Installing Liferay on Tomcat 7

Liferay Home is one folder above Tomcat’s install location.

For this section, we will refer to your Tomcat server’s installation location as $TOMCAT_HOME. If you do not already have an existing Tomcat server, we recommend you download a Liferay/Tomcat bundle from the Help Center. If you have an existing Tomcat server or would like to install Liferay on Tomcat manually, please follow the steps below.

Before you begin, make sure you have downloaded the latest Liferay .war file and Liferay Portal dependencies from the Help Center. The Liferay .war file should be called liferay-portal-6.2.x-[date].war and the dependencies file should be called liferay-portal-dependencies-6.2.x-[date].zip.

Next, let’s get started by addressing Liferay’s library dependencies.

Dependency Jars

Liferay Portal depends on several JAR files found in the Liferay Dependencies Archive. In addition to these, you need the proper driver for your database. You can get the necessary dependencies by following these steps:

  1. Create a folder named ext in $TOMCAT_HOME/lib.

  2. Unzip the Liferay Dependencies and copy the .jar files to $TOMCAT_HOME/lib/ext.

  3. Download the support-tomcat.jar file from|com.liferay.portal|support-tomcat|6.2.1|jar and copy it into your $TOMCAT_HOME/lib/ext directory. This JAR provides classes that extend some Tomcat-specific classes in order to support Liferay’s runtime.

  4. Next, you need to download a few third party .jar files that are included as part of the Liferay source distribution, but are not automatically included with Tomcat. Place these .jar files into $TOMCAT_HOME/lib/ext:

  5. Make sure the JDBC driver for your database is accessible by Tomcat. In the case of MySQL, use mysql-connector-java-{$version}-bin.jar. You can download the latest MySQL JDBC driver from Extract the JAR file and copy it to $TOMCAT_HOME/lib/ext.

  6. There are a few other JARs that come with a typical Liferay bundle that you might want to download and place in your $TOMCAT_HOME/lib/ext folder. They include these:

    You can download each third party .jar listed above from the provided websites, then place them into your %TOMCAT_HOME/lib/ext directory. However, they’re also available in the Liferay source code, so if you have access to the Liferay source or would like to download it for this purpose, feel free to copy the .jar files from there. Assuming your local Liferay source directory is $LIFERAY_SOURCE, you can get all the third party .jar files listed above from $LIFERAY_SOURCE/lib/development, with the exception of ccpp.jar, which is found in $LIFERAY_SOURCE/lib/portal.

Now that you have the necessary libraries in place, we’ll move on to configuring your domain.

Tomcat Configuration

There are several configuration steps you need to complete before Tomcat can run Liferay. Let’s get started.

  1. First, you’ll need to set the CATALINA_OPTS environment variable. Create a setenv.bat (Windows) or file (Unix, Linux, Mac OS) in the $TOMCAT_HOME/bin directory. Populate it with following contents:

    • setenv.bat:

        if exist "%CATALINA_HOME%/jre@java.version@/win" (
            if not "%JAVA_HOME%" == "" (
                set JAVA_HOME=
            set "JRE_HOME=%CATALINA_HOME%/jre@java.version@/win"
        set "CATALINA_OPTS=%CATALINA_OPTS% -Dfile.encoding=UTF-8 -Dorg.apache.catalina.loader.WebappClassLoader.ENABLE_CLEAR_REFERENCES=false -Duser.timezone=GMT -Xmx1024m -XX:MaxPermSize=256m"

        CATALINA_OPTS="$CATALINA_OPTS -Dfile.encoding=UTF-8 -Dorg.apache.catalina.loader.WebappClassLoader.ENABLE_CLEAR_REFERENCES=false -Duser.timezone=GMT -Xmx1024m -XX:MaxPermSize=256m"

    This sets the character encoding to UTF-8, sets the time zone to Greenwich Mean Time, and allocates memory to the Java Virtual Machine.

