How To Install Apache Tomcat 8 on CentOS

Install Apache Tomcat 8 on CentOS

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Apache Tomcat 8 on CentOS. For those of you who didn’t know, Apache Tomcat is an open-source web server and servlet container developed by the Apache Software Foundation. It implements the Java Servlet, JavaServer Pages (JSP), Java Unified Expression Language, and Java WebSocket specifications from Sun Microsystems and provides a web server environment for Java code to run in.

This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of Apache Tomcat on the CentOS system.


  • A server running one of the following operating systems: CentOS system.
  • It’s recommended that you use a fresh OS install to prevent any potential issues.
  • SSH access to the server (or just open Terminal if you’re on a desktop).
  • A non-root sudo user or access to the root user. We recommend acting as a non-root sudo user, however, as you can harm your system if you’re not careful when acting as the root.

Install Apache Tomcat 8 on CentOS

Step 1. JAVA is the first requirement of Tomcat installation.

CentOS 32 bit:

wget --no-cookies \
--no-check-certificate \
--header "Cookie: oraclelicense=accept-securebackup-cookie" \
"http://download.oracle.com/otn-pub/java/jdk/8u5-b13/jdk-8u5-linux-i586.rpm" \
-O /opt/jdk-8-linux-i586.rpm
rpm -Uvh /opt/jdk-8-linux-i586.rpm

CentOS 64 bit:

wget --no-cookies \
--no-check-certificate \
--header "Cookie: oraclelicense=accept-securebackup-cookie" \
"http://download.oracle.com/otn-pub/java/jdk/8u5-b13/jdk-8u5-linux-x64.rpm" \
-O /opt/jdk-8-linux-x64.rpm
rpm -Uvh /opt/jdk-8-linux-x64.rpm

Next, configure newly installed JAVA 8 files using the command ‘alternatives‘, and run the following series of commands on the terminal to configure Java.

# alternatives --install /usr/bin/java java /usr/java/jdk1.8.0_05/jre/bin/java 20000
# alternatives --install /usr/bin/jar jar /usr/java/jdk1.8.0_05/bin/jar 20000
# alternatives --install /usr/bin/javac javac /usr/java/jdk1.8.0_05/bin/javac 20000
# alternatives --install /usr/bin/javaws javaws /usr/java/jdk1.8.0_05/jre/bin/javaws 20000
# alternatives --set java /usr/java/jdk1.8.0_05/jre/bin/java
# alternatives --set javaws /usr/java/jdk1.8.0_05/jre/bin/javaws
# alternatives --set javac /usr/java/jdk1.8.0_05/bin/javac
# alternatives --set jar /usr/java/jdk1.8.0_05/bin/jar

You can also verify it, by issuing the following command.

java -version

Step 2. Download and extract Tomcat archive.

Once installing and configuring JAVA on the system, now it’s time to download the latest version of Apache Tomcat.

cd /opt
wget http://www.apache.org/dist/tomcat/tomcat-8/v8.0.33/bin/apache-tomcat-8.0.33.tar.gz
tar -xvf pache-tomcat-8.0.21.tar.gz

Step 3. Add tomcat user and group.

ln -s /opt/apache-tomcat-8.0.21 /opt/tomcat-latest
chown -hR tomcat8: /opt/tomcat-latest /opt/apache-tomcat-8.0.21

Step 4. Configure Tomcat to run as a service.

cd /opt/apache-tomcat-8.0.21/bin

You will get the following output.

Using CATALINA_BASE:   /var/local/apache-tomcat-8.0.21
Using CATALINA_HOME:   /var/local/apache-tomcat-8.0.21
Using CATALINA_TMPDIR: /var/local/apache-tomcat-8.0.21/temp
Using JRE_HOME:        /usr
Using CLASSPATH:       /var/local/apache-tomcat-8.0.21/bin/bootstrap.jar:/var/local/apache-tomcat-8.0.21/bin/tomcat-juli.jar
Tomcat started.

You can verify the service running, by default tomcat runs on port no 8080.

[root@server ~]# netstat -antup | grep 8080
tcp        0      0      *                   LISTEN

Step 5. Finally, open Tomcat from your browser, and go to your IP or domain with the 8080 port (because Tomcat will always run on the 8080 port) as example: mydomain.com:8080, replace mydomain.com with your IP or domain.

To shutdown Tomcat you can simply run the shutdown script in the same folder like this:


Step 6. Setup user accounts.

Configure Tomcat users so they can access admin/manager sections. You can do this by adding the users in the conf/tomcat-users.xml file with your favorite text editor. Add this text to the file:

nano /opt/apache-tomcat-8.0.21/conf/server.xml

Place the following two lines just above the last line.

<!-- user manager can access only manager section -->
<role rolename="manager-gui" />
<user username="manager" password="_SECRET_PASSWORD_" roles="manager-gui" />

<!-- user admin can access manager and admin section both -->
<role rolename="admin-gui" />
<user username="admin" password="_SECRET_PASSWORD_" roles="manager-gui,admin-gui" />

Congratulations! You have successfully installed Apache Tomcat. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing Apache Tomcat 8 on the CentOS system. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you check the official Apache Tomcat website.

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r00t is a seasoned Linux system administrator with a wealth of experience in the field. Known for his contributions to idroot.us, r00t has authored numerous tutorials and guides, helping users navigate the complexities of Linux systems. His expertise spans across various Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, CentOS, and Debian. r00t's work is characterized by his ability to simplify complex concepts, making Linux more accessible to users of all skill levels. His dedication to the Linux community and his commitment to sharing knowledge makes him a respected figure in the field.
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