How to Install Apache Tomcat on Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

Install Apache Tomcat on Ubuntu 18.04

In this article, we will have explained the necessary steps to install and configure Apache Tomcat on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. Before continuing with this tutorial, make sure you are logged in as a user with sudo privileges. All the commands in this tutorial should be run as a non-root user.

Apache Tomcat is an opensource web server used to server Java Applications. It is an opensource implementation of Java Servlet, Java Server Pages and Java Expression Language. It is one of the most widely adopted applications and web servers in the world today. Tomcat is simple to use and has a robust ecosystem of add-ons.

Install Apache Tomcat on Ubuntu

Step 1. First, before you start installing any package on your Ubuntu server, we always recommend making sure that all system packages are updated.

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Step 2. Install Java with OpenJDK.

Tomcat requires Java to be installed. We’ll install OpenJDK, which is the default Java development and runtime in Ubuntu 18.04:

sudo apt install default-jdk

Step 3. Create Tomcat User.

Becuase of security reason Tomcat should not run as root user. So now you should create a non-root user for Tomcat typing following command:

sudo useradd -r -m -U -d /opt/tomcat -s /bin/false tomcat

Step 4. Install Tomcat.

We need to download latest binaries from Tomcat Download Page. At the time creating this tutorial latest version is 9.0.14. But you can use the latest stable version:

wget -P /tmp

Once the download is completed, extract the Tomcat archive and move it to the /opt/tomcat directory:

sudo tar xf /tmp/apache-tomcat-9*.tar.gz -C /opt/tomcat

To have more control over Tomcat versions and updates, we will create a symbolic link latest which will point to the Tomcat installation directory:

sudo ln -s /opt/tomcat/apache-tomcat-9.0.14 /opt/tomcat/latest

Run following command to give installation directory ownership to tomcat user and tomcat group:

sudo chown -RH tomcat: /opt/tomcat/latest
sudo sh -c 'chmod +x /opt/tomcat/latest/bin/*.sh'

Step 5. Create Systemd Unit File.

Run following command to create tomcat.service unit file inside /etc/systemd/system/ directory:

sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/tomcat.service
Description=Tomcat 9 servlet container



Environment=" -Djava.awt.headless=true"

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



Save and close the file and notify systemd that we created a new unit file:

sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl start tomcat

Check the status if tomcat running using the following command:

sudo systemctl status tomcat

Step 6. Update The Firewall Settings.

If your server is protected by a firewall and you want to access Tomcat interface from the outside of your local network you need to open port 8080:

sudo ufw allow 8080/tcp

Step 7. Configure Tomcat Web Management Interface.

Tomcat users and roles are defined in the tomcat-users.xml file. This file is a template with comments and examples describing how to configure the create a user or role:

sudo nano /opt/tomcat/latest/conf/tomcat-users.xml

Now add username and password for admin-gui and manager-gui. Make it sure you are setting strong username and password:

   <role rolename="admin-gui"/>
   <role rolename="manager-gui"/>
   <user username="admin" password="admin_password" roles="admin-gui,manager-gui"/>

By default, Apache Tomcat restrict access to Manager and Host Manager apps to connections coming from the server also. You should remove these restrictions.

To change IP address restriction open following files. Open Manager app context file using below command:

sudo nano /opt/tomcat/latest/webapps/manager/META-INF/context.xml

Open Host Manager app context file using below command:

sudo nano /opt/tomcat/latest/webapps/host-manager/META-INF/context.xml

Add commnets as given in following file:

<Context antiResourceLocking="false" privileged="true" >
  <Valve className="org.apache.catalina.valves.RemoteAddrValve"
         allow="127\.\d+\.\d+\.\d+|::1|0:0:0:0:0:0:0:1" />

Remember to restart the Tomcat service each time you edit Tomcat configuration files for changes to take effect:

sudo systemctl restart tomcat

Step 8. Test the Tomcat Installation.

Open your browser and type: http://<your-domain_or_IP-address>:8080

You should get following output for successful installation:

Install Apache Tomcat on Ubuntu 18.04

Now use Manager App visiting http://YOUR-SERVER-DOMAIN_OR_IP-ADDRESS:8080/manager/html.

Install Apache Tomcat on Ubuntu 18.04

That’s all you need to do to install Apache Tomcat on Ubuntu 18.04. I hope you find this quick tip helpful. If you have questions or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment below.