How To Install Apache Tomcat on Debian 10 / Debian 9 | Holhol24


Apache Tomcat is an open-source webserver to run Java web applications developed by the Apache Software Foundation (ASF).

Tomcat contains Java Servlet, JavaServer Pages (JSP), Java EL, and WebSocket technologies, and provides a “pure Java” HTTP web server environment for running Java codes.

Here, we will see how to install
Apache Tomcat on
Debian 10 /
Debian 9.


Tomcat requires
Java JDK 8 or above to be installed on the machine. You can either install Oracle JDK or OpenJDK.

How to Install Oracle JDK on Debian 10 / Debian 9

For this demo, I am going to use

sudo apt update

sudo apt install -y default-jdk

Once Java is installed, you can verify the Java version by using the following command.

java -version

openjdk version "11.0.6" 2020-01-14
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (build 11.0.6+10-post-Debian-1deb10u1)
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (build 11.0.6+10-post-Debian-1deb10u1, mixed mode, sharing)

Install Apache Tomcat

Tomcat Service Account

For best practice, Tomcat should never be run as a privileged user (root). So, create a low-privilege user tomcat for running the Tomcat service.

sudo groupadd tomcat

sudo useradd -g tomcat -d /opt/tomcat -s /bin/nologin tomcat

Download Apache Tomcat

Download the latest version of the Apache Tomcat from the official website.

Apache Tomcat 9.x


Apache Tomcat 8.x


Create a directory for Tomcat.

sudo mkdir /opt/tomcat

Extract the Tomcat tar package and move it /opt/tomcat directory.

tar -zxvf apache-tomcat-*.tar.gz

sudo mv apache-tomcat-*/* /opt/tomcat/

Change the ownership of the directory to tomcat user so that application can write files to it.

sudo chown -R tomcat:tomcat /opt/tomcat/

Start Apache Tomcat

We will configure the systemd to start the Tomcat service. Create a tomcat systemd service file.

Green ones depend on the environment, so change them accordingly.

sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/tomcat.service

Add the below information to Tomcat systemd service file.

You can list the Java version available on your system with sudo update-alternatives –list java.

Example output: /usr/lib/jvm/java-11-openjdk-amd64/bin/java.

Description=Apache Tomcat Web Application Container




Environment="CATALINA_OPTS=-Xms512M -Xmx1G"






Reload systemd daemon.

sudo systemctl daemon-reload

Start and enable Apache Tomcat service.

sudo systemctl start tomcat

sudo systemctl enable tomcat

By default, Tomcat runs on port 8080. Use can use the netstat command to check the port status.

sudo netstat -antup | grep 8080

tcp        0      0  *               LISTEN      3834/java

netstat command not found – Quick Fix

Configure Apache Tomcat Web UI

Tomcat comes with the Web Manager and Host Manager for managing the Tomcat server. Both the Host Manager and Web Manager are password-protected.

Only the user with the manager-gui and admin-gui role is allowed to access web manager and host-manager respectively. Those two roles are defined in the tomcat-users.xml file.

sudo nano /opt/tomcat/conf/tomcat-users.xml

Place the following two lines (role and user definition) just above the last line.

admin" password="password" roles="manager-gui,admin-gui"/>

For security reasons, the Web Manager and Host Manager is accessible only from the localhost, i.e., from the server itself.

To access managers from the remote system, you need to add your source network to the allow list.

To do that, edit the below two files.

sudo nano /opt/tomcat/webapps/manager/META-INF/context.xml

sudo nano /opt/tomcat/webapps/host-manager/META-INF/context.xml

Update the below line on both files with source IP from which you are accessing the Web and Host Manager. .* will allow everyone to have access to managers.

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


You can allow only part of your network. For example, to allow only the network, you can use the below values.

allow="127.d+.d+.d+|::1|0:0:0:0:0:0:0:1 |192.168.0.*" />

Restart the Tomcat service.

sudo systemctl restart tomcat

Access Apache Tomcat

Open the web browser and point it to,


You would get the Tomcat default page, and this page confirms the successful installation of Tomcat.

Apache Tomcat 9 Default Page

Click Manager App to access web application manager: Login Required. Username: admin, Password: password.

Login Access
Login Access

Here, you can deploy a new application, deploy an application on a specified context, start, stop, reload, and un-deploy an application.

Tomcat Web Application Manager
Tomcat Web Application Manager

Also, you can check the server status clicking on Server Status on the above page (web application manager).

Tomcat Server Status
Tomcat Server Status

You can manage virtual hosts of Tomcat with Tomcat Virtual Host Manager by clicking on the Host Manager on Tomcat’s default page: Login Required. Username: admin, Password: password.

Tomcat Virtual Host Manager
Tomcat Virtual Host Manager


That’s All. I hope you have learned how to install
Apache Tomcat on
Debian 10 /
Debian 9. Please share your feedback in the comments section.

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