  2. Next, create a context for Liferay. Create a ROOT.xml file in $TOMCAT_HOME/conf/Catalina/localhost. Populate it with the following contents to set up a portal web application:

     <Context path="" crossContext="true">
         <!-- JAAS -->
         Uncomment the following to disable persistent sessions across reboots.
         <!--<Manager pathname="" />-->
         Uncomment the following to not use sessions. See the property
         "session.disabled" in
         <!--<Manager className="" />-->

    Setting crossContext="true" allows multiple web apps to use the same class loader. In the configuration above you will also find commented instructions and tags for configuring a JAAS realm, disabling persistent sessions and disabling sessions in general.

  3. Next, make sure the libraries you added to $TOMCAT_HOME/lib/ext are loaded when you start the server. Open $TOMCAT_HOME/conf/ and replace the line:




    This allows Catalina to access the dependency jars you extracted to $TOMCAT_HOME/lib/ext.

  4. We also need to ensure consistent use of UTF-8 URI Encoding. Edit $TOMCAT_HOME/conf/server.xml and add the attribute URIEncoding="UTF-8" where you see redirectPort=8443, in the definition of your connectors (HTTP and AJP). For example:

     <Connector port="8080" protocol="HTTP/1.1" connectionTimeout="20000" redirectPort="8443" URIEncoding="UTF-8" />
  5. Lastly, if you see a support-catalina.jar in your $TOMCAT_HOME/webapps directory, delete it.

Now Tomcat is configured to run Liferay! If you want to use Liferay to manage your database and mail session (and we recommend you do), you can skip the next sections and move to the section titled Enabling PACL. Next we’ll look at configuring your database with Tomcat.

Database Configuration

If you want Tomcat to manage your data source, use the following procedure. If you want to use Liferay’s built-in data source, you can skip this section.

  1. Make sure your database server is installed and working. If it’s installed on a different machine, make sure it’s accessible from the machine with Liferay.

  2. Add your data source as a resource in the context of your web application specified in $TOMCAT_HOME/conf/Catalina/localhost/ROOT.xml:


Your Tomcat managed data source is now configured. Next is your mail session.

Mail Configuration

If you want to manage your mail session with Tomcat, use the following instructions. If you want to use the built-in Liferay mail session, you can skip this section.

Create a mail session bound to mail/MailSession. Edit $TOMCAT_ HOME/conf/Catalina/localhost/ROOT.xml and configure a mail session. Be sure to replace the example mail session values with your own.


Your mail session is configured. Next, you’ll make sure Liferay can access your mail session and database.

Configuring your database and mail session

In this section you’ll specify appropriate properties for connecting to your database and mail session.

  1. If you are using Tomcat to manage your data source, add the following configuration to your file in your Liferay Home to refer to your data source:

    Otherwise, if you are using Liferay Portal to manage your data source, follow the instructions for using the setup wizard.

  2. If want to use Liferay Portal to manage your mail session, you can configure the mail session in Liferay Portal. That is, after starting your portal as described in the Deploy Liferay section, go to Control Panel → Server Administration → Mail and enter the settings for your mail session.

    Otherwise, if you are using Tomcat to manage your mail session, add the following configuration to your file to reference that mail session:

It’s just that easy! Before you deploy Liferay Portal, you should configure Portal Access Control Language (PACL) with Liferay on Tomcat.

Enabling PACL

To enable PACL, you need to enable the security manager and add some required permissions to the server policy configuration file. This entails editing two files in $TOMCAT_HOME you’ve already edited:

  • In $TOMCAT_HOME/bin/ (if on Linux, Unix, or Mac OS) or setenv.bat (if on Windows) enable the security manager by inserting the following code into the CATALINA_OPTS variable (inside the quotation marks):$CATALINA_BASE/conf/catalina.policy

  • In $TOMCAT_HOME/conf/catalina.policy, add the required permissions:

      grant {

To enable the security manager on Tomcat, the server must be started with the -security command line options. Shutdown your Tomcat instance and restart it with the following command:

./ -security

Tomcat reports the message Using Security Manager to your terminal.

Now you have PACL enabled and configured for your portal.

Adding Mojarra

If you’d like to use JSF applications in your Tomcat application server, you’ll need to add Mojarra. If you do not plan on using JSF applications in your application server, you can skip this section.

