer/bin/ folder using ./ The init script that starts Wowza as a service does not use the command.

    To answer your questions,

    1. To start Wowza manually in standalone mode, cd to /usr/local/WowzaMediaServer/bin and run ./ On first start, you will be prompted for your license key. When the terminal is closed, Wowza will shut down. This is normal for all standalone applications on linux.
    To start Wowza as a service, run /etc/init.d/WowzaMediaServer start as root user or using sudo.

    2. The majority of users that run Wowza on Linux use a RedHat based distro that supports chkconfig and the service command. Because it is the most common, we provide instructions for that. It is not possible to outline how to configure a service on every different linux distro that is available. Each distro will provide specific instructions in their documentation for configuring services. It would be helpful if you told us what distro you are using so that we can provide you with specific instructions if needed.

    3. Once you have Wowza started as a service, it will remain running after the terminal is closed.

    If you are still experiencing problems then please zip up your bin, conf & logs folders completely and send to Please include a description of the problem and a link to this thread. Please provide as much relevant information as possible so that we may answer accurately.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009


    It would be helpful if you told us what distro you are using so that we can provide you with specific instructions if needed.
    Indeed. I am running Ubuntu.
    While I erred in not mentioning my distro, Debian/Ubuntu/Mint/Knoppix/etc are hardly minor players. Indeed, from what I've read, it is highly unusual that *most* of your users are on Red Hat.
    The fact that you don't include instructions for Debian forks [startup is not a feature, its a basic requirement] seems to me rather incomplete, and I would suggest you add it.

    I spent the next hour after posting doing debugging, and it turns out that my issue was not really Wowza related, it was do to another service using the same thread or something - I don't fully understand what, but I got it to start.

    But this really brought up the other issue, now to present as questions:
    1. As above, how to set as service that starts with boot, in debian.
    2. Why doesn't Wowza have any decent support option - not even for pay? Isn't it odd that the "high-end" should not have any way to get help?
    3. And also, I was serious - is there some place which shows the benefits of Wowza?
    The comparisons I have found (such as put Red5 slightly ahead if you haven't bought the Wowza transcoder. What's your response?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007



    I forwarded your note internally. Thanks,


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009


    For anyone who finds this thread, here's an update that might help you:

    1. To autostart the Wowza service, the easiest method is to install rcconf (sudo apt-get install rcconf).
    Run it, use the arrows to select Wowza, the space bar to enable autostart, and the tab to move to the OK button.

    2. As far as the internal note [and the requests it referred to], it has been three months, and I haven't heard a word from Wowza.
    For people that need to actually use the server, caveat emptor.
    For hobbyists that don't need the transcoder, Red5 seems to be more stable, more capable, and better supported.
    For hobbyists that need the transcoder, Wowza is still a good deal.

  6. #6



    Thank you for your feedback. I have looked extensively in our ticket system , a ticket is automatically created when emailing, and can not find any requests for technical support from you.

    Regarding Debian and Debian based distros.

    You can start Wowza using the standard init.d location so

    /etc/init.d/WowzaMediaServer start

    This will start Wowza in the background.

    In order to add Wowza to your startup processes, and this is something we may change in the future, you can use the update rc Debian command of

    update-rc.d WowzaMediaServer defaults

    Where in this case WowzaMediaServer is the name of the service ( you can look in /etc/init.d/ ) and defaults means your system default run level. This may not be appropriate depending on how your system is set up so

    update-rc.d WowzaMediaServer enable 3

    Where 3 is your run level default, 3 being quite common if you are running and X environment.

    We are interested in feedback, so you mention stability and capability, if you could elaborate it would be valuable to us. We do provide a very responsive free email support system and if you can provide a ticket that has had no response in 3 months then I will make sure it does get attention.


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