Starting and Stopping Mule

Mule Runtime Engine versions 3.5, 3.6, and 3.7 reached End of Life on or before January 25, 2020. For more information, contact your Customer Success Manager to determine how you can migrate to the latest Mule version.

Mule uses the Java Service Wrapper to control the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) from your native OS. The wrapper provides many options and features, including the ability to run Mule as a Unix daemon or install/remove Mule as a Windows Service. The wrapper can handle system signals and start parameters, and overall provides much better interaction between the JVM and the underlying OS.

For more information about the Java Service Wrapper, consult the online documentation.

Startup and Shutdown Script

The wrapper is called by a script in $MULE_HOME/bin.

Unix: $MULE_HOME/bin/mule

Windows: $MULE_HOME\bin\mule.bat

Note: When windows restarts, the Mule service stops the same way as using the mule stop command. The only situation that this could be different is if Windows kills the process due to a timeout.

The table below lists all the parameters that the script accepts.

Parameter Description


Starts the Mule server in the terminal background.


Stops the Mule server.


Restarts the Mule server.


Displays the status of the Mule server (running or not running) and the process PID if running.


(Unix only.) Dumps the Mule wrapper’s core to $MULE_HOME/log/mule_ee.log.


Start Mule in the terminal foreground (console mode). Same as running mule with no parameters.


(Windows only.) Install Mule as a Windows service.


(Windows only.) Remove Mule from your Windows services.

Starting and Stopping Mule Via the Command Line

Starting In the Background

  1. Use the cd command to navigate to the $MULE_HOME/bin directory.

  2. Run the startup script according to the options below.

    • Unix: ./mule start

    • Windows: mule.bat start

Alternatively, instead of using the cd command, type the full path of the script, for example /opt/mule/mule-ee-3.4.1/bin/mule start.

To stop Mule, run the script with the stop parameter.

Starting In the Foreground

  1. Use the cd command to navigate to the $MULE_HOME/bin directory.

  2. Run the startup script according to the options below.

    • Unix: ./mule

    • Windows: mule

Alternatively, instead of using the cd command, type the full path of the script, for example /opt/mule/mule-ee-3.4.1/bin/mule.

When running in foreground mode, the startup script displays information on the terminal’s standard output. You will not be able to issue further commands on the terminal as long as Mule is running.

To stop Mule, press CTRL-C in the terminal in which the script is running.

Passing Arguments to Mule At Startup

Configuration Files

By default, the Java Service Wrapper loads configuration options from the file mule-config.xml. This file is empty by default; it’s included in the $MULE_HOME/apps/default directory.

The -config parameter allows you to pass configuration files as arguments to the startup script.

./mule start -config <file1>[,<file2>,<file3>...]

To specify more than one configuration file, include the files in a comma-separated list.

Passing Parameters to the JVM via the Startup Command

Include your parameters as script parameters (if running in background, after the start parameter), as shown below. Separate parameters with a space if there is more than one.

./mule start -D-Mmule.mmc.bind.port=7783-7883

Passing Parameters to the JVM via the Wrapper Config File

Include your parameters in the configuration file $MULE_HOME/conf/wrapper.conf. The distribution includes this file with comments (see fragment below). You can edit this file or add to it as needed. For more information about the wrapper.conf file, consult the Java Service Wrapper online documentation for the file.

# Name of the service

# Display name of the service

# Description of the service

# Service dependencies.  Add dependencies as needed starting from 1

# Mode in which the service is installed.  AUTO_START or DEMAND_START

# Allow the service to interact with the desktop.

# Do not edit lines below!
wrapper.license.dev_application=Mule ESB Enterprise Edition

Set Mule Standalone Server Memory

Enter the $MULE_HOME/conf/wrapper.conf configuration file and search for the maxheap parameter: # Maximum Java Heap Size (in MB) wrapper.java.maxmemory=1024. The memory allowed must be specified in MB. To set the memory to 2GB, replace 1024 with 2048.

Set Mule Encoding

For example, to set Mule’s encoding, you could add wrapper.java.additional.1=-Dmule.encoding=ISO-8859-1 to the Wrapper configuration file, or you could add -D-Mmule.encoding=ISO-8859-1 to the Mule script at the command line. Note that if you add wrapper.java.additional.n entries to the configuration file, you must change each instance of n to a consecutive number, or Java does not parse the properties correctly.

