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  1. #1

    Best free Enterprise Linux distro for a Tomcat hosted Web App

    Hi Everyone,

    I am looking for some general advice about a suitable Enterprise Linux distribution for the development and implementation of a Web App which is to run inside Apache Tomcat.

    Here is a list of the Linux distributions key requirements -

    • Free
    • Secure
    • Easy to implement
    • High compatibility with Apache Tomcat (latest version)

    Here is a mock up of the 'components' that will surround the Web App -

    2014-06-13 09.45.25.jpg

    I can provide further technical details should they be required, however at this stage I am looking at the 'bigger picture' and need some broad guidance and recommendations about which Linux distribution will work well for my scenario.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated.

    Kind Regards,


  2. #2
    Trusted Penguin Irithori's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    centos, debian or ubuntu server come to mind.
    Afaik, all of them have tomcat7, not tomcat8.

    Unless you have reasons for tomcat8, I would suggest to stay with the distribution provided tomcat7,
    because the maintenance and security updates are then handled for you.

    As for the mockup:
    - Why do you need apache? Static files?
    Imho: If your site is big enough that you need to have a lighter server for static files,
    then your site is also big enough to have a loadbalancer in front, that directs static files to dedicated apaches and the dynamic content to the tomcat machines.
    Aka: I would not use apache in front of tomcat, this just complicates the setup and resource management.

    - Why ms sql?
    Yes, there is a jdbc connector from microsoft.
    So yes, the setup is possible.
    However, anything non-microsoft is a competitor to microsoft products.
    So I would have doubts if that jdbc connector will have the same maturity, feature and performance as the native ms products.

    If you want to use ms sql (which is a perfectly fine db, btw) then I would suggest to go the ms way, aka IIS and c#
    Welcome to "vendor lock-in", but I believe this setup would then be more supported and performant than a tomcat with ms sql.

    The other way would be to consider postgres or oracle instead of ms sql.
    You must always face the curtain with a bow.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Roxoff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Nottingham, England
    RedHat 7 has just landed, so CentOS 7 won't be so far away, as they're now working with RH rather than chasing them.

    I tried to find out what version of Tomcat was in the new release, but I couldn't find it on the RH website, and the repositories for CentOS 7 aren't available yet. If it uses Tomcat 8, you might get what you need by waiting a couple of months until CentOS 7 is available.
    Linux user #126863 - see

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  5. #4
    Hi All,

    Thanks for your helpful responses, looking over my mock-up again I have come to realise that I don't actually need Apache. I was getting confused with Apache Tomcat (because Tomcat is preceded by Apache, I thought that it may be necessary to have the Apache Web Server installed, and then to install Tomcat [as a 'Plug-In']).

    It is necessary for me to interface to an MS SQL database because this is the database in use by the organisation. The database vendor cannot be changed, primarily because a SAP Business One implementation sits on top of MS SQL.

    As suggested I may be better served to look into ASP .NET...

    Kind Regards,


    P.S.: I was basically looking for an 'excuse' to learn more Linux (whilst getting paid!)

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