10. March 2012

Tomcat 7 listen on port 80 – Linux Debian

The default installation of Tomcat 7 for Linux Debian is listening on port 8080.

When you want to change the port to 80 then you have several options.

You can use iptables and redirect communication from port 8080 to port 80.

iptables -t nat -P PREROUTING -p tcp -m tcp --dport 80 -j REDIRECT --to-port 8080

The more straight forward approach is to bind Tomcat directly to port 80. First of all change port 8080 to 80 in file /etc/tomcat7/server.xml.

You’ll see error messages in /var/log/tomcat7/catalina.out when you try to restart Tomcat:

SEVERE: Failed to initialize connector [Connector[HTTP/1.1-80]]
org.apache.catalina.LifecycleException: Failed to initialize component [Connector[HTTP/1.1-80]]
Caused by: java.net.BindException: Permission denied

The problem is that default installation of Tomcat 7 for Linux Debian allows to bind only ports higher than 1023. You need to allow binding to privileged ports.

Open file /etc/defaults/tomcat7 and change option from:




Restart Tomcat and it will listen on port 80.