On our server we have two tomcat8 installations on debian wheezy. One tomcat was installed via apt-get install , the second instance was then just copied from the first installation. But this makes it complicated to maintain. I only get automatic updates (apt-get update, apt-get upgrade) for the first installation, the second installation needs to be updates manually.

Is there a way to install and update two installtions of tomcat via apt-get?

  • Can you explain the context a little more. Tomcat is a server, right? Why do you need two of them on one machine? – Faheem Mitha Jan 15 '15 at 12:01
  • The setup with 2 tomcats is required by the applications we run on it, no chance to change it in short term. – markus Jan 15 '15 at 13:11
  • Ok, but some more details might he helpful. Do some apps use one server and some apps the other server? Do the servers need to be exactly the same version? – Faheem Mitha Jan 15 '15 at 15:37
  • yes some apps are deployed in server one and other ones in server2. Both tomcat servers should have the same version. – markus Jan 15 '15 at 17:03
  • Ok, if you want to independent versions both installed from upstream and which will be maintained by upstream, I think installing one in a chroot and making it available to the main system might be an option. The chroot can probably be set up to be updateable via apt. – Faheem Mitha Jan 16 '15 at 0:28

Don't copy the files. You can run multiple copies of the same executable.

If you really need to have tomcat installed in another directory hierarchy, make symbolic links. You can use a script like this:

dpkg -L tomcat6 tomcat6-common |
while IFS= read -r x; do
  if ! [ -d "$x" ]; then
    mkdir -p "/srv/alt-tomcat/${x%/*}"
    ln -s "$x" "/srv/alt-tomcat/$x"

You'll still need to update the symbolic links when the list of files contained in the package changes, but not for security updates and other bug fixes.

  • Would two servers run OK independently in that kind of setup? What about them running on the same ports, because presumably the config would be identical too? – Faheem Mitha Jan 16 '15 at 0:29
  • @FaheemMitha You would of course run the two servers with different configuration files. But unless there's something really weird about tomcat (which I can't completely rule out), you wouldn't duplicate any of the files from the distribution, only the configuration file which you'd modify anyway. – Gilles Jan 16 '15 at 0:39
  • Thanks for that hint, I will try it out in our demo environment and let you know. – markus Jan 16 '15 at 8:22

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