Installing a Certificate on Tomcat Servers

Last updated: 2019-10-31 17:18:21



This document describes how to install an SSL certificate on a Tomcat server.

  • This document use the domain name as an example.
  • The current server OS is CentOS 7. The detailed steps vary slightly by OS version.


  • The certificate package for the domain name in the SSL Certificate Service Console has been downloaded and decompressed to a local directory.
    After decompression, you can get the Tomcat folder and CSR file:
    • Folder name: Tomcat
    • Folder content:
      • Keystore
      • keystorePass.txt Password file
    • CSR file content: file
  • The remote copy tool WinSCP has been installed (you are recommended to get the latest version from its official website).
  • The remote login tool PuTTY or Xshell has been installed (you are recommended to get the latest version from their official websites).
  • The Tomcat server (version number: tomcat7.0.94) has been installed and configured on the current server.
  • If you selected the "Paste CSR" method when applying for the SSL certificate, the option for downloading the Tomcat certificate file is not provided, and you need to generate the keystore by manually converting the format as detailed below:
    • Access the conversion tool.
    • Upload the certificate and private key files in the Nginx folder to the conversion tool, enter the keystore password, click Submit, and convert the certificate to a .jks certificate.
  • If you have already set a private key password when applying for the SSL certificate, there is no keystorePass.txt file in this folder.
  • The CSR file is uploaded by you or generated online by the system when you apply for the certificate and is provided to the CA, which can be ignored during installation.
  • Currently, the Tomcat server is installed in the /usr directory. For example, if the Tomcat folder name is tomcat7.0.94, then /usr/*/conf is actually /usr/tomcat7.0.94/conf.


The data to be prepared before installing the SSL certificate includes:

Name Description Sample Value
Server IP address IP address of the server, which is used to connect the PC to the server.
Username The username used to log in to the server. root
Password The password used to log in to the server. abc


Certificate Installation

  1. Log in to the Tomcat server using WinSCP (a tool copying files between a local computer and a remote computer).
  2. Copy the obtained keystore file from the local directory to the /usr/*/conf directory.
  3. Close WinSCP.
  4. Log in to the Tomcat server using a remote login tool such as PuTTY.
  5. Edit the server.xml file in the /usr/*/conf directory by adding the following:
    <Connector port="443" protocol="HTTP/1.1" SSLEnabled="true"
    maxThreads="150" scheme="https" secure="true"
    keystoreFile="/usr/*/conf/" # Storage path of the certificate
    keystorePass="******"# Keystore password
    For details of the server.xml file, see below:
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <Server port="8005" shutdown="SHUTDOWN">
     <Listener className="org.apache.catalina.startup.VersionLoggerListener" />
     <Listener className="org.apache.catalina.core.AprLifecycleListener" SSLEngine="on" />
     <Listener className="org.apache.catalina.core.JreMemoryLeakPreventionListener" />
     <Listener className="org.apache.catalina.mbeans.GlobalResourcesLifecycleListener" />
     <Listener className="org.apache.catalina.core.ThreadLocalLeakPreventionListener" />
     <Resource name="UserDatabase" auth="Container"
               description="User database that can be updated and saved"
               pathname="conf/tomcat-users.xml" />
    <Service name="Catalina">
         <Connector port="80" protocol="HTTP/1.1" connectionTimeout="20000"  redirectPort="8443" />
         <Connector port="443" protocol="HTTP/1.1"
                maxThreads="150" SSLEnabled="true" scheme="https" secure="true"
                 keystorePass="******" />
     <Connector port="8009" protocol="AJP/1.3" redirectPort="8443" />
    <Engine name="Catalina" defaultHost=“">
       <Realm className="org.apache.catalina.realm.LockOutRealm">
         <Realm className="org.apache.catalina.realm.UserDatabaseRealm"
     <Host name=“"  appBase="webapps" 
         unpackWARs="true" autoDeploy="true" >
         <Context path="" docBase ="Knews" />
     <Valve className="org.apache.catalina.valves.AccessLogValve" directory="logs"
            prefix="localhost_access_log" suffix=".txt"  
            pattern="%h %l %u %t "%r" %s %b" />
    The main parameters of the configuration file are described as below:
    • keystoreFile: Where the keystore file is saved. You can specify an absolute path or the relative path to the <CATALINA_HOME> (Tomcat installation directory) environment variable. If this parameter is not set, by default, Tomcat reads the file named ".keystore" from the user directory of the current operating system user.
    • keystorePass: Keystore password. If you set a private key password when applying for the certificate, enter the private key password; otherwise, enter the password in the keystorePass.txt file in the Tomcat folder.
    • clientAuth: If it is set to true, Tomcat requires all SSL clients to provide a security certificate for identity verification.
  6. Confirm whether the Tomcat server is started.
    • If the Tomcat server is already started, you need to run the following commands in sequence in the /usr/*/bin directory to shut down and restart it.
      ./  (Shut down the Tomcat server)
      ./ (Start the Tomcat server)
    • If the Tomcat server is not started, you need to run the following command in the /usr/*/bin directory to start it.
  7. After it is started successfully, it can be accessed using

Security Configuration for Automatic Redirect from HTTP to HTTPS (Optional)

If you don't know how to access a website over HTTPS, you can configure the server to make it automatically redirect HTTP requests to HTTPS in the following steps:

  1. Edit the web.xml file in the /usr/*/conf directory and find the </welcome-file-list> tag.
  2. Insert a new line below </welcome-file-list> and add the following:
     <!-- Authorization setting for SSL -->
     <realm-name>Client Cert Users-only Area</realm-name>
     <!-- Authorization setting for SSL -->
  3. Edit the server.xml file in the /usr/*/conf directory by modifying the redirectPort parameter to the port of the SSL connector, i.e., changing port 8443 to port 443, as shown below:
    <Connector port="80" protocol="HTTP/1.1"
    redirectPort="443" />

    This modification allows a non-SSL connector to redirect to an SSL connector.

  4. Shut down the Tomcat server by running the following command in the /usr/*/bin directory.
  5. Run the following command to confirm whether there is a problem with the configuration.
    • If yes, reconfigure or fix the problem as prompted.
    • If no, proceed to the next step.
  6. Run the following command to start the Tomcat server and then it can be accessed using

If anything goes wrong during this procedure, contact us.