5.3.5. WAR deployment to Tomcat Linux Service

The example below has been developed for and tested on Ubuntu 18.04, with tomcat9 and tomcat8 packages.

  1. Use the CUBA project tree > Project > Deployment > WAR Settings dialog in Studio or just manually add the buildWar task to the end of build.gradle. You can specify a separate war-context.xml project file to specify connection settings to the production database or provide that file later on the server:

    task buildWar(type: CubaWarBuilding) {
        singleWar = true
        includeContextXml = true
        includeJdbcDriver = true
        appProperties = ['cuba.automaticDatabaseUpdate': true]
        webXmlPath = 'modules/web/web/WEB-INF/single-war-web.xml'
        coreContextXmlPath = 'modules/core/web/META-INF/war-context.xml'

    If the target server parameters differ from what you have on the local Tomcat used for fast deployment, provide appropriate application properties. For example, if the target server runs on port 9999 and you build separate WARs, the task definition should be as follows:

    task buildWar(type: CubaWarBuilding) {
        singleWar = false
        includeContextXml = true
        includeJdbcDriver = true
        appProperties = [
            'cuba.automaticDatabaseUpdate': true,
            'cuba.webPort': 9999,
            'cuba.connectionUrlList': 'http://localhost:9999/app-core'
  2. Run the buildWar gradle task. As a result, app.war file (or several files if you build separate WARs) will be generated in the build/distributions directory of your project.

    gradlew buildWar
  3. Install Tomcat 9 package:

    sudo apt install tomcat9
  4. Copy the generated app.war file to the /var/lib/tomcat9/webapps directory of the server. You can also remove the /var/lib/tomcat9/webapps/ROOT sample webapp folder if it exists.

    Tomcat 9 service runs from tomcat user by default. The owner of webapps folder is tomcat as well.

  5. Create the application home directory, e.g. /opt/app_home and make the Tomcat server user (tomcat) to be the owner of this folder:

    sudo mkdir /opt/app_home
    sudo chown tomcat:tomcat /opt/app_home
  6. Tomcat 9 service (unlike earlier versions of the Tomcat Debian package) is sandboxed by systemd and has limited write access to the file system. You can read more about this in the /usr/share/doc/tomcat9/README.Debian file. It is necessary to modify systemd configuration to allow Tomcat service write access to the application home folder:

    1. Create the override.conf file in the /etc/systemd/system/tomcat9.service.d/ directory:

      sudo mkdir /etc/systemd/system/tomcat9.service.d/
      sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/tomcat9.service.d/override.conf
    2. The contents of the override.conf file are the following:

    3. Reload systemd configuration by invoking:

      sudo systemctl daemon-reload
  7. Create configuration file /usr/share/tomcat9/bin/setenv.sh with the following text:

    CATALINA_OPTS="$CATALINA_OPTS -Dapp.home=/opt/app_home"

    If you experience slow startup of Tomcat installed in a virtual machine (VPS), add an additional line to the setenv.sh file:

    CATALINA_OPTS="$CATALINA_OPTS -Djava.security.egd=file:/dev/./urandom"
  8. If you want to provide production database connection properties with a local file on the server, you can create a file in the /var/lib/tomcat9/conf/Catalina/localhost/ folder. The name of the file depends on the WAR file name, e.g. app.xml for single WAR and app-core.xml if separate WAR files are deployed. Copy contents of the context.xml to this file.

  9. With the default configuration all application log messages are appended to the /var/log/syslog system journal. You have two options how to customize logging configuration of the application:

    • Create the logback configuration file in the project. Specify path to this file for the logbackConfigurationFile parameter of the buildWar task (manually or with the help of Studio WAR Settings dialog).

    • Create the logging configuration file on the production server.

      Copy the logback.xml file from the development Tomcat (deploy/tomcat/conf project sub-folder) to the application home directory and edit the logDir property in this file:

      <property name="logDir" value="${app.home}/logs"/>

      Add the following line to the setenv.sh script to specify path to the logging configuration file:

      CATALINA_OPTS="$CATALINA_OPTS -Dlogback.configurationFile=/opt/app_home/logback.xml"
  10. Restart the Tomcat service:

    sudo systemctl restart tomcat9
  11. Open http://localhost:8080/app in your web browser.

Differences when using tomcat8 package

CUBA supports deployment to both Tomcat 9 and Tomcat 8.5 versions. Please note the following differences when deploying to Tomcat 8.5:

  • Tomcat 8.5 is provided by the tomcat8 package

  • User name is tomcat8

  • Tomcat base directory is /var/lib/tomcat8

  • Tomcat home directory is /usr/share/tomcat8

  • Tomcat service does not use systemd sandboxing, so no need to change systemd settings.

  • Standard output and stderr messages are appended to the /var/lib/tomcat8/logs/catalina.out file.

Troubleshooting LibreOffice reporting integration when using tomcat9 package

You may experience problems when deploying to the tomcat9 package and using LibreOffice integration with the Reporting add-on. Error may be diagnosed with this message:

2019-12-04 09:52:37.015 DEBUG [OOServer: ERR] com.haulmont.yarg.formatters.impl.doc.connector.OOServer - ERR: (process:10403): dconf-CRITICAL **: 09:52:37.014: unable to create directory '/.cache/dconf': Read-only file system.  dconf will not work properly.

This error is caused by the home directory of the tomcat user pointing to a non-writable location. It can be fixed by changing tomcat user home directory to the /var/lib/tomcat9/work value:

# bad value
echo ~tomcat

# fix
sudo systemctl stop tomcat9
sudo usermod -d /var/lib/tomcat9/work tomcat
sudo systemctl start tomcat9