2 Easy Steps to Enable SSL / HTTPS on Tomcat Server

by Ramesh Natarajan on September 16, 2011

If you are running tomcat server that runs only on HTTP, follow the 2 easy steps mentioned below, to configure tomcat for SSL.

1. Create Keystore using Java keytool

First use the keytool to create a java keystore as shown below. Make sure to note down the password that you enter while creating the keystore.

# $JAVA_HOME/bin/keytool -genkey -alias tomcat -keyalg RSA
Enter keystore password:
Re-enter new password:
What is your first and last name?
 [Unknown]:  Ramesh Natarajan
What is the name of your organizational unit?
 [Unknown]:  Development
What is the name of your organization?
What is the name of your City or Locality?
 [Unknown]:  Los Angeles
What is the name of your State or Province?
 [Unknown]:  CA
What is the two-letter country code for this unit?
 [Unknown]:  US
Is CN=Ramesh, OU=Development, O=Unknown, L=Los Angeles, ST=CA, C=US correct?
 [no]:  yes

Enter key password for 
   (RETURN if same as keystore password):

This will create the .keystore file under the /root home directory as shown below.

# ls -l /root/.keystore
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1391 Apr  6 11:19 .keystore

2. Modify the server.xml file

Locate the conf/server.xml file located under the tomcat directory. If the Connector port=”8443″ is commented out, you should uncomment it first. Please note that the comments in the server.xml file are enclosed in <!– and –> as shown below. You should remove the 1st and last line from the following code snippet.

# vi server.xml
   <Connector port="8443" protocol="HTTP/1.1" SSLEnabled="true"
              maxThreads="150" scheme="https" secure="true"
              clientAuth="false" sslProtocol="TLS" />

Now, add the keystore information to the server.xml as shown below. Replace the your-key-password with the password you provided in the step 1 while creating the keystore.

# vi server.xml
   <Connector port="8443" protocol="HTTP/1.1" SSLEnabled="true"
              maxThreads="150" scheme="https" secure="true"
              keystoreFile="/root/.keystore" keystorePass="your-key-password"
              clientAuth="false" sslProtocol="TLS" />

Finally, restart the tomcat server and access the application using https://{your-ip-address}:8443/

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 saiju s george September 16, 2011 at 3:10 am

Thanks a lot for this new method ..

But there is a easy way …., we can edit /etc/httpd/conf.d/ssl.conf

we can add this line in default vhost configuration …

ProxyRequests off

ProxyPass / http://localhost:9090/
ProxyPassReverse / http://localhost:9090/

if you cannot find ssl.conf , you can install mod_ssl with yum ..

Thanks & regds

2 saiju s george September 16, 2011 at 3:12 am

on watever port tomcat is running …

ProxyPass / http://localhost:8080/
ProxyPassReverse / http://localhost:8080/

3 jalal hajigholamali September 16, 2011 at 5:48 am


Very useful article…

4 John February 16, 2012 at 11:09 am

How about a stupid question.
How do you enable SSL with a SIGNED certificate? This is what I have:
change server.xml:

and that’s it. Right?

5 Sudhakara Atluri March 1, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Hi Ramesh,

I tried to do this on my Windows machine. Where does it create the “.keystore” file?

keytool -genkey -alias tomcat -keyalg RSA

Sudhakara Atluri.

6 Arpan January 2, 2014 at 2:08 pm

How do we remove 8443 from the URL for production site?

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