FMS20 Upgrade Frustration on macOS

When you try to upgrade FMS20 on macOS

  • download the DMG (you must get this from your Electronic Software Download Page)
  • run the installer
  • the installer errors out with this message:
  • go to the Admin webpage / Configuration tab, and click "Stop Database Server"
  • try the installer again. Same issue.
  • you think "Maybe I should read the instructions".
  • you may notice that on the installer there is a link to the instructions:

However the link is hidden behind the FileMaker Server is Running dialog... :exploding_head:

  • google around a bit, find the magic runes:
    sudo launchctl stop com.FileMaker.fms
  • try the installer a third time. It works!

FYI here is the the link to the instructions which the installer helpfully doesn't allow you to click: Before you install FileMaker Server


We create scripts for this.


#!/usr/bin/env bash
echo ""
echo "\"Stop FileMaker Server Processes\""
echo "sudo launchctl stop com.filemaker.fms"
sudo launchctl stop com.filemaker.fms

echo "sleep 30"
sleep 30

echo "\"Start FileMaker Server Processes\""
echo "sudo launchctl start com.filemaker.fms"
sudo launchctl start com.filemaker.fms
echo ""


#!/usr/bin/env bash
echo "/usr/bin/sudo /bin/launchctl stop com.filemaker.fms"
/usr/bin/sudo /bin/launchctl stop com.filemaker.fms



#!/usr/bin/env bash
echo "/usr/bin/sudo /bin/launchctl start com.filemaker.fms"
/usr/bin/sudo /bin/launchctl start com.filemaker.fms

We keep the echo statements in so it doesn't look like magic and we put the sleep in the restart script because it often won't work if you stop and then straigght away start background services.

We always stop the FileMaker server before doing an update/upgrade.

I always use a text expansion tool for this. I then just type "fmsstop#" into the terminal and the tool then enters the complete command including the following return.

On macOS, this can also be done with on-board tools.


Good tips! I find it somewhat ironic that (A) the FMS installer runs all sorts of scripts that affect macOS data and processes. Yet the one missing piece is that the FMS installer won't offer to stop the FileMaker server processes which it controls, and (B) the instructions for how to do this are hidden behind the error message.

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