How to Install and Configure Apache Tomcat 9 in CentOS 8/7

Apache Tomcat (earlier known as Jakarta Tomcat) is an open-source web server developed by Apache Foundation to provide a pure Java HTTP server, which will enable you to run Java files easily, which means that Tomcat is not a normal server like Apache or Nginx, because its main goal is to provide a good web environment to run Java applications only unlike other normal web servers.

This article will walk you throughout the installation of Apache Tomcat 9 on RHEL/CentOS 8/7/6.

For Ubuntu, follow How to Install Apache Tomcat in Ubuntu.

Step 1: Installing and Configuring Java

Before heading up for the Tomcat installation, make sure you must have JAVA installed on your Linux box to run Tomcat. If not, install the latest version of JAVA or use the following yum command to install available Java from the default repositories.

# yum install java-1.8.0-openjdk-devel  	#install JDK 8
# yum install java-11-openjdk-devel		#install JDK 11

Once Java installed, you can verify the newly installed JAVA version running the following command on your system.

# java -version
Sample Output
openjdk version "11.0.4" 2019-07-16 LTS
OpenJDK Runtime Environment 18.9 (build 11.0.4+11-LTS)
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM 18.9 (build 11.0.4+11-LTS, mixed mode, sharing)

Step 2: Installing Apache Tomcat 9

After installing JAVA on the system, now it’s time to download the latest version of Apache Tomcat (i.e. 9.0.26) is the most recent stable version at the time of writing this article. If you want to make a cross-check, head over to following Apache download page and check if there is a newer version available.

  1. h

Now download the latest version of Apache Tomcat 9, using following wget command and set up it as shown.

# cd /usr/local
# wget
# tar -xvf apache-tomcat-9.0.37.tar.gz
# mv apache-tomcat-9.0.37.tar.gz tomcat9

Note: Replace the version number above with the latest version available if it was different.

Before starting the Tomcat Service, configure a CATALINA_HOME environment variable in your system using the following command.

# echo "export CATALINA_HOME="/usr/local/tomcat9"" >> ~/.bashrc
# source ~/.bashrc

Now we all set to start the tomcat web server using the scripts provided by the tomcat package.

# cd /usr/local/tomcat9/bin
# ./ 
Sample Output
Using CATALINA_BASE:   /usr/local/tomcat9
Using CATALINA_HOME:   /usr/local/tomcat9
Using CATALINA_TMPDIR: /usr/local/tomcat9/temp
Using JRE_HOME:        /usr
Using CLASSPATH:       /usr/local/tomcat9/bin/bootstrap.jar:/usr/local/tomcat9/bin/tomcat-juli.jar
Tomcat started.

Now to open Tomcat from your browser, go to your IP or domain with the 8080 port (because Tomcat will always run on the 8080 port) as an example:, replace with your IP or domain.

Verify Apache Tomcat
Verify Apache Tomcat

The default directory for Tomcat files will be in /usr/local/tomcat9, you can view the configuration files inside the conf folder, the main page that you have seen above, when you open your website on the 8080 port is in /usr/local/tomcat9/webapps/ROOT/.

Step 3: Configuring Apache Tomcat 9

By default you only able to access the default Tomcat page, to access admin and other sections like Server Status, Manager App and Host Manager. You need to configure user accounts for admins and managers.

To do so, you need to edit the ‘tomcat-users.xml‘ file located under /usr/local/tomcat9/conf directory.

Setup Tomcat User Accounts

For example, to assign the manager-gui role to a user named ‘tecmint‘ with a password ‘t$cm1n1‘, add the following line of code to the config file inside the section.

# vi /usr/local/tomcat9/conf/tomcat-users.xml 
<role rolename="manager-gui"/>
<user username="tecmint" password="t$cm1n1" roles="manager-gui"/>

Similarly, you can also add an ‘admin-gui‘ role to an admin user named ‘admin‘ with a password ‘adm!n‘ as shown below.

<role rolename="admin-gui"/>
<user username="admin" password="adm!n" roles="admin-gui"/>
Configure Apache Tomcat User Roles
Configure Apache Tomcat User Roles

Enable Remote Access to Tomcat

By default, access to the Manager and Host Manager section is restricted to the localhost only, to allow access to these pages, you need to mention IP address or network range in a configuration file.

# vi /usr/local/tomcat9/webapps/manager/META-INF/context.xml

Then look for the following line and change it to this to allow tomcat access from IP address

allow="127\.\d+\.\d+\.\d+|::1|0:0:0:0:0:0:0:1 |" />

You can also allow tomcat access from the local network

allow="127\.\d+\.\d+\.\d+|::1|0:0:0:0:0:0:0:1 |192.168.56.*" /gt;

After setting up the admin and manager’s roles, restart the Tomcat and then try to access the admin section.


Now click on the ‘Server Status‘ tab, it will prompt you to enter user credentials, enter username and password that you’ve added above in the config file.

Apache Tomcat User Login
Apache Tomcat User Login

Once, you enter user credentials, you will find a page similar to below.

Monitor Apache Tomcat Server Status
Monitor Apache Tomcat Server Status

Changing Apache Tomcat Port

If you want to run Tomcat on different port say 80 port. You will have to edit the ‘server.xml‘ file in ‘/usr/local/tomcat9/conf/‘. Before changing, port, make sure to stop the Tomcat server using.

