Installing Tomcat 7.0.x on OS X

Installing Tomcat 7.0.x on OS X

While Tomcat 8 is close to be released (Tomcat 8.0.0-RC5 (alpha) is released already), Tomcat 7 was the first Apache Tomcat release to support the Servlet 3.0, JSP 2.2, and EL 2.2 specifications. Please note that Tomcat 7 requires Java 1.6 or better, which shouldn’t be a problem, if you are running OS X 10.5 or 10.6.

On OS X 10.7, 10.8 (Mnt Lion), and 10.9 (Mavericks) however, Java is not installed anymore, at least not initially. The easiest way to get Java onto your Mac is probably to open the Terminal app and enter java. You will be asked if you want to install it and OS X takes care of the rest – you would end up with Java 6.

Prerequisite: Java

On 10.9 (Mavericks), Apple changed this once again, now sending you to Oracle’s Java SE web page, where you can download the JDK, (currently 7 jdk-7u45-macosx-x64.dmg). While at Oracle, I usually also download the Java SE Development Kit 7 Documentation, allowing me to stay away from their site for many months.
mavericks
The JDK installer package come in an dmg and installs easily on the Mac; and after opening the Terminal app again,

java -version

now shows something like this:

java version "1.7.0_45"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.7.0_45-b18)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 24.45-b08, mixed mode)

Whatever you do, when opening Terminal and running java -version, you should see something like this, with a version of at least 1.6.x

sudo is a program for Unix-like operating systems, allowing you to run programs with the security privileges of another user (normally the superuser, or root). Since we are creating directories, outside of your home folder, administrator right are required. I.e., when executing sudo you will be asked to enter your password; and your Mac User account needs to be an ‘Admin’ account.

Installing Tomcat

Here are the easy to follow steps to get it up and running on your Mac

  1. Download a binary distribution of the core module: apache-tomcat-7.0.47.tar.gz from here. I picked the tar.gz in Binary Distributions / Core section.
  2. Opening/unarchiving the archive will create a folder structure in your Downloads folder: (btw, this free Unarchiver app is perfect for all kinds of compressed files and superior to the built-in Archive Utility.app)
    ~/Downloads/apache-tomcat-7.0.47
  3. Open to Terminal app to move the unarchived distribution to /usr/local
    sudo mkdir -p /usr/local
    sudo mv ~/Downloads/apache-tomcat-7.0.47 /usr/local
  4. To make it easy to replace this release with future releases, we are going to create a symbolic link that we are going to use when referring to Tomcat (after removing the old link, you might have from installing a previous version):
    sudo rm -f /Library/Tomcat
    sudo ln -s /usr/local/apache-tomcat-7.0.47 /Library/Tomcat
  5. Change ownership of the /Library/Tomcat folder hierarchy:
    sudo chown -R <your_username> /Library/Tomcat
  6. Make all scripts executable:
    sudo chmod +x /Library/Tomcat/bin/*.sh




Instead of using the start and stop scripts, like so:
Last login: Sun Aug 14 15:20:38 on ttys000
wpbookpro:~ wolf$ /Library/Tomcat/bin/startup.sh
Using CATALINA_BASE: /Library/Tomcat
Using CATALINA_HOME: /Library/Tomcat
Using CATALINA_TMPDIR: /Library/Tomcat/temp
Using JRE_HOME: /Library/Java/Home
Using CLASSPATH: /Library/Tomcat/bin/bootstrap.jar:/Library/Tomcat/bin/tomcat-juli.jar
wpbookpro:~ wolf$ /Library/Tomcat/bin/shutdown.sh
Using CATALINA_BASE: /Library/Tomcat
Using CATALINA_HOME: /Library/Tomcat
Using CATALINA_TMPDIR: /Library/Tomcat/temp
Using JRE_HOME: /Library/Java/Home
Using CLASSPATH: /Library/Tomcat/bin/bootstrap.jar:/Library/Tomcat/bin/tomcat-juli.jar
wpbookpro:~ wolf$

you may also want to check out Activata’s Tomcat Controller, a tiny freeware app, providing a UI to quickly start/stop Tomcat. It may not say so, but Tomcat Controller works on OS X 10.8 and 10.9 just fine.


Finally, after your started Tomcat, open your Mac’s Web browser and take a look at the default page: http://localhost:8080

265 Comments

  1. You are a fairy godmother ^_^
    Thank you So much ..

  2. Thank u very much!

  3. Thx

  4. Thank you ..work like charm ,i’m working first time with mac so i was litlle lost.

  5. Thank you so, much. Very easy to follow.

  6. Thank you so much A LOT of help

  7. Initially was getting a blank page but after executing the step 6 from tomcat directory made the trick.

  8. Congratulation! Very useful your article. It works fine.

  9. Good one, thanks.

  10. Thanks a lot paul…!!
    great article

  11. it works!

  12. Actually, I was trying to install Tomcat on my Linux machine using this guide. I was sure that this guide can be applied on Linux as well because of the syntax but it fails. Can someone guide me, I need help on this. I have found few guides but I haven’t tested yet. Is this one OK?

  13. Great! It works!
    Thanks a lot…

  14. Nice , good, clean tuts!!!

    Your are great !

    Thanks :)

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