Tuesday 4 February 2014

How to make Jenkins install the packaged war in a Tomcat 7

This is a sequel to http://macgyverdev.blogspot.se/2014/01/setup-jenkins-project-from-git.html where I set up Jenkins to build my latest project. The next step is to install the war-file built by Jenkins on my Tomcat 7 server.

First of all we must make sure Tomcat accepts installations by scripting instead of the human html GUI version. In the tomcat-users.xml file, located in something similar to this:


Make sure that the admin user, whatever his name is, has the role manager-script. Here's the important part of my file:


<role rolename="manager-gui"/>
<role rolename="manager-script"/>
<role rolename="manager"/>
<role rolename="admin-gui"/>
<role rolename="admin-script"/>
<role rolename="admin"/>

<user username="admin" password="somethignsecret" roles="manager-gui,admin-gui,manager,admin,manager-script,admin-script"/>


Now, in Jenkins you must install the Deploy Plugin. You find it in the plugins section.

Your Jenkins job is here assumed to be configured to package a war file. You can verify this by inspecting that a build generates a war file like this:


For this Jenkins job, go to the settings page and add a new post-build action. Choose the "Deploy war/ear to a container".

In this view make sure the path to the packaged war is relative to the workspace area of the job. Most probably it will be "target/yourapp.war".

Now, rebuild your job and when inspecting the console logs you should see that the war/ear is installed!

Deploying /home/johan/.jenkins/jobs/UnitConversion/workspace/target/Unitconversion.war to container Tomcat 7.x Remote
  Redeploying [/home/johan/.jenkins/jobs/UnitConversion/workspace/target/Unitconversion.war]
  Undeploying [/home/johan/.jenkins/jobs/UnitConversion/workspace/target/Unitconversion.war]
  Deploying [/home/johan/.jenkins/jobs/UnitConversion/workspace/target/Unitconversion.war]
Finished: SUCCESS

This way it takes two clicks from editing the code in Eclipse to update the site All About Units in production, first commit and push to Git, second start the Jenkins job.

One note, if you have deployed your application with context root "/" in Tomcat as I have done, see http://macgyverdev.blogspot.se/2014/02/how-to-change-context-root-to-in-tomcat.html, you can not have Context path = "/" in the configuration above. Instead, keep multiple context roots in Tomcat, and as in my example add the context root with a longer name, otherwise the deploy plugin cannot undeploy the ROOT web application. If you according to my blog post on it has manipulated the server.xml a reinstallation of "/webappname" will also reinstall the ROOT application since they point to the same directory on disk.


  1. I seem to have problems with this plugin when multiple jobs are deploying to the same tomcat in parallel. In which case there seems to be some sort of resource contention and the deployments hang. Is this a known issue ?

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