Passing Additional Arguments to the Wrapper

To control the behavior of the Wrapper from the commandline use the -W switch when launching Mule.

For example, to set the logfile that the Wrapper’s uses, you could add wrapper.logfile=/my/log/file.log to the Wrapper configuration file, or you could add -Wwrapper.logfile=/my/log/file.log to the Mule script at the command line.

Running Mule As a Unix Daemon

To run Mule as a Unix daemon, you need to write a simple management script for the Mule startup script. Place your management script in your system’s appropriate directory (such as /etc/init.d) and use your system’s init script architecture tools to ensure that your management script is invoked in the runlevels you wish.

On some systems, you can set up startup scripts for use with the service utility (System V). Consult your operating system’s documentation for details.

Here is a sample init.d script for Red Hat Enterprise Linux:

# RHEL Mule Init Script
# chkconfig: 2345 65 64
# description: Mule ESB service

. /etc/init.d/functions
if [ -f /etc/sysconfig/mule ]; then
   . /etc/sysconfig/mule

# Set JDK related environment

# Set Mule related environment

# Export environment variables

case "$1" in
      echo "Start service mule"
      $MULE_HOME/bin/mule start -M-Dspring.profiles.active=$MULE_ENV -M-DMULE_ENV=$MULE_ENV
      echo "Stop service mule"
      $MULE_HOME/bin/mule stop
      echo "Restart service mule"
      $MULE_HOME/bin/mule restart -M-Dspring.profiles.active=$MULE_ENV -M-DMULE_ENV=$MULE_ENV
      echo "Usage: $0 {start|stop|restart}"
      exit 1

Your management script needs to set the required environment for Mule; a more generic sample script is provided below below.


# Set JDK related environment
JAVA_HOME=<path to JDK>

# Set Mule related environment
MULE_HOME=<path to Mule>
MULE_LIB=<path to application specific libraries>

# Export environment variables

# Invoke Mule
$MULE_HOME/bin/mule $1 -config <path to mule-conf.xml>

Running Mule As a Windows Service

To install Mule as a Windows service, go to the $MULE_HOME/bin/ directory, then issue the following commands:

mule install

To remove Mule from your Windows services, go to the $MULE_HOME/bin/ directory, then run:

mule remove

Once Mule is installed as a service, you can control it with the following command:

mule start|restart|stop

To start Mule with additional configuration, issue:

mule start -config <your-config-file.xml>

Once Mule is installed as a service, you can also use the Windows net utility to start or stop it:

net start|stop mule

Common Parameters

The table below lists some parameters common to Mule, which are not documented in the wrapper.conf configuration file.

Parameter Description


( Boolean ) Start Mule ESB with or without the Management Console agent, which is enabled by default.


Specify a port or port range for the Mule ESB agent listener that the Management Console binds to. To specify a port range, use <port>-<port>, for example 3000-3010.

The $MULE_HOME/conf/wrapper.conf configuration file includes many more parameters, some of which are by default commented out, but documented in the comments.

Shutting Down Mule

You can shut down Mule using the mule stop command that is run from the MULE_HOME/bin directory. When Mule stops, inbound endpoints are shut down, and in-flight Mule messages continue to process until the timeout setting elapses and final shutdown occurs.

You can set a timeout value to enable the current flow to complete. However, there is no built in method or utility to check what messages are in flight. You can connect a profiler and see the active threads (or just a thread dump), this should provide you an overview of what’s happening at the JVM level.

Timeout From wrapper.conf

You can set the timeout value in wrapper.conf using the wrapper.shutdown.timeout statement where the value is in seconds, for example:


More information is available in the Tanuki wrapper.shutdown.timeout page.

Shutdown Timeout From a Flow

Alternatively, you can set shutdownTimeout to a milliseconds value for a flow; hwoever this is not a global value.

Example for testing purposes:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<mule xmlns="http://www.mulesoft.org/schema/mule/core"
    http://www.mulesoft.org/schema/mule/test http://www.mulesoft.org/schema/mule/test/current/mule-test.xsd
    http://www.mulesoft.org/schema/mule/core http://www.mulesoft.org/schema/mule/core/current/mule.xsd">

    <configuration shutdownTimeout="10000"/>

    <flow name="TestService">


See Also

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