This short tutorial describes how to configure JBoss Application Server (Jboss GA 5.1.0) on a Debian Linux (Debian GNU/Linux 5.x “Lenny”). The article starts with the installation of Java JDK and continues with JBoss installation and basic configuration according to standard file system hierarchy. Also init.d. scripts configuration is given here.

Installing Java SDK

Nowadays installing Java environment on Debian is an easy task. I’ve used JDK 1.6. Don’t confound JDK with JRE, because bare Java Runtime Environment is not enough for running JBoss. Debian Wiki maintains a list of available java .deb packages, which can be installed with your preferred way. I prefer aptitude, but apt-get of course works too.

aptitude install sun-java6-jdk
#or by good old apt-get.
apt-get install sun-java6-jdk

Installation is done after seconds. Now test your java installation with

java -version
# Here example result on my configuration:

java version "1.6.0_12"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0_12-b04)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 11.2-b01, mixed mode)

If you get something like this, you’re done and your java should be already in the PATH.

Installing JBoss AS

Now let’s install  JBoss Application Server.


Normally you are not willing to start services (especially when they are accessed from other machines) with root privileges. Therefore we have to define a new user and group which will be used to manage JBoss.  So next line will create a new group and new user with this group.

groupadd jboss
useradd -s /bin/bash -d /home/jboss -m -g jboss jboss

This jboss user has no password, so nobody can login with this username. If you consider to login with JBoss user, a password has to be set. Use passwd jboss command for that.

Download, Installation, filesystem layout

Now download desired Jboss version. I started with JBoss 5.1.0 GA, which can be download with:

$ cd /tmp # swithch to temp dir
$ wget

Check also the whole list of versions if interested. As you may noticed JBoss binaries are packaged with ZIP. So it is comfortable to use unzip tool. Maybe you have to install it first.

But before you extract downloaded file, we have to decide, where exactly should JBoss files be placed on a file system. Unfortunately JBoss is not quite conform to Linux File System Hierarchy Standard per default, so there are many possibilities for a location configuration. Some of you may want to place JBoss  into /opt directory. But I prefer to split the installation a little bit and want to start by putting  JBoss core files in /usr/local/, were local, unchangeable, and read-only files usually placed. E.g. I use  /usr/local/jboss/510 as JBoss 5.1.0 GA root. So let’s create that location and extract files into it.

mkdir /usr/local/jboss #create new jboss directroy
chown jboss:jboss /usr/local/jboss #now its belongs touser jboss and group jboss
su jboss
mkdir /usr/local/jboss/510
cd /usr/local/jboss/510
unzip /tmp/

At this moment you should have new working JBoss. If you want, test it with

bin/ -b

Where -b means that JBoss is listening for every ip address of current machine.

However at this stage, the installed Jboss still breaks the  Linux Filesystem Hierarchy Standard, so let’s improve this situation.

After the first start of the server used configuration will have new directories /tmp and /work. The /tmp directory contains the temporary state of the deployed applications and /work is contains compiled JSP pages of deployed applications. Therefore both directories are of temporal character and should be on a more appropriate place according to Linux standards.

I use only a default JBoss configuration, which is defined under <jboss_root>/server/default, so I need to do further changes only for this configuration. My decision is to put both directories to /var /tmp/jboss.:

mkdir /var/tmp/jboss
chown jboss:jboss /var/tmp/jboss/
su jboss
mkdir /var/tmp/jboss/510
mkdir /var/tmp/jboss/510/tmp # creating alternavtive location for tmp
mkdir /var/tmp/jboss/510/work # creating alternavtive location for work
cd /usr/local/jboss/510/server/default # switch to configuration directory if not allready here.
rm -R tmp # delete existing tmp directory (server should not run at this moment)
rm -R work # delete existing work directory
ln -s /var/tmp/jboss/510/tmp ./tmp # Finaly create symbolic link to new place$
ln -s /var/tmp/jboss/510/work ./work # Finaly create symbolic link to new place

repeat the same for /log directory. It is common to have logs at one place in /var/log create a log directory tree e.g. /var/log/jboss/510/ and let log link to it as was shown for tmp and work directories.

After that your configuration directory should look like:

ls -l /usr/local/jboss/510/server/default
drwxr-xr-x  6 jboss jboss 4096 22. Mai 2009  conf
drwxr-xr-x  6 jboss jboss 4096 23. Jan 00:10 data
drwxr-xr-x 15 jboss jboss 4096 22. Mai 2009  deploy
drwxr-xr-x 12 jboss jboss 4096 22. Mai 2009  deployers
drwxr-xr-x  2 jboss jboss 4096 22. Mai 2009  lib
lrwxrwxrwx  1 jboss jboss   19 23. Jan 01:07 log -&gt; /var/log/jboss/510/
lrwxrwxrwx  1 jboss jboss   23 23. Jan 01:13 tmp -&gt; /var/tmp/jboss/510/tmp/
lrwxrwxrwx  1 jboss jboss   24 23. Jan 01:13 work -&gt; /var/tmp/jboss/510/work/

And your logs are of course accessible directly at new location e.g.

tail -1000f /var/log/jboss/510/server.log

Furthermore, you should deploy your applications to /srv/jboss/510 to enable this location for automatic scan and deployment, just create a link from /default/deploy/. Call it e.g. applications.:

$ ln -s /srv/jboss/510 ./usr/local/jboss/510/server/default/deploy/applications #

So applications that are placed to /srv/jboss/510 will be automatically deployed on the server.

Start JBoss on boot

First of all you need a life-cycle management script used by init. JBoss already provides some of then.  Let’s use one of Red Hat’s default scripts by adopting it a little bit. First of all copy the script to common place (feel free to add version to the script name if you need or like)

$ cp /usr/local/jboss/bin/ /etc/init.d/jboss

If you want to access your fresh JBoss also from other IP addresses you need to change JBOSS_HOST line according to:

JBOSS_BIND_ADDR=${JBOSS_HOST:-"-b"}. binds it on all IP addresses. Consider changing also another param this file to match your personal needs. Now you can automatically create all the symbolic links used by init service.

$ update-rc.d jboss defaults

Now your JBoss will start automatically after reboot…

Additional configuration

  • <jboss_root>/bin/run.conf file configures the start parameters of the server. Maybe default limits are not suitable for your applications. So check it.
  • Under <jboss_root&gt;/server/default/conf you will find some configuration files of the default server configuration. One of the interesting is of course jboss-lo4j.xml, where you can precisely define logging processing.

Questions? Suggestions?

Thank you for reading this. Please feel free to provide any suggestions on the topic of JBoss installation on Linux and especially on Debian. Of course, your questions are welcome too!