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  • Installing Tomcat 6 on Debian Squeeze

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    Posted on 13 March 2010 Sebastian Thomschke*/?> 10 comments

    This post describes how to setup Tomcat 6 on Debian Squeeze. The configured Tomcat serves requests on port 80 without the need of an additional web server. This is especially good for virtual servers (VPS) providing limit memory. It also has multiple virtual hosts configured, each with it’s own webapp with context root / and optional support for PHP via the Quercus PHP implementation.

    Installing Sun Java 6

    Ensure the non-free section is enabled for the APT repository configuration in /etc/apt/sources.list, e.g. “deb testing main contrib non-free”

    apt-get update
    apt-get install sun-java6-jdk
    echo 'JAVA_HOME="/usr/lib/jvm/java-6-sun"' >> /etc/environment
    echo 'JRE_HOME="/usr/lib/jvm/java-6-sun/jre"' >> /etc/environment

    Installing Tomcat 6

    apt-get install tomcat6 tomcat6-admin
    /etc/init.d/tomcat6 stop

    Creating standard Tomcat directory layout (optional)

    mkdir /opt/tomcat
    cd /opt/tomcat
    ln -s /etc/tomcat6/ conf
    ln -s /usr/share/tomcat6/bin/ bin
    ln -s /usr/share/tomcat6/lib/ lib
    ln -s /var/lib/tomcat6/webapps webapps
    ln -s /var/log/tomcat6/ logs

    Creating a Tomcat admin user

    In /opt/tomcat/conf/tomcat-users.xml add an entry like:

    <user name="ADMIN_USERNAME" password="ADMIN_PASSWORD" roles="admin,manager" />

    Setting up virtual hosts

    For each virtual host execute the following command. Replace “” with the desired virtual host name, but omit the “www.” part.

    mkdir -p /opt/tomcat/

    In the <Engine> tag of “/opt/tomcat/conf/server.xml” add one host entry for each virtual host.

    <Host name="" appBase="/opt/tomcat/">
        <Valve className="org.apache.catalina.valves.AccessLogValve" prefix="mydomain_access_log." suffix=".txt" pattern="common"/>

    The <Alias> tag tells Tomcat to redirect from to
    The <Valve> tag enables access logging in the standard logging format.

    Using xinetd to configure port 80 for Tomcat

    Binding a service on port 80 requires root permissions. Thus we use port forwarding to “bind” Tomcat to port 80. My VPS does not support the use of “iptables -j REDIRECT” therefore I am using xinetd as a web proxy.
    Ensure that no other service is listening on port 80/443:

    netstat -pan | grep ":80\|:443"

    Register the required xinetd services:

    echo echo "
    service www
            socket_type     = stream
            protocol        = tcp
            user            = root
            wait            = no
            bind            =
            port            = 80
            redirect        = localhost 8080
            disable         = no
            flags           = REUSE
            log_type        = FILE /var/log/wwwaccess.log
            log_on_success  -= PID HOST DURATION EXIT
            per_source      = UNLIMITED
            instances       = UNLIMITED
    service https
            socket_type     = stream
            protocol        = tcp
            user            = root
            wait            = no
            bind            =
            port            = 443
            redirect        = localhost 8443
            disable         = no
            flags           = REUSE
            log_type        = FILE /var/log/httpsaccess.log
            log_on_success  -= PID HOST DURATION EXIT
            per_source      = UNLIMITED
            instances       = UNLIMITED
    " > /etc/xinetd.d/tomcat
    /etc/init.d/xinetd restart

    If you want to use a different service name, e.g. “tomcat” instead of “www” you must add this service to /var/services, e.g. “tomcat 80/tcp”
    In /opt/tomcat/conf/server.xml modify the <Connector> as follows:

    <Connector port="8080" protocol="HTTP/1.1"
                   redirectPort="8443" proxyPort="80" address="" />

    This binds Tomcat to localhost. It also tells Tomcat that port 80 is the proxy port which is necessary for correct URL generation.
    From now on the Tomcat admin applications are only accessible via localhost. You can use SSH port forwarding to still access the applications from your workstation’s web browser. E.g. if you are using PuTTY you can use this command line option “-L 8080:localhost:8080” to forward the server’s local 8080 port to your workstation’s local 8080 port. On your workstation’s browser you then simply enter http://localhost:8080/manager/html and are connected to the server’s Tomcat admin application.

    Enabling PHP support (optional)

    Download Quercus.

    mkdir -p /opt/downloads
    wget -o /opt/downloads/quercus-4.0.3.war

    Install Quercus as a shared library.

    unzip -j /opt/downloads/quercus-4.0.3.war \*.jar -d /opt/tomcat/lib

    Enable PHP support for the virtual hosts by installing the quercus web.xml. For each virtual host execute:

    unzip /opt/downloads/quercus-4.0.3.war *web.xml -d /opt/tomcat/

    Starting Tomcat

    /etc/init.d/tomcat start



    8 responses to “Installing Tomcat 6 on Debian Squeeze” RSS icon

    • Hermano su aporte es demasiado beuno lo felicito, tengo una pregunta yaq que soy nuevo en esto, me gustaria saber como hago para correr un sistema con tomcat?? me explico mejor yo he venido trabajando con apache y se que para correr sistemas php solo debo colocarlos en /var/www y ejecutar http://localhost/nombre_project ahora bien mi duda esta : en donde coloco los sistemas jsp o php que utilizen librerias java? para correrlos con tomcat??

      espero pronta respuesta , muchas gracias

    • Miikka Eloranta

      Did we put those service definitions to /etc/init.d/tomcat instead of /etc/init.d/tomcat6 by purpose?

    • Great blog .. i’m from Argentina and i have a blog too, can you tell me what plugin are you using to show codes ?
      Cause the one i use has lot of problems and i am looking a good one like your.
      Thanks 🙂

    • you flipped an > in the host-Tag. Thats bad for copying 😉

    • It should read:

      (note the “>/Alias>” part in the original)

    • Nice one! I didn’t know it was possible to host PHP inside a Tomcat container. I’ll have to give that quercus thingy a try.

    • Wouldn’t it be easier to simply use /var/lib/tomcat6 rather than creating the dir in /opt?

      It already has common, server, shared, and webapps, as well as links to conf, logs, and work. All you would need to do is create links to bin and lib.

    • I believe the xinetd service configuration file should be in /etc/xinetd.d, at least when using the standard Debian Squeeze install package for xinetd services. In this case line 37 should read
      ” > /etc/xinetd.d/tomcat

      Also, since you show https service it might be useful to mention that you need to set up a certificate keystone and https connector for tomcat.
      Otherwise, a great article and very helpful. Thanks for posting it.

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