The Complete Guide to Mastering WildFly Interview Questions

Interviews can be daunting. Spending hours prepping, only to blank out when asked a question you don‘t know how to tackle. I‘ve been there before.

But here‘s the thing – WildFly or JBoss related questions feature prominently across Java, DevOps and middleware heavy roles. Having a strong grasp of the concepts can make or break your next big interview.

That‘s why I‘ve put together this expert handbook containing 17+ well-researched and detailed WildFly interview questions to comprehensively equip you on this crucial topic.

By the end of this guide, you will have mastered:

  • WildFly architecture, features and use cases
  • Directory layout, modes of operation and clustering
  • Performance tuning, deployments and integrations
  • Administration, monitoring and troubleshooting
  • Scale out techniques and best practices

Let‘s start unraveling the mysteries of WildFly!

An Introduction to WildFly Application Server

Before we jump into the interview questions, it‘s important to level set the background and capabilities of WildFly that make it a popular choice for modern application deployments.

A Brief History

JBoss application server was first released in 2001 by JBoss Inc, later acquired by RedHat in 2006. It was open-sourced from the start which contributed to massive community adoption. Given it‘s modular architecture, it could integrate the latest Java EE innovations faster than closed-source competitors.

It was rebranded as WildFly in 2014 as part of efforts to modernize the codebase and architecture to leverage latest cloud-native technologies. It retained backwards compatibility with JBoss AS to simplify migrations.

Over the years, WildFly has consistently featured amongst the top three most widely used application servers making it a common point of discussion in interviews.

Key Characteristics and Benefits

So what makes WildFly such a compelling platform?

  • Optimized for cloud environments with small container footprint
  • Blazing fast startup and throughput speeds using advanced multithreading
  • Unmatched deployment flexibility supporting industry standard formats like WAR, JAR and EAR files
  • Simplified configuration through intuitive domain model and centralized management
  • Modern HTML5 web admin console allowing managing all aspects of applications
  • Robust scalability mechanisms enabling scale up and scale out scenarios

These attributes allow WildFly to efficiently host the most demanding enterprise workloads while lowering TCO.

WildFly Interview Questions and Answers

Now that you understand where WildFly fits in the middleware landscape, let‘s get to the good stuff – the interview questions!

I‘ve structured the questions across various aspects of WildFly so that you leave with a well-rounded grasp of both theoretical concepts as well as practical administration topics.

WildFly Architecture Questions

Questions focused on understanding WildFly architectural building blocks:

Q1. Explain the Directory Structure of WildFly Installation

Being able to navigate the directory structure comfortably is critical from an administration perspective.

Here are the key directories present in WildFly installation:

Directory Description
standalone Contains standalone server configuration files
domain Centralized configuration for managing domains
modules Globally defined modules and jar dependencies
bundles OSGi related resource bundles
appclient Used for application client container configurations
welcome-content Houses static web content for root context
bin Contains scripts for controlling WildFly instance
docs Documentation files related to WildFly
log Default logging directory

Additionally, below are some configuration files to be aware of:

standalone.xml – Configuration file for standalone servers

domain.xml – Defines Domain controllers and managed servers including cluster definitions

modules/system/layers/base – Contains core JDK and other default module dependencies

Having awareness of the above layout allows rapidly tracing issues and processes when administering WildFly servers.

Q2. How is Clustering handled in WildFly?

WildFly relies on JGroups project for providing its clustering capabilities which enables creating groups of WildFly instances and managing them collectively.

Some key functionalities provided by JGroups are:

  • Dynamic cluster membership management
  • Group partitioning detection
  • Cluster member status notifications
  • Reliable messaging across nodes

It uses a topology-agnostic protocol to detect node joins/exits from cluster group and notify other members seamlessly.

Some common topologies used with WildFly clustering are:

Topology Description
Broadcast Messages broadcasted to all members
Mesh Each node connected to every other peer
Master / Slave Central coordinating master with slave nodes

In summary, JGroups forms the foundation for enabling WildFly clustering through discovery, messaging and coordination between cluster members.