# /usr/local/tomcat9/bin/

Now open the server.xml file using the Vi editor.

# vi /usr/local/tomcat9/conf/server.xml

Now search for “Connector port” and change its value from 8080 to 80 or any other port you want as it follows.

Change Apache Tomcat Port
Change Apache Tomcat Port

To save the file and restart the Apache Tomcat server again, using the below command.

# /usr/local/tomcat9/bin/

That’s it, your Tomcat server will be running on the 80 port.

Of course, you have to run all the above commands as a root, if you don’t they won’t work because we are working on the ‘/usr/local‘ directory which is a folder owned by the root user only if you want you can run the server as a normal user but you will have to use your HOME folder as a working area to download, extract and run the Apache Tomcat server.

To get some information about your running Tomcat server and your computer, run.

Sample Output
Using CATALINA_BASE:   /usr/local/tomcat9
Using CATALINA_HOME:   /usr/local/tomcat9
Using CATALINA_TMPDIR: /usr/local/tomcat9/temp
Using JRE_HOME:        /usr
Using CLASSPATH:       /usr/local/tomcat9/bin/bootstrap.jar:/usr/local/tomcat9/bin/tomcat-juli.jar
NOTE: Picked up JDK_JAVA_OPTIONS:  --add-opens=java.base/java.lang=ALL-UNNAMED --add-opens=java.base/ --add-opens=java.rmi/sun.rmi.transport=ALL-UNNAMED
Server version: Apache Tomcat/9.0.26
Server built:   Sep 16 2019 15:51:39 UTC
Server number:
OS Name:        Linux
OS Version:     4.18.0-80.7.1.el8_0.x86_64
Architecture:   amd64
JVM Version:    11.0.4+11-LTS
JVM Vendor:     Oracle Corporation

That’s it! Now you can start deploying JAVA based applications under Apache Tomcat 9. For more about how to deploy applications and create virtual hosts, check out the official Tomcat documentation.

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52 thoughts on “How to Install and Configure Apache Tomcat 9 in CentOS 8/7”

  1. Hi,

    I want to upgrade from Tomcat 8.5.34 to 8.5.51 on CentOS. Do I have to install the new Tomcat version manually for it or can this minor version be updated using yum?

      • Hi Ravi

        I have the certificates with my root, and intermediate.

        I need to import them into jks format to install it in tomcat. However, I am unaware of the steps to cratering or the correct order to achieve this.

  2. I have installed httpd & tomcat 8 on centos7. My domain point to this at 80 port. How to map a subdomain to tomcat server through httpd or direct to tomcat alongside with httpd.

    • @Hein,

      To map Tomcat Apps to sub-domain with apache.

      First, add the following line to httpd.conf file.

      ProxyRequests Off
      <Proxy *>
        Order deny,allow
        Allow from all
      <VirtualHost *>
              RewriteEngine On
              ProxyPass / http://localhost:8080/myapp
              ProxyPassReverse / http://localhost:8080/myapp

      Restart apache.

      # systemctl restart httpd

      Enable proxy support in Tomcat (conf/server.xml):

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

      Finally, restart tomcat.

    • @Sarah,

      Please open the port 8080 of Tomcat on the firewall to access from the public network. Also let me know how you accessing the URL’s? and what error you getting?

      • Ravi,

        I have tried in Microsoft Edge, which is telling me “Hmmm…can’t reach this page” and on Firefox which is telling me “the server is taking too long to respond

        I’m very new to this, can you briefly tell me how to open the port on the firewall?

        Thank you.

        • @Sarah,

          First try to access the Tomcat page from the server terminal itself at:

          # yum install links
          # links http://localhost:8080

          If it’s accessible from the localhost, you should open a port on firewall and allow Tomcat access from public IP.

  3. I removed MC, but it wasn’t the reason.
    It is really strange, that no errors where generated, only a zero byte length log file “catalina.out” was generated.

    • @Martin,

      Thanks for your efforts, let’s give a final try by creating a systemd unit file, with this you can start, stop and enable the tomcat service..

      Create and open the unit file by running this command:

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

      Paste in the following script. Make sure to modify the memory allocation and path to tomcat installation settings that are specified in CATALINA_OPTS, CATALINA_HOME and CATALINA_PID:

      # Systemd unit file for tomcat
      Description=Apache Tomcat Web Application Container
      Environment='CATALINA_OPTS=-Xms512M -Xmx1024M -server -XX:+UseParallelGC'
      ExecStop=/bin/kill -15 $MAINPID

      Save and exit. This script tells the server to run the Tomcat service as the tomcat user, with the settings specified.

      Now reload Systemd to load the Tomcat unit file and start & enable the service.

      # systemctl daemon-reload
      # systemctl start tomcat
      # systemctl enable tomcat
  4. Thanks for this helpful tutorial. I used this article with other sources of information to get a clean installation.

    In my case Tomcat does not start, if i execute “./” which goes to “ start“. Only an empty log file “catalina.out” was generated.
    If i run “./ run“, tomcat starts and works. In this case, Tomcat runs in the current window.

    Now something weird: If the “Midnight Commander” is active and i run “./“, it works!

    Looks kind of a shell problem.

    I’m really stuck, any idea where to look?


      • I have a standard CentOS 7 installation like others have. i’m not really sure, if it a good idea to change the shell systemwide. Keep in mind, that tomcat behaves the same, if i try to start the service instead on the command prompt.


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