Category Archives: Web Server

Install Tomcat 7 on CentOS

This post will cover installing and basic configuration of Tomcat 7 on CentOS 5.x. or CentOS 6.x

Tomcat 7 implements the JavaServer Pages 2.2 and Servlet 3.0 specifications and a number of new features. The Manager application also has a new look and finer-grain roles and access than 6.x

In this post, we’ll install Tomcat 7, the new JDK 7, configure Tomcat as a service, create a start/stop script, and (optionally) configure Tomcat to run under a non-root user.

We will also configure basic access to Tomcat Manager and take a quick look at memory management using JAVA_OPTS

Finally, we will look at running Tomcat on port 80 as well as some strategies for running Tomcat behind Apache.

I have just updated this post with Tomcat 7.0.29, the current stable release of Tomcat 7.

If you are using a different release, simply change the file names below accordingly.

To begin, we’ll need to install the Java Development Kit (JDK) 7

Continue reading Install Tomcat 7 on CentOS

Extracting public and private keys from a Java Key Store (JKS)

Using the keytool utility, it is easy to extract the public key of an already created “public-private” key pair, which is stored in a keystore.

Now the file

contains the private key in PKCS12 format which may be used directly by many software packages or further processed using the


Tomcat – Redirecting Port 8080 to 80

Tomcat often sits behind an HTTP server such as Apache, which serves static content and proxies requests for dynamic content to Tomcat. Another popular option is to use squid as a reverse proxy. If for any reason you want Tomcat to serve all HTTP requests, you need it to listen on port 80 (and possibly 443). However, only the superuser can bind to TCP ports below 1024 on Linux, so making Tomcat listen on port 80 requires some extra work.

The easiest-to-implement solution is to simply forward incoming port 80 requests to port 8080, or whatever non-privileged port you are running Tomcat on. The Amazon Linux AMI has iptables enabled by default, but does not have any packet filtering rules defined as it apparently relies on the surrounding AWS infrastructure for security.

That said, you can go ahead and add a rule:

Check that Tomcat is running and have your browser connect to your instance without specifying a port. If you succeed, save iptables rules:

The rules are stored in

and applied upon iptables (re)start, e.g. if you reboot the instance.

Note: The above rule applies to all packets arriving from outside to any network interface. If you are running any applications on the same instance that need to talk to Tomcat on the HTTP port, you need to add another rule.

Finally, you need the servlets inside your Web application to act as if the incoming requests were directed to port 80. This will prevent the appearance of the non-privileged port in any URLs sent back to the client. Include the proxyPort attribute in your HTTP connector config in


If you want to remove iptables PREROUTING nat rules, using a following iptables command

Upload the Signed Certificate for Elastic Load Balancing

When you receive your server certificate from the certificate authority (CA), it might be in a format that is not supported by IAM. Typically you receive a public certificate, one or more intermediate certificates and a root certificate. The intermediate certificates and the root certificate can come bundled in a file or as separate files. The file names may vary depending on the type of SSL certificate you purchase and the certificate authority.

To upload your certificate using AWS IAM, you need the following three files:

  1. Private key in PEM format

    The key file you generated for creating Certificate Signing Request (CSR). If the key is not in PEM format, use OpenSSL as in the following example to convert the private key to PEM format:

  2. Public certificate in PEM format

    This is the certificate you receive from the CA. Your public certificate is the domain-specific file. Your public certificate also must be in PEM format. If it is not, use the following OpenSSL command to convert your public certificate to PEM format:

  3. Certificate chain in PEM Format

    This file is a concatenation of all the intermediate certificates and the root certificate one after the other. The certificate chain lets an end user’s browser build a certificate chain to a root certificate it trusts. As a result, the browser can implicitly trust your certificate.

    If you are uploading a self-signed certificate and it’s not important that browsers implicitly accept the certificate, you can skip this step and upload just the public certificate and private key.

    Typically, both intermediate and root certificates are provided by a CA in a bundled file with the proper chained order. If a certificate bundle is not available or not available in the required order, you can create your own certificate chain file.

    To create your own certificate chain file, include the intermediate certificates and optionally, the root certificate, one after the other without any blank lines. If you are including the root certificate, your certificate chain must start with intermediate certificates and end with the root certificate. Use the intermediate certificates that were provided by your CA. Any intermediaries that are not involved in the chain of trust path must not be included.

    Your certificate chain must be in PEM format. If it is not, use the following OpenSSL command to convert your certificate chain to PEM format:

    After you have all your files in the X.509 PEM format, you use the AWS command line interface for IAM to upload it

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