Install Nginx, Tomcat 7 and Java 8 on Ubuntu 16.04

by Didin J., updated on Sep 04, 2019 Install Nginx, Tomcat 7 and Java 8 on Ubuntu 16.04

How to install production ready Nginx as a reverse proxy to redirect port 80 to Tomcat 7 with Java Runtime 8 on Ubuntu Server 16.04.

This is a tutorial about how to install production-ready Nginx,  Apache Tomcat 7 and Java Runtime (JRE) 8 on Ubuntu 16.04 machine that is used by today's web server. Nginx use as reverse-proxy for Apache tomcat 7 that separate the web or HTTP tasks with the web application.

Table of Contents:

So, don't waste your time. Let's begin.

Install Java Runtime 8

We assume that you already have VPS hosting that includes ubuntu 16.04 as default operating system. With this clean ubuntu 16.04, we start by installing the Java Runtime (JRE) 8 first. Now, enter your VPS via putty or ssh client in the terminal. In putty or terminal run this command.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java

Next, update apt by this command.

sudo apt update

Now, install Oracle Java 8 in your ubuntu by this command.

sudo apt install oracle-java8-installer

Check Java installation by this command.

javac -version

If you see like below, your Java installation is ok.

javac 1.8.0_121

To make your Java 8 installation as default run this command.

sudo apt install oracle-java8-set-default

For using Tomcat 7 with Java 8, make sure that JAVA_HOME is set. To find where Java installation, type this command.

sudo update-alternatives --config java

You will see like this, just type enter and copy the used path.

There is 1 choice for the alternative java (providing /usr/bin/java).

  Selection    Path                                     Priority   Status
------------------------------------------------------------
  0            /usr/lib/jvm/java-8-oracle/jre/bin/java   1081      auto mode
* 1            /usr/lib/jvm/java-8-oracle/jre/bin/java   1081      manual mode

Press <enter> to keep the current choice[*], or type selection number:

Now, edit "/etc/environment" by the terminal editor.

sudo nano /etc/environment

Add this line to the end of the file.

JAVA_HOME="/usr/lib/jvm/java-8-oracle/jre"

Save, quit and reload the configuration.

source /etc/environment

Test your configuration by this command.

echo $JAVA_HOME


Install Tomcat 7

It's easy to install Tomcat 7 using apt. Just type this command.

sudo apt-get install tomcat7

If you see an error at the of installation like this.

Creating config file /etc/logrotate.d/tomcat7 with new version
Job for tomcat7.service failed because the control process exited with error code. See "systemctl status tomcat7.service" and "journalctl -xe" for details.
invoke-rc.d: initscript tomcat7, action "start" failed.
dpkg: error processing package tomcat7 (--configure):
 subprocess installed post-installation script returned error exit status 1
Setting up authbind (2.1.1+nmu1) ...
Processing triggers for systemd (229-4ubuntu12) ...
Processing triggers for ureadahead (0.100.0-19) ...
Errors were encountered while processing:
 tomcat7
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)

Edit "/etc/default/tomcat7" and uncomment and change JAVA_HOME like this.

JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib/jvm/java-8-oracle

Now, start Tomcat7 service by this command.

sudo service tomcat7 start

To make Tomcat 7 running smoothly, edit again "/etc/default/tomcat7" and change "JAVA_OPTS".

JAVA_OPTS="-Djava.security.egd=file:/dev/./urandom -Djava.awt.headless=true -Xmx512m -XX:MaxPermSize=256m -XX:+UseConcMarkSweepGC"

Restart and test your Tomcat 7 in the browser.

sudo service tomcat7 restart

Install Nginx

To install Nginx just type this command.

sudo apt-get install nginx

If there is show choices of "/etc/default/tomcat7" configuration, leave it to default locally modified configuration and enter.

Now, test your Nginx HTTP server in your browser.


Make Tomcat 7 reverse to Nginx

Now is the time to make Tomcat 7 reverse to Nginx, so the user can access Tomcat 7 application via Nginx on port 80. Next, edit the Nginx configuration.

sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default

Find "location /" and change to this code.

location / {
        # First attempt to serve request as file, then
        # as directory, then fall back to displaying a 404.
        try_files $uri $uri/ =404;
        proxy_pass http://127.0.0.1:8080/;
}

Restart Nginx.

sudo service nginx restart

Open your web server in the browser without port 8080. If you see tomcat welcome page, you successfully install Nginx as a reverse proxy of Tomcat 7.


If you using the limited resource of VPS (eg. 1 GB RAM), set swap on ubuntu server. Check if the system has configured swap by this command.

sudo swapon --show

To check if there's no active swap on disk use this command.

free -h

Before setting a swap, check your hard disk space by this command.

df -h

If there's enough available space, you can create a swap file. For my requirements of Tomcat 7 application, we need to add 1GB swap.

sudo fallocate -l 1G /swapfile

Verify the amount of swap file that just created.

ls -lh /swapfile

Next, enable the swap file. But first, make /swapfile accessible to "root".

sudo chmod 600 /swapfile

Check permission changes.

ls -lh /swapfile

You should see permission like this.

-rw------- 1 root root 1.0G Jan 23 01:44 /swapfile

Next, mark the swap space by this command.

sudo mkswap /swapfile

Next, make enable the swap file.

sudo swapon /swapfile

Verify available swap.

sudo swapon --show

Check again swap space by this command.

free -h

To make swap permanent, add this file information to "/etc/fstab".

echo '/swapfile none swap sw 0 0' | sudo tee -a /etc/fstab

That it's, now your server is ready for production and serve worldwide web.

That just the basic. If you need more deep learning about Java and Spring Framework you can take the following cheap course:

Thanks.

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