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SSL for Tomcat on AWS EC2

To launch an AWS/EC2 instance, at first setting up a security group to specify what network traffic is allowed to reach the instance. Then select an AMI and launch an instance from it. And create a volume in the same zone of the instance and attach with it. Format the device and mount it to a directory. After that follow the steps to create SSL for Tomcat:

1. For the tomcat we need java, so create a directory to save the Java Binary file.

[shell] mkdir /usr/java
cd /usr/java [/shell]

2. Download jdk binary file (jdk-x-linux-ix.bin) here
Use URL http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/archive-139210.html

3. Execute the Binary file

[shell] /usr/java/jdk-x-linux-ix.bin [/shell]

Now we have the Java in our device. Then Download the Tomcat and install it followed by the instructions:-

1. Create a directory to save the tomcat

[shell] mkdir /usr/tomcat
cd /usr/tomcat [/shell]

2. Download tomcat source file (apache-tomcat-x.tar.gz) here
Use URL http://apache.hoxt.com/tomcat/tomcat-6/v6.0.32/bin/

3. Extract that file

[shell] tar -zxvf apache-tomcat-x.tar.gz [/shell]

4. Edit the catalina.sh file

[shell] vim /usr/tomcat/apache-tomcat-x/bin/catalina.sh [/shell]


#** Add at the top **


save and exit
5. Start the tomcat

[shell] /usr/tomcat/apache-tomcat-x/bin/startup.sh [/shell]

6. We can see the logs by using the given command

[shell]tail -f /usr/tomcat/apache-tomcat-x/logs/catalina.out [/shell]

7. Take the browser and enter the URL http://localhost
Now we can see the tomcat index page

8. To stop the tomcat

[shell]/usr/tomcat/apache-tomcat-x/bin/shutdown.sh [/shell]

Now configure the SSL Certificate for tomcat. When you choose to activate SSL on your web server you will be prompted to complete a number of questions about the identity of your website and your company. Your web server then creates two cryptographic keys – a Private Key and a Public Key. The Public Key does not need to be secret and is placed into a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) – a data file also containing your details.

Create a self signed certificate authority (CA) and keystore.

1. Make a directory to hold the certs and keystore. This might be something like:

[shell] mkdir /usr/tomcat/ssl
cd /usr/tomcat/ssl [/shell]

2. Generate a private key for the server and remember it for the next steps

[shell]openssl genrsa -des3 -out server.key 1024[/shell]

Generating RSA private key, 1024 bit long modulus
e is 65537 (0x10001)
Enter pass phrase for server.key:
Verifying – Enter pass phrase for server.key:

3. Generate a CSR (Certificate Signing Request). Give the data after executing this command

[shell]openssl req -new -key server.key -out server.csr[/shell]

Enter pass phrase for server.key:
You are about to be asked to enter information that will be incorporated
into your certificate request.
What you are about to enter is what is called a Distinguished Name or a DN.
There are quite a few fields but you can leave some blank
For some fields there will be a default value,
If you enter ‘.’, the field will be left blank.
Country Name (2 letter code) [GB]:
State or Province Name (full name) [Berkshire]:
Locality Name (eg, city) [Newbury]:
Organization Name (eg, company) [My Company Ltd]:
Organizational Unit Name (eg, section) []:
Common Name (eg, your name or your server’s hostname) []:
Email Address []:

Please enter the following ‘extra’ attributes
to be sent with your certificate request
A challenge password []:
An optional company name []:

4. Remove the passphrasse from the key

[shell]cp server.key server.key.org
openssl rsa -in server.key.org -out server.key[/shell]

Enter pass phrase for server.key.org:
writing RSA key

5. Generate the self signed certificate

[shell]openssl x509 -req -days 365 -in server.csr -signkey server.key -out server.crt[/shell]

Signature ok
subject=/C=GB/ST=Berkshire/L=Newbury/O=My Company Ltd
Getting Private key

You should then submit the CSR. During the SSL Certificate application process, the Certification Authority will validate your details and issue an SSL Certificate containing your details and allowing you to use SSL. Typically an SSL Certificate will contain your domain name, your company name, your address, your city, your state and your country. It will also contain the expiration date of the Certificate and details of the Certification Authority responsible for the issuance of the Certificate.

Create a certificate for tomcat and add both to the keystore

1. Change the path to ssl

[shell]cd /usr/tomcat/ssl[/shell]

2. Create a keypair for ‘tomcat’

[shell]keytool -genkey -alias tom -keyalg RSA -keystore tom.ks[/shell]

Enter keystore password:
Re-enter new password:
What is your first and last name?
What is the name of your organizational unit?
What is the name of your organization?
What is the name of your City or Locality?
What is the name of your State or Province?
What is the two-letter country code for this unit?

