If you are running Ubuntu and want to use the Tomcat servlet container, you should not use the version from the repositories as it just doesn't work correctly. Instead you'll need to use the manual installation process that I'm outlining here.
Before you install Tomcat you'll want to make sure that you've installed Java. I would assume if you are trying to install Tomcat you've already installed java, but if you aren't sure you can check with the dpkg command like so:
dpkg –get-selections | grep sun-java
This should give you this output if you already installed java:
sun-java6-bin install sun-java6-jdk install sun-java6-jre install
If that command has no results, you'll want to install the latest version with this command:
sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jdk
Now we'll download and extract Tomcat from the apache site. You should check to make sure there's not another version and adjust accordingly.
tar xvzf apache-tomcat-6.0.14.tar.gz
The best thing to do is move the tomcat folder to a permanent location. I chose /usr/local/tomcat, but you could move it somewhere else if you wanted to.
sudo mv apache-tomcat-6.0.14 /usr/local/tomcat
Tomcat requires setting the JAVA_HOME variable. The best way to do this is to set it in your .bashrc file. You could also edit your startup.sh file if you so chose.
The better method is editing your .bashrc file and adding the bolded line there. You'll have to logout of the shell for the change to take effect.
Add the following line:
At this point you can start tomcat by just executing the startup.sh script in the tomcat/bin folder.
To make tomcat automatically start when we boot up the computer, you can add a script to make it auto-start and shutdown.
sudo vi /etc/init.d/tomcat
Now paste in the following:
# Tomcat auto-start
# description: Auto-starts tomcat
# processname: tomcat
# pidfile: /var/run/tomcat.pid
case $1 in
You'll need to make the script executable by running the chmod command:
sudo chmod 755 /etc/init.d/tomcat
The last step is actually linking this script to the startup folders with a symbolic link. Execute these two commands and we should be on our way.
sudo ln -s /etc/init.d/tomcat /etc/rc1.d/K99tomcat
sudo ln -s /etc/init.d/tomcat /etc/rc2.d/S99tomcat
Tomcat should now be fully installed and operational. Enjoy!