Howto Install Tomcat 7 clean on Centos 6

Prerequisite: you need to have a working copy of Java installed. See my post about installing Java on CentOS 6 Here.

You’ll see that Tomcat is installed in /opt and every single application will use it’s own catalina_home, this is in place to separate different install and simplify the update process, same thing for java, if a single war don’t support a new version of tomcat, you can upgrade by application, changing only the symbolic link..


The user will use uid 5007, it’s a standard uid of the tomcat user where I work.

useradd -u 5007 -s /sbin/nologin -c "Tomcat" _tomcat

Download the latest tarball and extract it to /opt

tar xzvf apache-tomcat-7.0.53.tar.gz -C /opt
ln -s /opt/apache-tomcat-7.0.53 /opt/tomcat-webpasswordsafe

We will now create the catalina_home base config

cd /opt
mkdir -p webpasswordsafe/catalina_base
cd webpasswordsafe/catalina_base
mkdir bin conf logs webapps work temp
chown _tomcat logs webapps work temp

Now we’ll create where the java_home will be set:

vim /opt/webpasswordsafe/catalina_base/bin/

Point the JAVA_HOME variable to your java home, if you have followed my howto on java it should look like this…


Copy the server.xml and web.xml to our catalina_base, the default should be ok:

cp /opt/apache-tomcat-7.0.53/conf/server.xml /opt/webpasswordsafe/catalina_base/conf/
cp /opt/apache-tomcat-7.0.53/conf/web.xml /opt/webpasswordsafe/catalina_base/conf/

We will now give the files the right ownership:

chmod -R 644 /opt/webpasswordsafe/catalina_base/conf/*
chown -R _tomcat._tomcat /opt/webpasswordsafe/catalina_base/

Create the init script used to start tomcat.

You’ll have to adjust the variable CATALINA_BASE, CATALINA_HOME and SVC_SCRIPT to reflect your installation if it’s not the same as mine.

vim /etc/init.d/tomcat-webpasswordsafe
# Init file for buildserver tomcat
# chkconfig: 35 99 10
# description: BuildServer Tomcat

# source function library
. /etc/rc.d/init.d/functions

prog="tomcat pour le gestionnaire de password"



# Toute la config et les apps sont deployees dans ce repertoire
export CATALINA_BASE=/opt/webpasswordsafe/catalina_base
# Le repertoire ou tomcat est vraiment installe
export CATALINA_HOME=/opt/tomcat-webpasswordsafe

 $ECHO -n $"Starting $prog: "
 # On utilise runuser au lieu de daemon() car daemon clear l'environnement... need CATALINA_*
 $RUNUSER -s /bin/bash -m -c "$SVC_SCRIPT $SVC_START_ARGS" "$SVC_USER" && success || failure

 $ECHO -n $"Stopping $prog: "
 $SVC_SCRIPT $SVC_STOP_ARGS && success || failure

case "$1" in
 echo $"Usage: $0 {start|stop|restart}"
exit $RETVAL

Give the right permissions to the files:

chmod +x /etc/init.d/tomcat-webpasswordsafe

Enable the service to start at boot:

chkconfig tomcat-webpasswordsafe on

Let’s try this!

Start tomcat with the init script we’ve just created:

/etc/init.d/tomcat-passwordsafe start

You can take a look at the log to see if everything is ok.

tail -f /opt/webpasswordsafe/catalina_base/logs/catalina.out

If you see something similar to INFO: Server startup in 33397 ms, your installation is fine you can go ahead and put your war file in the webapp directory in catalina_home.


Let me know what you think and if you have problem I’ll be glad to help you, but this is pretty straight forward!

    • eatinglogic
    • September 10th, 2014

    Should be /etc/init.d/tomcat-webpasswordsafe start to hit your init script we created, right?

    This page says to use JAVA_HOME=/opt/java-webpasswordsafe but your how to install java page does not specify that we should rename the jdk folder name to java-webpasswordsafe. I changed JAVA_HOME=/opt/java-webpasswordsafe to read JAVA_HOME=/opt/jdk1.7.0_67 and now tomcat will start nicely.

    • Stevica
    • December 4th, 2014

    I followed this tutorial but it is not working on my centos 7 virtual server. the installation is fine but it’s not starting tomcat automatically. after trying to fix the problem for a week I find this article and realized to repllace init script with the one from the article.

    now everything is ok. it runs on centos 7


  1. April 27th, 2014

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