URL Rewrites

Once you start using the embedded server for your development projects, you may wish to enable URL rewriting. Rewrites are used by most popular frameworks to do things like add the index.cfm back into SES URLs.

You may be used to configuring URL rewrites in Apache or IIS, but rewrites are also possible in CommandBox's embedded server via a Tuckey servlet filter which uses an xml configuration.

Commandbox also exposes a way to do url rewrites with the Undertow predicate language. If you missed the Server Rules section, go there to learn how to do url rewrites, security, and http header modification in a nice text based language (non-xml).

Note: Tuckey-based URL rewrites are not recommended going forward. They are limited and do not play with with Multi-Site servers. It is recommended you move to the more-powerful Server Rules.

Default Rules

We've already added the required jars and created a default rewrite XML file that will work out-of-the-box with the ColdBox MVC Platform. To enable rewrites, start your server with the --rewritesEnable flag.


start --rewritesEnable

Now URLs like


can now simply be


In server.json

server set web.rewrites.enable=true
server show web.rewrites.enable

info The default rewrite file can be found in ~\.CommandBox\cfml\system\config\urlrewrite.xml

Custom Rules

If you want to customize your rewrite rules, just create your own XML file and specify it when starting the server with the rewritesConfig parameter. Here we have a simple rewrite rule that redirects /foo to /index.cfm


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE urlrewrite PUBLIC "-//tuckey.org//DTD UrlRewrite 4.0//EN" "http://tuckey.org/res/dtds/urlrewrite4.0.dtd">
    <!-- this will redirect the user from /foo to /index.cfm -->
        <to type="redirect">/index.cfm</to>
    <!-- internally redirect the requested URL from /gallery to /index.cfm?page=gallery with query string appended -->
        <to type="passthrough" qsappend="true">/index.cfm?page=gallery</to>


Then, fire up your server with its custom rewrite rules:

start --rewritesEnable rewritesConfig=customRewrites.xml

In server.json

server set web.rewrites.enable=true
server set web.rewrites.config=customRewrites.xml

server show web.rewrites.enable
server show web.rewrites.config

You can place your custom rewrite rule wherever you like, and refer to it by using either a relative path or an absolute path. CommandBox will start looking relative to where the server.json file resides.

server set web.rewrites.enable=true
server set web.rewrites.config=/my/custom/path/customRewrites.xml


server set web.rewrites.enable=true
server set web.rewrites.config=~\.CommandBox\cfml\system\config\customRewrites.xml

Apache mod_rewrite-style rules

If you're coming from Apache, Tuckey supports a large subset of the mod_rewrite style rules like what you would put in .htaccess. You can simply put your rules in a file named .htaccess and point the web.rewrites.config property to that file.

Note: The name of the file matters with mod_rewrite-style rules. It must be called .htaccess. With xml rewrites, the filename is not important, only the content.

Here are some simple rewrite rules:

RewriteEngine on

#The ColdBox index.cfm/{path_info} rules.
RewriteRule ^$ index.cfm [QSA,NS]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /index.cfm/%{REQUEST_URI} [QSA,L,NS]

RewriteRule ^/foo/                         /

# Defend your computer from some worm attacks
RewriteRule .*(?:global.asa|default\.ida|root\.exe|\.\.).* . [F,I,O]

# Redirect Robots to a cfm version of your robots.txt
RewriteRule ^/robots\.txt                   /robots.cfm

# Change your default cfm file to index.cfm
RewriteRule ^/default.cfm                   /index.cfm [I,RP,L]
RewriteRule ^/default.cfm((\?.+)|())$       /index.cfm$1  [I,RP,L]

RewriteRule ^/News.html((\?.+)|())$         /News/index.cfm$1 [I,RP,L]

# redirect mozilla to another area
RewriteCond  %{HTTP_USER_AGENT}  ^Mozilla.*
RewriteRule  ^/no-moz-here$                 /homepage.max.html  [L]

Please see the docs here on what's supported:


info For more information on custom rewrite rules, consult the Tuckey docs.


Your servers come ready to accept SES-style URLs where any text after the file name will show up in the cgi.path_info. If rewrites are enabled, the index.cfm can be omitted.


SES URLs will also work in a sub directory, which used to only work on a "standard" Adobe CF Tomcat install. Please note, in order to hide the index.cfm in a subfolder, you'll need a custom rewrite rule.



The Tuckey Rewrite engine has debug and trace level logging that can help you troubleshoot why your rewrite rules aren't (or are) firing. To view these logs, simply start your server with the --debug or --trace flags. Trace shows more details than debug. These options work best when starting in --console mode so you can watch the server logs as you hit the site. Alternatively, you can follow the server's logs with the server log --follow command.

start --debug
server log --follow

Additional Tuckey Settings

The Tuckey Rewrite library that CommandBox uses under the hood. It has some extra settings that CommandBox allows you to use.

Watch rewrite file for changes

To monitor your custom rewrite file for changes without needing to restart the server, use this setting.

server set web.rewrites.configReloadSeconds=30

Internal Tuckey status page

To enable the inbuilt Tuckey status page, use the following setting. Note, debug mode needs to be turned on for the Tuckey status page to work. Also, you'll need to customize your rewrite file if you use a path other than /tuckey-status.

server set web.rewrites.statusPath=/tuckey-status

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