How To Install Apache Tomcat 7 on CentOS 7 via Yum

Apache Tomcat is a web server and servlet container that is used to serve Java applications.


 Install Tomcat

Run the following command to install the Tomcat package:

  • sudo yum install tomcat -y

This will install Tomcat 7 and its dependencies, such as Java, and it will also create the tomcat user.

Most of the important Tomcat files will be located in /usr/share/tomcat. If you already have a Tomcat application that you want to run, you can place it in the /usr/share/tomcat/webapps directory, configure Tomcat, and restart the Tomcat service.

In this tutorial, however, we will install a few additional packages that will help you manage your Tomcat applications and virtual hosts.

Let’s make a quick change to the Java options that Tomcat uses when it starts. Open the Tomcat configuration file:

  • sudo nano /usr/share/tomcat/conf/tomcat.conf

Add the following JAVA_OPTS line to the file. Feel free to change the Xmx and MaxPermSize values—these settings affect how much memory Tomcat will use:

/etc/default/tomcat7 — JAVA_OPTS
JAVA_OPTS=" -Djava.awt.headless=true -Xmx512m -XX:MaxPermSize=256m -XX:+UseConcMarkSweepGC"

Save and exit.

Note that the Tomcat service will not be running yet.

Install Admin Packages

To install the default Tomcat root page (tomcat-webapps), and the Tomcat Web Application Manager and Virtual Host Manager (tomcat-admin-webapps), run this command:

  • sudo yum install tomcat-webapps tomcat-admin-webapps -y

This adds the ROOT, examples, sample, manager, and host-manager web apps to the tomcat/webappsdirectory.

Install Online Documentation (Optional)

If you want to install the Tomcat documentation, so that all of the links on the default Tomcat page will work, run this command:

  • sudo yum install tomcat-docs-webapp tomcat-javadoc -y

Configure Tomcat Web Management Interface

In order to use the manager webapp installed in the previous step, we must add a login to our Tomcat server. We will do this by editing the tomcat-users.xml file:

  • sudo nano /usr/share/tomcat/conf/tomcat-users.xml

This file is filled with comments which describe how to configure the file. You may want to delete all the comments between the following lines, or you may leave them if you want to reference the examples:

tomcat-users.xml excerpt

You will want to add a user who can access the manager-gui and admin-gui (the management interface that we installed earlier). You can do so by defining a user similar to the example below. Be sure to change the username and password to something secure:

tomcat-users.xml — Admin User
    <user username="admin" password="password" roles="manager-gui,admin-gui"/>

Save and exit the tomcat-users.xml file.

Start Tomcat

To put our changes into effect, restart the Tomcat service:

  • sudo systemctl start tomcat

If you started the service earlier for some reason, run the restart command instead:

  • sudo systemctl restart tomcat

Enable Tomcat Service

If you want Tomcat to run every time the server is booted up, you will need to enable the service:

  • sudo systemctl enable tomcat

Access the Web Interface

Now that Tomcat is up and running, let’s access the web management interface in a web browser.

Open in web browser:


There are links to the admin webapps that you installed earlier.

Let’s take a look at the Manager App, accessible via the link or http://server_IP_address:8080/manager/html:


The Web Application Manager is used to manage your Java applications. You can Start, Stop, Reload, Deploy, and Undeploy here. You can also run some diagnostics on your apps (i.e. find memory leaks).

Now let’s take a look at the Host Manager, accessible via the link or http://server_IP_address:8080/host-manager/html/:


From the Virtual Host Manager page, you can add virtual hosts to serve your applications from.