How to Start Stop Apache Tomcat via Command Line? Check if Tomcat is already running and Kill command

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How to Check if Tomcat is already running

Apache Tomcat (or simply Tomcat) is an open source web server and servlet container developed by the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). Tomcat implements the Java Servlet and the JavaServer Pages (JSP) specifications from Oracle Corporation, and provides a “pure Java” HTTP web server environment for Java code to run.

If you have any of below questions then you are at right place:

  • Several ports (8080, 8081, 8082) required by Tomcat Server at localhost are already in use
  • Tomcat Server Error – Port 8080 already in use
  • port 8080 required is in use
  • port 8080 already in use eclipse
  • how to stop port 8080 in windows

I’ve setup tomcat as Windows Service. Running Tomcat as a Windows Service provides a number of benefits that are essential when moving from a development set-up to a production environment.

Benefit-1) Setup reliable automatic startup on boot

  • Essential in an environment where you may want to remotely reboot a Java System after maintenance without worrying about whether your server will come back online.

Benefit-2) Setup Tomcat server startup without active user login

  • In a data center, it is not reasonable to expect an active login from the system just to run Tomcat. In fact, Tomcat is often run on blade servers that may not even have an active monitor connected to them. Windows Services are owned by the System, and can be started without an active user.

Benefit-3) Better Security

Recently I wanted to start/stop my Tomcat Server via command line as wanted to create quick shall script to do it. Official documentation provided below commands in the form of //XX// ServiceName
Apache Tomcat Startup Scripts - Crunchify

Available command line options are:

  • //TS// Run the service as console application This is the default operation. It is called if the no option is provided. The ServiceName is the name of the executable without exe suffix, meaning Tomcat6
  • //RS// Run the service Called only from ServiceManager
  • //SS// Stop the service
  • //US// Update service parameters
  • //IS// Install service
  • //DS// Delete service Stops the service if running

But rather doing it this way I found below commands very useful and simple.

1) Windows (if Tomcat is setup as Windows Service)

  • To Start server: <Tomcat Root>/bin>Tomcat8.exe start
  • To Stop server: <Tomcat Root>/bin>Tomcat8.exe stop

2) Windows (if you have downloaded binaries as .zip)

  • To Start server: <Tomcat Root>/bin>catalina.bat start
  • To Stop server: <Tomcat Root>/bin>catalina.bat stop

3) Mac/Linux/Unix (if you have downloaded binaries as .zip)

  • To Start server: <Tomcat Root>/bin>./ start
  • To Stop server: <Tomcat Root>/bin>./ stop

Below are all command parameters:

Usage: ( commands ... )
  debug             Start Catalina in a debugger
  debug -security   Debug Catalina with a security manager
  jpda start        Start Catalina under JPDA debugger
  run               Start Catalina in the current window
  run -security     Start in the current window with security manager
  start             Start Catalina in a separate window
  start -security   Start in a separate window with security manager
  stop              Stop Catalina, waiting up to 5 seconds for the process to end
  stop n            Stop Catalina, waiting up to n seconds for the process to end
  stop -force       Stop Catalina, wait up to 5 seconds and then use kill -KILL if still running
  stop n -force     Stop Catalina, wait up to n seconds and then use kill -KILL if still running
  configtest        Run a basic syntax check on server.xml - check exit code for result
  version           What version of tomcat are you running?

Startup Screenshot:

Tomcat Server started - Crunchify Tips

How to check if Tomcat is already running and kill existing tomcat process.

Step-1) Find out the process using command ps -ef | grep tomcat

bash-3.2$ ps -ef | grep tomcat
  502 56188     1   0  7:31PM ttys001    0:04.23 /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk1.8.0_51.jdk/Contents/Home/bin/java -Djava.util.logging.config.file=/Users/appshah/Downloads/apache-tomcat-8.5.4/conf/ -Djava.util.logging.manager=org.apache.juli.ClassLoaderLogManager -Djdk.tls.ephemeralDHKeySize=2048 -classpath /Users/appshah/Downloads/apache-tomcat-8.5.4/bin/bootstrap.jar:/Users/appshah/Downloads/apache-tomcat-8.5.4/bin/tomcat-juli.jar -Dcatalina.base=/Users/appshah/Downloads/apache-tomcat-8.5.4 -Dcatalina.home=/Users/appshah/Downloads/apache-tomcat-8.5.4 org.apache.catalina.startup.Bootstrap start
  502 56618 55587   0  7:34PM ttys001    0:00.00 grep tomcat

Here 2nd column value is a process ID. In our case it’s 56188.

You could visit link http://localhost:8080 and you should see welcome page.

Welcome Tomcat Page - Crunchify

Step-2) Kill process using command kill -9 <process ID>

bash-3.2$ kill -9 56188

Here, 56188 is a process ID which we got it from step-1.

Now, link http://localhost:8080/ shouldn’t be working for you.

21 thoughts on “How to Start Stop Apache Tomcat via Command Line? Check if Tomcat is already running and Kill command”

  1. hai i have downloaded tomcat binaries as .zip on windows. when i gave like catalina.bat start I am getting an erroe like” The JRE_HOME environment variable is not defined correctly
    This environment variable is needed to run this program”. can anyone please help me in solving the problem.

  2. We have a Linux script to restart Tomcat (say – when the java code of a website changes). This simple script stops Tomcat, waits 5 seconds, starts Tomcat. Unlike Windows Service, the Linux Shutdown script returns immediately – hence the 5 second delay. After upgrade to Tomcat 8, we find this delay is too short. Is there a way to Stop Tomcat reliably (e.g. return control to the script only on completion / test a port to see if it is stopped / check a pid)? If Tomcat is not stopped when you start a new Tomcat, it will say “port already in use” and only partly start up.

    • Agree. You would see Port Already in Use. If possible, would you please share script and i’ll try to add graceful shutdown signal.

      • Really it is as simple as

        Cd tomcat home
        Sleep 5

        But really the sleep 5 should be replaced with some test of aliveness!

        • Oh great. Yeah, I thought it’s totally custom with some more complications 🙂 I would say 30 second is good enough.

  3. Thanks, it worked for me on my CentOS 7. I found that if I create systemd unit file I will be able to start/stop/restart Tomcat using systemctl. It is really hard to find a fully working script, however I spend few sleepless nights and found one. Thanks for sharing this article.

  4. We’re a gaggle of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with valuable information to work on. You’ve performed an impressive activity and our whole community can be grateful to you.

  5. I would like to add that we can also create multiple tomcat instances by using the java based portable utility which I developed for automating the steps required to edit the server config files.


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