How To Install Apache Tomcat 7 on Ubuntu 16.04

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Apache Tomcat is used to deploy and serve JavaServer Pages and Java servlets. It is an open source technology based off Apache.

Pre-Flight Check

  • This document assumes you are installing Apache Tomcat on Ubuntu 16.04.
  • Be sure you are logged in as root user.

Installing Tomcat 7

Step 1: Create the Tomcat Folder

Logged in as root, within the opt folder make a directory called tomcat and cd into that folder after completion.

mkdir /opt/tomcat
cd /opt/tomcat


Step 2: Install Tomcat Through Wget

Click this link to the Apache Tomcat 7 Download site. Place your cursor under 7.0.90 Binary Distributions, right click on the tar.gz file and select Copy Link Address (as shown in the picture below).  At the time of this article Tomcat 7 is the newest version but feel free to pick whatever version is more up-to-date.

Tomcat Version 7.0.90

Next, from your server, use wget command to download the tar to  the tomcat folder from the URL you copied in the previous step:


You can down the file to your local desktop, but you’ll then want to transfer the file to your Liquid Web server. If assistance is needed, check out this article: Using SFTP and SCP Instead of FTP

After the download completes, decompress the file in your Tomcat folder:

tar xvzf apache-tomcat-7.0.90.tar.gz

You will end up with a file called apache-tomcat-7.0.90.


Step 3: Install Java

Before you can use Tomcat, you’ll have to install the Java Development Kit (JDK). Beforehand, check to see if Java is installed:

java -version
If that command returns the following message then Java has yet to be installed:
The program 'java' can be found in the following packages:
To install Java, simply run the following command (and at the prompt enter Y to continue:
apt-get install default-jdk


Step 4: Configure .bashrc file

Set the environment variables in .bashrc with the following command:

vim ~/.bashrc
Add this information to the end of the file:
export JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib/jvm/java-1.8.0-openjdk-amd64
export CATALINA_HOME=/opt/tomcat/apache-tomcat-7.0.90

Verify your file paths! If you downloaded a different version or already installed Java, you may have to edit the file path or name. Older versions of Java may say java-7-openjdk-amd64 instead of java-1.8.0-openjdk-amd64 . Likewise, if you installed Tomcat in a different folder other then /opt/tomcat (as suggested) you’ll indicate the path in your bash file and edit the lines above.

Save your edits and exit from the .bashrc file, then run the following command to register the changes:

. ~/.bashrc


Step 5: Test Run

Tomcat and Java should now be installed and configured on your server. To activate Tomcat, run the following script:


You should get a result similar to:
Using CATALINA_BASE: /opt/tomcat
Using CATALINA_HOME: /opt/tomcat
Using CATALINA_TMPDIR: /opt/tomcat/temp
Using JRE_HOME: /usr/lib/jvm/java-7-openjdk-amd64/
Using CLASSPATH: /opt/tomcat/bin/bootstrap.jar:/opt/tomcat/bin/tomcat-juli.jar
Tomcat started.


To verify that Tomcat is working by visiting the IP address of your server:8080 in a web browser. For example

Tomcat 7.0.90 Test Page


Avatar for Michelle Almendarez

About the Author: Michelle Almendarez

Michelle Almendarez started her love for technology at the University of Texas at San Antonio where she pursued a degree in Computer Science. She has written several Knowledge Base articles for Liquid Web starting in 2018. She has experience with video editing, web design, and server management and in her free time likes to post cute pictures of her dog “Ghost” on Facebook. She sustains her healthy lifestyle by eating only organic farm-raised tacos with her coffee daily.

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