Apache Tomcat is an open-source Java Servlet and JavaServer Pages implementation that provides a pure Java HTTP web server environment for running Java code. It is widely used for deploying and running Java-based web applications. In this step-by-step guide, we will show you how to install and set up Apache Tomcat 8 on CentOS 7 or RHEL 7.
Step 1: Install Java Development Kit (JDK)
Apache Tomcat requires the Java Development Kit (JDK) to run. First, install the JDK using the following commands:
sudo yum install -y java-1.8.0-openjdk-devel
After installation, verify the installed JDK version:
Step 2: Create Tomcat User
For security reasons, it’s recommended to create a separate user to run the Tomcat service:
sudo useradd -m -U -d /opt/tomcat -s /bin/false tomcat
Step 3: Download and Install Apache Tomcat
Download the latest version of Apache Tomcat 8 from the official website (replace the version number if needed):
Extract the downloaded archive and move it to the /opt/tomcat directory:
sudo tar xf apache-tomcat-8.5.73.tar.gz -C /opt/tomcat --strip-components=1
Step 4: Configure Tomcat User Permissions
Set the proper ownership and permissions for the Tomcat directory:
sudo chown -R tomcat:tomcat /opt/tomcat sudo chmod -R g+r /opt/tomcat/conf sudo chmod g+x /opt/tomcat/conf
Step 5: Create a Systemd Service File
To manage the Tomcat service easily, create a systemd service file:
sudo vi /etc/systemd/system/tomcat.service
Add the following content to the file:
[Unit] Description=Apache Tomcat 8 Servlet Container After=network.target [Service] Type=forking User=tomcat Group=tomcat Environment="JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib/jvm/jre" Environment="CATALINA_BASE=/opt/tomcat" Environment="CATALINA_HOME=/opt/tomcat" Environment="CATALINA_PID=/opt/tomcat/temp/tomcat.pid" Environment="CATALINA_OPTS=-Xms512M -Xmx1024M -server -XX:+UseParallelGC" ExecStart=/opt/tomcat/bin/startup.sh ExecStop=/opt/tomcat/bin/shutdown.sh Restart=on-failure [Install] WantedBy=multi-user.target
Save and close the file.
Step 6: Start and Enable Tomcat Service
Reload the systemd daemon and start the Tomcat service:
sudo systemctl daemon-reload sudo systemctl start tomcat sudo systemctl enable tomcat
Step 7: Adjust Firewall Rules
If you have a firewall enabled, allow traffic to the default Tomcat port (8080):
sudo firewall-cmd --zone=public --permanent --add-port=8080/tcp sudo firewall-cmd --reload
Step 8: Verify Tomcat Installation
To verify that the Tomcat installation was successful, open a web browser and access the Tomcat server using the following URL:
You should see the Apache Tomcat default welcome page.
Step 9: Secure the Tomcat Manager
By default, the Tomcat Manager and Host Manager web applications are not secured. To restrict access, edit the tomcat-users.xml file:
sudo vi /opt/tomcat/conf/tomcat-users.xml
Add the following lines before the closing </tomcat-users> tag:
<role rolename="manager-gui"/> <role rolename="admin-gui"/> <user username="your_username" password="your_password" roles="manager-gui,admin-gui"/>
Replace your_username and your_password with your desired credentials.
Save and close the file. Restart the Tomcat service for the changes to take effect:
sudo systemctl restart tomcat
Now, you can access the Tomcat Manager and Host Manager using the following URLs:
In this guide, we have shown you how to install and set up Apache Tomcat 8 on a CentOS 7 or RHEL 7 system. You can now deploy and manage your Java-based web applications using the Tomcat servlet container.
Remember to keep your system and Tomcat installation up-to-date with the latest security patches and updates. Additionally, maintain good security practices by regularly reviewing and updating user access, permissions, and credentials.
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