Geoserver: a case study for geospatial research tools


The purpose of this page is to walk through the steps necessary to install a GeoServer on an AWS EC2 instance.


Installing Geoserver on Ubuntu 14.04 with Tomcat 7

** Note: This is also available as an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) if you don’t want to go through the entire installation process - please contact us if you would like to access the AMI.

Spin-up an instance or virtual machine with Ubuntu 16.04 as the operating system.

  • Make sure to open port 8080 when configuring your security settings during the VM setup

Update the OS and install Tomcat 7

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade
$ sudo apt-get install tomcat7
$sudo apt-get install tomcat7-docs tomcat7-admin tomcat7-examples
$ sudo apt-get install default-jdk

Change permissions for tomcat user roles. Remember to put these in between the tag.

$ sudo vi /etc/tomcat7/tomcat-users.xml

  <role rolename="tomcat"/>
  <role rolename="role1"/>
  <role rolename="manager-gui"/>
  <role rolename="admin-gui"/>
  <user username="admin" password="password" roles="manager-gui,admin-gui"/>
  <user username="tomcat" password="tomcat" roles="tomcat"/>
  <user username="both" password="tomcat" roles="tomcat,role1"/>
  <user username="role1" password="tomcat" roles="role1"/>

Increase java heap memory to improve startup speed. Modify the first instance of JAVA_OPTS to read as belo.

$sudo vi /etc/default/tomcat7

JAVA_OPTS=" -Djava.awt.headless=true -Xmx1024m -XX:MaxPermSize=512m -XX:+UseConcMarkSweepGC"

Restart Tomcat

sudo service tomcat7 restart

Download the latest release of geoserver web archive on this page: At this time, the latest release is 2.10.

$ wget ''
$ sudo mv /var/lib/tomcat7/webapp/
$ sudo unzip /var/lib/tomcat7/webapp/
$ sudo service tomcat7 restart

That’s it. You may be prompted to install unzip in that case, just sudo apt install unzip and proceed accordingly.

The next steps will involve attaching a disk drive to your EC2 instance and specifying the data folder location in geoserver as a best practice to separate your data from your service deployment machine.