Easy Guide to Install Apache Tomcat 9 on Ubuntu 18.04 / 16.04 LTS Server

Apache Tomcat 9 is a free and open source web server which is used to serve java based web applications. In other words we can say Tomcat server is used to implement Java Servlet and JSP (Java Server Pages) technologies.

In this article we will demonstrate how to install latest version of tomcat i.e Tomcat 9.0.10 on Ubuntu 18.04 / 16.04 LTS Server. One of the important perquisite of Tomcat 9 is Java 8 or higher version, lets jump into the installations steps.

Step:1) Install Java 8 or its higher version

Using the default configured apt repositories on ubuntu 18.04 & 16.04 server, we can install the java using the package name “default-jdk“. Run the beneath apt commands,

pkumar@linuxtechi:~$ sudo apt update
pkumar@linuxtechi:~$ sudo apt install default-jdk -y

Once above packages are installed then verified the Java version using below command,

pkumar@linuxtechi:~$ java --version
openjdk 10.0.1 2018-04-17
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (build 10.0.1+10-Ubuntu-3ubuntu1)
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (build 10.0.1+10-Ubuntu-3ubuntu1, mixed mode)

Step:2 Create tomcat User

Tomcat service will be controlled by tomcat user, so let create a user with name “tomcat“, whose home directory will be “/opt/tomcat” and shell will be “/bin/false”.

If the folder or home directory of tomcat (/opt/tomcat) doesn’t exist then create it using mkdir command,

pkumar@linuxtechi:~$ sudo mkdir /opt/tomcat

Create a tomcat user using below useradd command,

pkumar@linuxtechi:~$ sudo useradd -s /bin/false -d /opt/tomcat tomcat

Step:3 Download & Install Tomcat 9 from command line

Download the latest version of tomcat 9 (i.e 9.0.10) from its official Web site https://tomcat.apache.org/download-90.cgi. In my case I am directly downloading it on my server using below wget command,

pkumar@linuxtechi:~$ wget http://www-us.apache.org/dist/tomcat/tomcat-9/v9.0.10/bin/apache-tomcat-9.0.10.tar.gz

Once the above file is downloaded, extract it into the tomcat user’s home folder (/opt/tomcat) using below tar command,

pkumar@linuxtechi:~$ sudo tar xzvf apache-tomcat-9.0.10.tar.gz -C /opt/tomcat --strip-components=1

Set the required permissions on /opt/tomcat and its sub folder and files.

pkumar@linuxtechi:~$ sudo chgrp -R tomcat /opt/tomcat
pkumar@linuxtechi:~$ cd /opt/tomcat/
pkumar@linuxtechi:/opt/tomcat$ sudo chmod -R g+r conf
pkumar@linuxtechi:/opt/tomcat$ sudo chmod g+x conf

Make the tomcat as file owner of the following directories webapps, work, temp, and logs using the beneath chown command

pkumar@linuxtechi:/opt/tomcat$ sudo chown -R tomcat webapps/ work/ temp/ logs/

So now all the required permissions are set, let create tomcat systemd service so that tomcat service can be controlled by systemctl command.

Step:4) Create Tomcat Systemd Service

To configure tomcat as a service on ubuntu server we need to create systemd file. In the systemd file we must specify the java path, so first find java path using below command,

pkumar@linuxtechi:~$ sudo update-java-alternatives -l
java-1.11.0-openjdk-amd64      1101       /usr/lib/jvm/java-1.11.0-openjdk-amd64

Now create a systemd file with name “/etc/systemd/system/tomcat.service” and insert the following contents

pkumar@linuxtechi:~$ sudo vi /etc/systemd/system/tomcat.service
Description=Apache Tomcat Web Application Container


Environment='CATALINA_OPTS=-Xms512M -Xmx1024M -server -XX:+UseParallelGC'
Environment='JAVA_OPTS=-Djava.awt.headless=true -Djava.security.egd=file:/dev/./urandom'



Reload the systemd daemon and start tomcat service,

pkumar@linuxtechi:~$ sudo systemctl daemon-reload
pkumar@linuxtechi:~$ sudo systemctl start tomcat
pkumar@linuxtechi:~$ sudo systemctl enable tomcat
Created symlink /etc/systemd/system/multi-user.target.wants/tomcat.service → /etc/systemd/system/tomcat.service.
pkumar@linuxtechi:~$ sudo systemctl status tomcat

Output of above command should be something like below,


Step:5) Test Your Tomcat 9 Server

In case OS firewall is enabled and configured on your server then we need to allow 8080 port. Use the below command

pkumar@linuxtechi:~$ sudo ufw allow 8080
Rule added
Rule added (v6)

By default, we can access the tomcat web gui from Server itself either via local ip or localhost and if you want to access it from outside then we must comment out one line in both the files “/opt/tomcat/webapps/host-manager/META-INF/context.xml” and “/opt/tomcat/webapps/manager/META-INF/context.xml

pkumar@linuxtechi:~$ sudo vi /opt/tomcat/webapps/host-manager/META-INF/context.xml
<Valve className="org.apache.catalina.valves.RemoteAddrValve"
  allow="127\.\d+\.\d+\.\d+|::1|0:0:0:0:0:0:0:1" />
Change to or comment out
<!--Valve className="org.apache.catalina.valves.RemoteAddrValve"
  allow="127\.\d+\.\d+\.\d+|::1|0:0:0:0:0:0:0:1" /> -->
pkumar@linuxtechi:~$ sudo vi /opt/tomcat/webapps/manager/META-INF/context.xml
<Valve className="org.apache.catalina.valves.RemoteAddrValve"
         allow="127\.\d+\.\d+\.\d+|::1|0:0:0:0:0:0:0:1" />
Change to or Comment out
<!--Valve className="org.apache.catalina.valves.RemoteAddrValve"
         allow="127\.\d+\.\d+\.\d+|::1|0:0:0:0:0:0:0:1" />-->

Restart the tomcat service using the below command,

pkumar@linuxtechi:~$ sudo systemctl restart tomcat

Now Open your web browser and type url :  http://<Tomcat-Server-IP-Addres>:8080


As of now we have successfully installed Tomcat 9, but to Access Application Web manager and Virtual Host Manager we must define some user and its password in “tomcat-users.xml” file. So add the following line before </tomcat-users>

pkumar@linuxtechi:~$ sudo vi /opt/tomcat/conf/tomcat-users.xml
<role rolename="manager-gui"/>
<user username="linuxtechi" password="XXXXXXX" roles="manager-gui,admin-gui"/>

Save and exit the file then restart the tomcat service

pkumar@linuxtechi:~$ sudo systemctl restart tomcat

Now Try to access Web Application Manager and Virtual Host Manager, use the same user name and password that you have specified in the tomcat-users.xml file,



Similarly access Virtual Host Manager,


This confirms that you have successfully installed Tomcat 9 on your Ubuntu 18.04 / 16.04 LTS Server. That’s all from this tutorial, please do share your feedback and comments.

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I am a Cloud Consultant with over 15 years of experience in Linux, Kubernetes, cloud technologies (AWS, Azure, OpenStack), automation (Ansible, Terraform), and DevOps. I hold certifications like RHCA, CKA, CKAD, CKS, AWS, and Azure.

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