How To Set up Apache Tomcat on Debian 11

In this article, we want to teach you How To Set up Apache Tomcat on Debian 11.

Essentially Apache Tomcat is an open-source Java servlet and Java Server Page container that lets developers implement an array of enterprise Java applications. Tomcat also runs an HTTP web server environment in which Java code can run.

How To Set up Apache Tomcat on Debian 11

To install Apache Tomcat on Debian 11, you need to log in to your server as a non-root user with sudo privileges and set up a basic firewall. To do this, you can follow our article the Initial Server Setup with Debian 11.

Now follow the steps below to complete this guide.

Install OpenJDK on Debian 11

To set up Apache Tomcat, you need to have OpenJDK installed on your server.

First, you need to update your local package index with the following command:

sudo apt update

Then, use the following command to install OpenJDK 11 on your server:

sudo apt install openjdk-11-jdk -y

Verify your installation by checking the OpenJDK version:

java -version
Output
openjdk version "11.0.14" 2022-01-18
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (build 11.0.14+9-post-Debian-1deb11u1)
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (build 11.0.14+9-post-Debian-1deb11u1, mixed mode, sharing)

Install Apache Tomcat on Debian 11

At the time of writing this guide, the latest version of Apache Tomcat is 10.0.20. Visit the Apache Tomcat Downloads page and grab the latest binary or use the wget command as follows:

wget https://dlcdn.apache.org/tomcat/tomcat-10/v10.0.20/bin/apache-tomcat-10.0.20.tar.gz

Then, create a directory in your /opt directory:

sudo mkdir /opt/tomcat

Next, extract your downloaded file in the /opt/tomcat directory:

sudo tar -xvf apache-tomcat-10*tar.gz -C /opt/tomcat --strip-components=1

At this point, you need to create a new user and group for Tomcat on Debian 11.

You can create a group called tomcat with the following command:

sudo groupadd tomcat

Next, create the tomcat user and add the user to the tomcat group with /opt/tomcat as the home directory:

sudo useradd -s /bin/false -g tomcat -d /opt/tomcat tomcat

Now you need to set the correct permissions and ownership for your Tomcat directory:

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

By default, Tomcat doesn’t come with a systemd unit file. So you need to create it manually. Open the file as shown below with your favorite text editor, here we use vi:

sudo vi /etc/systemd/system/tomcat.service

Add the following content to your file:

[Unit]
Description=Tomcat webs servlet container
After=network.target
[Service]
Type=forking
User=tomcat
Group=tomcat
RestartSec=10
Restart=always
Environment="JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib/jvm/java-1.11.0-openjdk-amd64"
Environment="JAVA_OPTS=-Djava.awt.headless=true -Djava.security.egd=file:/dev/./urandom"
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
[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target

When you are done, save and close the file.

Then rerun the systemd generator and reload all the unit files with the following command:

sudo systemctl daemon-reload

Confirm the default path for Java with the following command:

sudo update-java-alternatives -l
Output
java-1.11.0-openjdk-amd64 1111 /usr/lib/jvm/java-1.11.0-openjdk-amd64

Manage Apache Tomcat on Debian 11

At this point, you can start and enable your Apache Tomcat service on Debian 11 with the following commands:

$ sudo systemctl start tomcat
$ sudo systemctl enable tomcat

Verify that your service is active and running on Debian 11 with the command below:

sudo systemctl status tomcat
Output
tomcat.service - Tomcat webs servlet container
Loaded: loaded (/etc/systemd/system/tomcat.service; enabled; vendor preset>
Active: active (running) since Sun 2022-04-17 08:44:59 EDT; 44s ago
Main PID: 4784 (java)
Tasks: 29 (limit: 2340)
Memory: 153.9M
CPU: 4.575s
CGroup: /system.slice/tomcat.service
└─4784 /usr/lib/jvm/java-1.11.0-openjdk-amd64/bin/java -Djava.util

Configure Apache Tomcat on Debian 11

At this point, you need to configure an Administrative user to access the ‘server status’, ‘host manager’, and ‘manager app’ sections on Tomcat’s web page.

To do this, you need to edit the Tomcat configuration file. Open the file with your favorite text editor, here we use vi:

sudo vi /opt/tomcat/conf/tomcat-users.xml

Add the following lines of code just before the </tomcat-users> tag at the end of the file. You can choose your own name for username and password.

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

When you are done, save and close the file.

By default, you can only access Tomcat’s web interface from the host system. So you need to configure remote access to Tomcat Manager by manually editing the context.xml configuration file.

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

Scroll down and comment on these lines by simply adding <!– at the beginning and –> at the end.

<!-- <Valve className="org.apache.catalina.valves.RemoteAddrValve"
allow="127\.\d+\.\d+\.\d+|::1|0:0:0:0:0:0:0:1" /> -->

When you are done, save and close the file.

Next, we need to allow remote access to the Host Manager. So, edit the Host manager’s context.xml file.

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

Again, comment out the following block of text by adding <!– at the beginning and –> at the end.

<!-- <Valve className="org.apache.catalina.valves.RemoteAddrValve"
allow="127\.\d+\.\d+\.\d+|::1|0:0:0:0:0:0:0:1" /> -->

When you are done, save and close the file.

To apply all the changes, restart Tomcat on Debian 11:

sudo systemctl restart tomcat

Access Apache Tomcat Web Interface

Here you need to allow Apache Tomcat port 8080 through the Debian 11 firewall:

$ sudo ufw allow 8080
$ sudo ufw reload

At this point, you can access the Apache Tomcat web interface by typing your server’s IP address in your web browser followed by 8080:

http://server-ip-addres:8080

You will see the default home page of Apache Tomcat.

Apache Tomcat homepage on Debian 11

To access the ‘Server status’ page, click on ‘Server status’.  A pop-up will appear prompting for user credentials. Provide the Admin login credentials that you have defined before.

Similarly, you will be prompted for the same credentials when accessing the Tomcat Application Manager which can be accessed by clicking on ‘Manager App’ on the default web interface.

Clicking on the ‘Host Manager’ will take you to the Virtual Host Manager section.

Conclusion

At this point, you learn to Set up Apache Tomcat on Debian 11.

Hope you enjoy it.

May you will be interested in these articles:

Install and Configure Apache Tomcat on Ubuntu 20.04

Install and Configure Apache Tomcat on Centos 7

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