The typical binary ZIP version of Tomcat does not contain any JSF runtime JARs like Mojarra or MyFaces. This is because Tomcat is not a Java EE Application Server like Oracle GlassFish, Oracle WebLogic, JBoss AS, or IBM WebSphere. Also, Tomcat is not a Java EE Web Profile Server like Apache TomEE or Caucho Resin.

There are two ways to approach using Mojarra with Tomcat: upgrading Tomcat’s context classpath or upgrading Tomcat’s global classpath. Both methods require adding/editing two JARs, which can be downloaded below:

The typical approach for using Mojarra with Tomcat is to include jsf-api.jar and jsf-impl.jar in the WEB-INF/lib folder in each JSF project. You can do this by specifying the jsf-api and jsf-impl artifacts without a scope, or with the scope set as compile (the default) in each JSF project:


Although it is possible to install Mojarra in the Tomcat global classpath, it will not work properly without some small modifications to the jsf-impl.jar dependency. The problem stems from the fact that the Mojarra ConfigureListener class is automatically registered for all contexts under tomcat/webapps because it is specified as a <listener> in the META-INF/jsf-jsf_core.tld descriptor inside the jsf-impl.jar dependency. Additionally, the META-INF/services/javax.faces.ServletContainerInitializer will cause the FacesInitializer class to auto-register the ConfigureListener as well. Consequently, every request issued in all contexts invokes the Mojarra ConfigureListener. This can be a potential performance problem in a webapp environment and causes incompatibilities with a portlet environment. Therefore, it is necessary to disable automatic registration of the Mojarra ConfigureListener by modifying the contents of the jsf-impl.jar dependency.

To upgrade Tomcat’s global classpath, follow the steps below:

  1. Copy jsf-api.jar and jsf-impl.jar to the tomcat/lib folder.

  2. Open a terminal window and navigate to the tomcat/lib folder:

     cd tomcat/lib
  3. Create a temporary folder named jsf-impl and navigate into it:

     mkdir jsf-impl
     cd jsf-impl
  4. Extract the Mojarra jsf-impl.jar dependency into the temporary folder:

     jar xf ../jsf-impl-2.1.29-08.jar
  5. Open the META-INF/jsf_core.tld file and remove the following lines:

  6. Remove the Mojarra servlet container initializer:

     rm META-INF/services/javax.servlet.ServletContainerInitializer
  7. Overwrite the Mojarra jsf-impl.jar dependency by creating a new archive:

     jar cf ../jsf-impl-2.1.29-08.jar META-INF/ com/
  8. Remove the temporary folder:

     cd ../
     rm -rf jsf-impl/
  9. Follow only one of the following sub-steps below, depending on preference.

    9.1 Specify the liferay-faces-init.jar dependency in each JSF project in order for the Mojarra ConfigureListener to be automatically started by Tomcat:


    9.2 Specify the Mojarra ConfigureListener as a listener in the WEB-INF/web.xml descriptor in each JSF project:

  10. Specify the jsf-api and jsf-impl dependencies as provided in each JSF project:


You’ve officially added Mojarra to your application server.

If you’re interested in configuring CDI for your JSF portlets running on Tomcat, you’ll also need to configure Weld. For more information on configuring Weld for Tomcat, visit the Configuring JSF Portlets to Use CDI section.

You’re now all set to deploy Liferay.

Deploy Liferay

It’s time to deploy Liferay as an exploded web archive within your $TOMCAT_HOME/webapps folder.

  1. If you are manually installing Liferay on a clean Tomcat server, delete the contents of the $TOMCAT_HOME/webapps/ROOT directory. This removes the default Tomcat home page. Extract the Liferay .war file to $TOMCAT_HOME/webapps/ROOT.

    Now its time to launch Liferay Portal on Tomcat!

  2. Start Tomcat by executing $TOMCAT_HOME/bin/startup.bat or $TOMCAT_HOME/bin/

Congratulations on successfully installing and deploying Liferay on Tomcat!

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