Apache Tomcat on Ubuntu 16.04

Updated by Phil Zona

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Apache Tomcat is an open-source software implementation of the Java Servlet and Java Server Pages technologies. You’ll run applications within Tomcat using the OpenJDK implementation of the Java development environment.

Before You Begin

  1. Ensure that your system is up to date and that you have completed the getting started guide. If you are new to Linux server administration, we recommend reviewing our beginner’s guide and the article concerning systems administration basics.

  2. Make sure you’ve followed our instructions for setting your hostname. Issue the following commands to make sure it is set properly:

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    hostname
    hostname -f
    

    The first command should show your short hostname, and the second should show your fully qualified domain name (FQDN).

  3. You should also make sure your system is up to date. Enter the following command and install any available updates:

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    apt-get update && apt-get upgrade
    

The steps in this guide require root privileges. Be sure to run the steps below as root or with the sudo prefix. For more information on privileges see our Users and Groups guide.

Install Apache Tomcat

Install Tomcat from the Ubuntu repository:

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apt-get install tomcat8

OpenJDK will be installed as a dependency when you install the tomcat8 package. OpenJDK is included with the default-java meta package in Ubuntu.

You may also want to install the tomcat8-docs, tomcat8-examples, and tomcat8-admin tools which provide web-based applications that document, test, and allow you to administer Tomcat. You can install all three with the following command:

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apt-get install tomcat8-docs tomcat8-examples tomcat8-admin

If you need to start, stop or restart Tomcat you can use the following commands:

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systemctl start tomcat8
systemctl stop tomcat8
systemctl restart tomcat8

Test and Use Tomcat

You can test your Tomcat installation by pointing your browser at your site’s port :8080, http://example.com:8080/. Note that Tomcat listens on network port 8080 and does not accept forced HTTPS connections by default. By default, Tomcat configuration files are located in the /var/lib/tomcat8/conf directory.

To use the tomcat8-admin web application, add the following lines to the end of your /var/lib/tomcat8/conf/tomcat-users.xml file before the </tomcat-users> line, substituting your own username and secure password. If using Tomcat Admin, include both the “manager-gui” role for the manager and the “admin-gui” role for the host-manager application.

If you are not using the web application and plan to manage your application(s) from the command line only, you should not enter these lines, because doing so may expose your server to unauthorized login attempts.

/var/lib/tomcat8/conf/tomcat-users.xml
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<role rolename="manager-gui"/>
<role rolename="admin-gui"/>
<user username="username" password="password" roles="manager-gui,admin-gui"/>

Restart the Tomcat server, which will allow these changes to take effect:

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systemctl restart tomcat8

Congratulations! You now have a working Apache Tomcat installation.

More Information

You may wish to consult the following resources for additional information on this topic. While these are provided in the hope that they will be useful, please note that we cannot vouch for the accuracy or timeliness of externally hosted materials.

This guide is published under a CC BY-ND 4.0 license.