Is CN=Unknown, OU=Unknown, O=Unknown, L=Unknown, ST=Unknown, C=Unknown correct?
[no]: yes

Enter key password for <tom>
(RETURN if same as keystore password):
Re-enter new password:

3. Generate a CSR (Certificate Signing Request) for tomcat

[shell]keytool -keystore tom.ks -alias tom -certreq -file tom.csr[/shell]

Enter keystore password:

4. create unique serial number

[shell]echo 02 > serial.txt[/shell]

5. Sign the tomcat CSR

[shell]openssl x509 -CA server.crt -CAkey server.key -CAserial serial.txt -req -in tom.csr -out tom.cer -days 365[/shell]

Signature ok
Getting CA Private Key

6. Import the server CA certificate into the keystore

[shell]keytool -import -alias serverCA -file server.crt -keystore tom.ks[/shell]

Enter keystore password:
Owner: O=My Company Ltd, L=Newbury, ST=Berkshire, C=GB
Issuer: O=My Company Ltd, L=Newbury, ST=Berkshire, C=GB
Serial number: ee13c90cb351968b
Valid from: Thu May 19 02:12:51 EDT 2011 until: Fri May 18 02:12:51 EDT 2012
Certificate fingerprints:
MD5: EE:F0:69:01:4D:D2:DA:A2:4E:88:EF:DC:A8:3F:A9:00
SHA1: 47:97:72:EF:30:02:F7:82:BE:CD:CA:F5:CE:4E:ED:89:73:23:4E:24
Signature algorithm name: SHA1withRSA
Version: 1
Trust this certificate? [no]: yes
Certificate was added to keystore

7. Add the tomcat certificate to the keystore

[shell]keytool -import -alias tom -file tom.cer -keystore tom.ks[/shell]

Enter keystore password:
Certificate reply was installed in keystore

To configure a secure (SSL) HTTP connector for Tomcat, verify that it is activated in the $TOMCAT_HOME/conf/server.xml file. Edit this file and add the following lines.

Tomcat configuration

1. Edit the given portion of tomcat configuretion file and change the port as 80

[shell]vim /usr/tomcat/apache-tomcat-6.0.13/conf/server.xml[/shell]

[shell]“””””” <Connector port=”8080″ protocol=”HTTP/1.1″
redirectPort=”8443″ /> “”””””

<Connector port=”80″ protocol=”HTTP/1.1″
redirectPort=”8443″ />


2. Add the given portion to server.xml and give your password in the password portion


<Connector port=”443″ protocol=”HTTP/1.1″ SSLEnabled=”true”
maxThreads=”150″ scheme=”https” secure=”true”
clientAuth=”false” sslProtocol=”TLS” />


When you start the Tomcat Your web server will match your issued SSL Certificate to your Private Key. Your web server will then be able to establish an encrypted link between the website and your customer’s web browser.

Start the tomcat with SSL Certificate

1. Restart tomcat


2. Go to https://Public DNS name:443/

Then your browser shows a security issue. Click the Approve button. Then you can enter to the tomcat with your certificate. When a browser connects to a secure site it will retrieve the site’s SSL Certificate and check that it has not expired, it has been issued by a Certification Authority the browser trusts, and that it is being used by the website for which it has been issued. If it fails on any one of these checks the browser will display a warning to the end user letting them know that the site is not secured by SSL.

You are Done !!!

Creating phusion passenger AMI on Amazon EC2

Phusion Passenger is an Apache and Nginx module for deploying Ruby web applications.(such as those built on the Ruby on Rails web framework). Phusion Passenger works on any POSIX-compliant operating system,which means practically any operating system , except Microsoft Windows.

Here we are not going to discuss much about ruby on rails applications as our aim is creating an ami of an ubuntu aws instance from which we can launch an instance for developing and deploying rails applications pre-built.

Install apache2 web-server

sudo apt-get install apache2 ( By default its DocumentRoot is /var/www/ )


Install mysql-server and mysql-client ( To support rails applications that access database )



[bash]sudo apt-get install mysql-server mysql-client[/bash]




Install Ruby from repository

The default ruby1.8 is missing some important files. So install ruby1.8-dev. Otherwise at some stage when using gem install, it may end up with “ Error : Failed to build gem native extensions “.

