How To Install Apache Tomcat 8 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.

How To Install Apache Tomcat 8 on Ubuntu 16.04

Preflight Check

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

Installing Apache Tomcat 8

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 8 Download site. Place your cursor under 8.5.32  Binary Distributions, right click on the tar file and select copy link address (as shown in the picture below). At the time of this article Tomcat 8 is the newest version but feel free to pick whatever version is more up-to-date.

Tomcat 8's Download Page

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-8.5.32.tar.gz

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-8.5.32

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 than /opt/tomcat (as suggested) you’ll indicate the path in your bash file and edit the lines above.

Save your edits and exit 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, visit the IP.of.your.server:8080 in a web browser. For example,

Apache Tomcat 8 Verification Page

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About the Author: Lance Rangel

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