Using a Custom Bundle for the Liferay Workspace

So the Liferay workspace is pretty handy when it comes to building all of your OSGi modules, themes, layout templates and yes, even your legacy code from the plugins SDK.

But, when it comes to initializing a local bundle for deployment or building a dist bundle, using one of the canned Liferay 7 bundles from sourceforge may not cut it, especially if you're using Liferay DXP, or if you're behind a strict proxy or you just want a custom bundle with fixes already streamed in.

Looking at the file in the workspace it seems as though you can use a custom URL will work and, in fact, it does.  You can point to your custom URL and download your custom bundle.

But if you don't have a local HTTP server to host your bundle from, you can simulate having a custom bundle downloaded from a site w/o actually doing a download.

Building the Custom Bundle

So first you need to build a custom bundle.  This is actually quite easy.  It is simply a matter of downloading a current bundle, unzipping it, making whatever changes you want, then re-zipping it back up.

So you might, for example, download the DXP Service Pack 1 bundle, expand it, apply Fix Pack 8, then zip it all back up.  This will give you a custom bundle with the latest (currently) fix pack ready for your development environment.

One key here, though, is that the bundle must have a root directory in the zip.  Basically this means you shouldn't see, for example, /tomcat-8.0.32 as a folder in the root directory of the zip, it should always have some directory that contains everything, such as /dxp-sp1-fp8/tomcat-8.0.32, etc.

If you try to use your custom bundle and you get weird unzip errors like corrupt streams and such, that likely points to a missing directory at the root level w/ the bundle nestled underneath it.

Copy the Bundle to the Cache Folder

As it turns out, Liferay actually caches downloaded bundles in the ~/.liferay/bundles directory.

Copy your custom bundle zip to this directory to get it in the download cache.

Update the Download URL

Next you have to update your file to use your new URL.

You can use any URL you want, just make sure it ends with your bundle name:


Modify the Build Download Instructions

The final step is to modify the build.gradle file in the workspace root.  Add the following lines:

downloadBundle {
    onlyIfNewer false
    overwrite false

This basically has the download bundle skip the network check to see if the remote URL file exists and is newer than the local cached file.


Hey, that's it!  You're now ready to go with your local bundle.  Issue the "gradlew distBundleZip" command to build all of your modules, extract your custom bundle, feather in your deployment artifacts, and zip it all up into a ready-to-deploy  Liferay bundle.

Great for parties, entertaining, and even building a container-based deployment artifact for a cloud-based Liferay environment.