How to Install Apache Tomcat 9 on Mac OS X

Installing Tomcat 9 on Mac OS X El Capitan is actually quite easy.

The Mac OS X installation process is fairly painless and straight forward, but there are a few rough spots along the way. Follow these step by step instructions to get Tomcat up and running on your Mac OS X machine in no time.

Configure Environment Variables

Prerequisite: Java

Download and install the latest Java 8u92 form this link.

The JDK installer package come in an dmg and installs easily on the Mac; and after opening the Terminal app again,

java -version

Now shows something like this:

java version "1.8.0_66"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_66-b17)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 25.66-b17, mixed mode)

Whatever you do, when opening Terminal and running java -version, you should see something like this, with a version of at least 1.7.x I.e. Tomcat 9.x requires Java 7 or later.

JAVA_HOME is an important environment variable, not just for Tomcat, and it’s important to get it right.
To set the JAVA_HOME variable, open a new Terminal window and use the following command to open the system profile for editing. (You can substitute your favorite text editor. We like Vim.):

vi ~/.profile

Once you’ve opened the profile, add the following lines to set the JAVA_HOME and CATALINA_HOME variables:

export JAVA_HOME=/Library/Java/Home

export CATALINA_HOME=/Path/To/Tomcat/Home

Installing Tomcat

tomcat 9.0

1. Download Tomcat from the official website (, select Tar.gz format under the Core section

2. Extract the Tomcat to directory: /Library, in order to facilitate the use, rename the folder to "Tomcat"

3. Open Terminal, modify folder permissions

sudo chmod 755 /Library/Tomcat/bin/*.sh

4. Press the Enter key, then you will be prompted for a password, enter the administrator password. Then continue with the following command to open the tomcat service

sudo sh

5. Open the browser and enter http://localhost:8080/, press Enter.

If you see the Apache Tomcat, this means Tomcat has successfully run

That is it! You should now be able to access Apache Tomcat’s welcome page on http://localhost:8080. If you wish to make stopping Tomcat 9, use this command:

sudo sh /Library/Tomcat/bin/

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  1. 1
    Brian Sheely

    I’ve installed Tomcat 9. However, the webapps/ROOT directory does not contain the default welcome page that I’ve seen with every other version of Tomcat. Is there no default welcome page with Tomcat?

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