Q3. What are the Main WildFly Running Modes?

WildFly supports two major runtime configurations catering to different use cases:

1. Standalone Mode

  • Single Java Virtual Machine (JVM)
  • Ideal for development and testing
  • All services bundled into single runtime
  • Quick startup and deployment cycle
  • Configuration via standalone.xml

2. Domain Mode

  • Central policy based management of multiple JVMs
  • Preferred for large production environments
  • Components:
    • Host Controller: Life-cycle and services management
    • Domain Controller: Central policy administration
    • Managed Servers: Runs deployed applications
  • Benefits:
    • Centralized configuration
    • Scalability through managed servers
    • High availability by distributing load
    • Simplified cluster management

So in summary, standalone mode suits simpler environments while domain mode is designed for large scale production deployments needing centralized administration and high availability. This choice is a key architectural consideration.

WildFly Administration Questions

Now some questions focused exclusively on WildFly administration:

Q4: What are different logging levels in WildFly?

WildFly incorporates JBoss Logging framework to provide logging capabilities supporting 5 severity levels:

Level Description
FATAL Unrecoverable system-wide failure
ERROR Functionality unavailable, requires intervention
WARN Encountered an unexpected or unusual situation
INFO Outputs system lifecycle events for audit purposes
DEBUG Diagnostic information to troubleshooting issues

Logging level allows controlling verbosity exposed. Typically FATAL, ERROR and WARN indicate issues needing attention. INFO and DEBUG provide insight into server state changes and diagnostics.

Q5: How can you increase the application server Java heap memory in WildFly?

The WildFly Java Virtual Machine heap memory settings can be updated by editing:


Below are the key properties that control the memory limits:

JAVA_OPTS="-Xms64M -Xmx512M"  

Xms - Initial java heap size 
Xmx - Maximum java heap size

To allow more memory for applications, increase Xms for initial allocation and Xmx for maximum possible value.

For example,

JAVA_OPTS="-Xms2048M -Xmx4096M"

This bumps up initial heap to 2GB and maximum heap to 4GB that applications can utilize.

Q6: How do you access the WildFly Admin console?

The administration console allows managing various services and deployments on WildFly through an intuitive web UI.

To access it:

  1. Login to host machine
  2. Go to $JBOSS_HOME/bin
  3. Execute ./ to add admin credentials
  4. Start WildFly server
  5. Access http://<host>:9990/console

This will present the login page for the UI where you can enter admin username/password.

Some key things that can be managed through console:

  • Server runtime configuration
  • Create data sources
  • Define JMS queues / topics
  • Deploy, start, stop applications
  • Apply patches
  • Performance tuning
  • Monitor server health metrics

Familiarity with navigating the admin console and reading key statistics is expected from a proficient administrator.

WildFly Deployments Questions

Lets go through some deployment focused questions:

Q7: What deployment scanner is used in WildFly?

WildFly incorporates an advanced virtual file system based scanner to auto-deploy applications whenever files change under the deployments directory without needing restarts.

It continuously scans deployments folder recursively for changes with below key features:

  • Interval between scans is 5 seconds
  • Immediately detects new files copied
  • Identifies updated file timestamps
  • Processes standard marker files like .dodeploy, .deployed, .failed etc

This hot deployment mechanism provides huge productivity improvements for developers by instantly reflecting changes without redeploying artifacts manually.

Q10. Explain different supported deployment file formats

WildFly supports a wide range of portable application packaging formats allowing hosting any flavor of Java EE based applications:


  • Used for packaging Java libraries, utility classes and Enterprise Java Beans
  • Groups relevant classes and resources together


  • Web Application aRchive
  • For webapps, microservices and UI applications


  • Enterprise ARchive
  • Often used as container for packaging WAR, JAR and EJB modules together


  • Service ARchive
  • Useful for services like MDBs consuming messages

Additionally, OSGi bundles with .jar extension can also be deployed.

