How to Install and Setup Apache Tomcat 8 on CentOS 7 / RHEL 7

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:

java -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:

Description=Apache Tomcat 8 Servlet Container

Environment="CATALINA_OPTS=-Xms512M -Xmx1024M -server -XX:+UseParallelGC"


Save and close the file.

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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.

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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.

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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.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for improvement, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below. Your feedback is invaluable to us, and it helps us create better and more informative content for our users.



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