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Apache Tomcat

Environment Variables

  • CATALINA_HOME - location of Tomcat core installation, fex /usr/local/tomcat
  • JRE_HOME - location of the Java Runtime Environemnt (JRE)
  • JAVA_HOME - location of the Java Development Kit (JDK)

You can override variables for in /bin/ The CATALINA_HOME and CATALINA_BASE variables cannot be changed here since they are used to find the program.

Add CATALINA_PID for example to set the location of the pid file, such as /var/run/

Starting / stopping

Two options:

/bin/ start
/bin/ stop


JAR files and external libraries can go in /lib, such as JDBC drivers.


Sites are installed in /webapps directory manually, or they can be installed through management interface running on the server available at /manager URL.

Ubuntu 16.04

Install OpenJDK 8:

apt-get -y install default-jre default-jre-headless

Install Tomcat 8:

apt-get -y install tomcat8

Tomcat by default listens on port 8080. To listen on port 80, two things need to change.

First, edit /etc/default/tomcat8 and set AUTHBIND to yes.

Second, update /etc/tomcat8/server.xml and change Connector port to 80. Then restart Tomcat.

Admin Interface

The default homepage for the ROOT webapp comes with instructions on how to install the documentation, examples, and admin interfaces.

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

For accessing the manager and host-manager webapps, you will need to add users in /etc/tomcat/tomcat-users.xml. Here's an example that has user tomcat with password tomcat, who can manage both apps:

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

Once the users are added, restart Tomcat as normal:

/etc/init.d/tomcat restart