This deployment flexibility makes WildFly ideal for hosting polyglot applications.

WildFly Performance Tuning Questions

Now some questions focused on optimizing WildFly performance:

Q16. How can you optimize WildFly performance?

Some key optimization techniques for WildFly include:

JVM Tunings

  • Heap size
  • Garbage collection algorithms
  • JVM arguments


  • Optimal datasource configuration
  • Size thread pools appropriately
  • Pool JMS resources


  • Leverage cache providers
  • Distributed caching


  • Identify bottlenecks
  • Tune identified slow operations


  • Async processing with callbacks
  • Non blocking IO

A combination of above approaches allows maximizing throughput and responsiveness for applications hosted on WildFly.

Q17. How can you horizontally scale out WildFly applications?

When vertically scaling WildFly hits limits, horizontal scaling allows accommodating growing workloads by adding more nodes.

Some techniques that help scale out are:

Managed servers

  • Add more managed servers
  • Distribute load evenly


  • Async event based processing through AMQP
  • Persist events for later processing


  • Speed up repeated data reads
  • Reduce database trips


  • Handle traffic spikes
  • Prevent overloading resources

Using above approaches additional WildFly nodes can be leverage to scale to any capacity required by the application.

WildFly Integrations Questions

Some questions around integrating WildFly with other components:

Q11: How can you integrate WildFly with Apache web server?

Popular options to integrate Apache HTTPD with WildFly application server are:


  • Native Apache module
  • Reverse proxy for passing requests
  • Handles load balancing
  • Manages integration at HTTP level


  • Distributes load across WildFly clusters
  • Health check of back-end nodes
  • Dynamic discovery of cluster members
  • Supports both sticky/non-sticky sessions
  • Needed for session replication

mod_cluster is the recommended approach as it enables more intelligent and granular load distribution while providing visibility into back-end WildFly cluster health and status.

Implementation of either integration requires configuring Workers in httpd.conf and defining appropriate connectors.

Q12: What is a quick way to test JMS on WildFly server?

WildFly ships with an out of box JMS test queue pre-configured simplifying validation of messaging capabilities:

Standalone Server

<jms-queue name="testQueue">
   <entry name="/queue/test"/>   

We can directly utilize this queue for sending/receiving messages without needing a full fledged application using the CLI:

# Create test queue 

# Start messaging subsystem

# Send message  
/subsystem=messaging/hornetq-server=default/jms-queue=testQueue:put(data="Hello queue!")

# Receive message

This allows quickly validating core messaging functionalities without the overhead of building a full application.

Bonus Questions

To further test your WildFly skills, here are some bonus questions:

How can you ensure only approved changes are applied on Production servers?

WildFly provides robust rollout controls through concept of configuration groups – different server groups can run with different configs before approving for entire domain preventing uncontrolled changes rolling out.

For example:

  • Test: Apply changes to test environment first
  • Staging: Next, rollout incrementally to staging servers
  • Production: Finally production approval after sufficient testing

It enables a structured workflow before globally applying changes.

How can datsource connection validity be ensured in WildFly?

Two mechanisms help ensure datasource connection validity:


  • Validates connection on matching requests
  • Detects stale connections


  • Periodically validate connections
  • Define frequency through background-validation-millis interval
  • Lower database load

Recommended approach: Validate on every request to immediately detect issues combined with periodic checks.

Final Thoughts

Phew! That was quite an epic journey covering the gamut of WildFly concepts at an industry professional level. I‘m confident these Battle tested interview questions have armed you with sufficient depth of knowledge to tackle any WildFly related problem thrown at you!

Do let me know in your feedback if you would like a similar style in-detail guide focused on any other technologies like Apache Tomcat, IBM WebSphere etc.

Now off you go to smash those interviews! Best of luck 🙂