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How To Install Apache Tomcat on Ubuntu 12.04

About Apache Tomcat

Apache tomcat is a Java based application server released by the Apache Software Foundation. It is a web server and a servlet container for Java web applications.


Tomcat installation on a virtual private server is relatively easy. Its single required dependency is Java and this tutorial will include a step on how to install that platform.

You do need to have a user with sudo privileges for this tutorial.

Step One—Install Tomcat

The most recent version of Tomcat is 7, and it can be easily downloaded through apt-get or from the Apache Tomcat site.

You can download it through apt-get by typing:

sudo apt-get install tomcat7

To download tomcat from their site, copy the link for the tar.gz package under the "Core” section and begin the download. You will get a link that originates from one of Apache’s many mirrors, making the command look mostly like this (although coming from a different site).

wget http://mirror.atlanticmetro.net/apache/tomcat/tomcat-7/v7.0.29/bin/apache-tomcat-7.0.29.tar.gz

After the download completes, untar the file.

tar xvzf apache-tomcat-7.0.29.tar.gz

Finish up the Tomcat installation on the server by moving the files to a convenient directory.

sudo mv apache-tomcat-7.0.29 ~/path/to/tomcat

Step Two—Install Java

We installed the entire Apache Tomcat server on our virtual server in the previous step. Before we can use it, however, we do need to have Java installed on the server as well. If you currently do not have java, you can download it quite easily with apt-get.

sudo apt-get install default-jdk

Once you have Tomcat and Java installed on the virtual private server, all that remains is to start them.

Step Three—Configure .bashrc

In order to start Tomcat, we need to add it as an environment variable in the /.bashrc file.

sudo nano ~/.bashrc

You can add this information to the end of the file:

export JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib/jvm/default-java

export CATALINA_HOME=~/path/to/tomcat

Save and exit out of .bashrc. You can make the changes effective by restarting the bashrc file.

. ~/.bashrc


Tomcat is now installed and configured on our virtual servers. However, it is not yet activated. The final step is to activate Tomcat by running its startup script:


Once that runs, Tomcat is up and ready on port 8080.

You can visually verify that Tomcat is working by accessing your server page atyour_IP_address:8080.

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