[bash]sudo apt-get install ruby1.8-dev[/bash]


Install RubyGems

Install rubygems >= 1.3.6

The package can be downloaded from here

wget http://rubyforge.org/frs/download.php/70696/rubygems-1.3.7.tgz


tar xvzf rubygems-1.3.7.tgz
cd rubygems-1.3.7
sudo ruby setup.rb
sudo ln -s /usr/bin/gem1.8 /usr/bin/gem

Install Rails via rubygems



Once rubygems is installed use it to install Rails :


[bash]sudo gem install rails[/bash]




Installing Phusion Passenger


There are three ways to install Phusion Passenger :

1. By installing the Phusion Passenger gem.

2. By Downloading the source tarball from the PhusionPassenger website(passenger-x.x.x.tar.gz).

3. By installing the native Linux package (eg: Debian package)

Before installing, you will probably need to switch to the root user first. The Phusion Passenger installer will attempt to automatically detect Apache, and compile Phusion Passenger against that Apache version. It does this by looking for the apxs or apxs2 command in the PATH environment variable.

Apache installed in a non-standard location, prevent the Phusion Passenger installer from detecting Apache.To solve this, become root user and export the path of apxs.

Easiest way to install Passenger is installing via the gem

Please install the rubygems and then run the Phusion Passenger installer, by typing the following commands as root.

1.Open a terminal, and type:

[bash]gem install passenger[/bash]



and follow the instructions from the installer.

The installer will :

1. Install the Apache2 module.

2. instruct how to configure Apache.

3. inform how to deploy a Ruby on Rails application.

If anything goes wrong, this installer will advise you on how to solve any problems.

The installer will ask to add the following lines to the apache2.conf file.

[bash] LoadModule passenger_module /usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/passenger-3.0.0/

ext/apache2/mod_passenger.so PassengerRoot /usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/


PassengerRuby /usr/bin/ruby1.8 [/bash]

Now consider, you have a rails application in directory /var/www/RPF_tool/. Add the following virtualhost entry to your apache configuration file

<VirtualHost *:80>

ServerName  www.yoursite.com

DocumentRoot  /home/RFP_tool/public

<Directory  /var/www/RFP_tool/public>

AllowOverride  all

Options  -MultiViews



Restart your apache server.

Phusion Passenger installation is finished.

Installation via the source tarball

Extract  the tarball to whatever location you prefer

cd /usr/local/passenger/tar xzvf passenger-x.x.x.tar.gz
/usr/local/passenger/ passenger-x.x.x/bin/passenger-install-apache2-module

Please follow the instructions given by the installer. Do not remove the passenger-x.x.x folder after installation. Furthermore, the passenger-x.x.x folder must be accessible by Apache.


First you will have to install ec2-api-tools.zip from


unzip ec2-api-tools.zip
mkdir ~/ec2
cp -rf ec2-api-tools/* ~/ec2

Upload your aws certificate and private-key to /mnt of the instance.


Then add the following to ~/.bashrc

export EC2_HOME=~/ec2
export PATH=$PATH:$EC2_HOME/bin
export EC2_PRIVATE_KEY=/mnt/pk-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.pem
export EC2_CERT=/mnt/cert-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.pem
export JAVA_HOME=/usr/local/java/ ( your JAVA_HOME here)
export PATH=~/ec2/bin:$PATH

If your EC2 instance is an EBS-backed one, you can use the following command to create an AMI

[bash]ec2-create-image -n your-image-name instance-id[/bash]

If your instance is an s3-backed ( instance store ) one, you will have to install ec2-ami-tools first. It can be downloaded from



unzip ec2-ami-tools.zip
cp ec2-ami-tools-x.x-xxxxx/bin/* ~/ec2/bin

vim ~/.bashrc

export EC2_AMITOOL_HOME=~/ec2/ec2-ami-tools-1.3-56066/

Now you can use the following commands to create an AMI of your s3-backed instance

[bash] mkdir /mnt/bundle-vol/
ec2-bundle-vol -u USER-ID -c /mnt/cert-xxxxxxx.pem -k
/mnt/pk-xxxx.pem -d /mnt/bundle-vol [/bash]

( Login to your AWS account; your USER-ID is available from Account–> Security Credentials )

[bash] ec2-upload-bundle -u s3-bucket-name -a aws-access-key -s aws-secret-key -d
/mnt/bundle-vol/ -m
ec2-register -K  /mnt/pk-xxxxxx.pem -C/mnt/cert-xxxxxxx.pem s3-bucket-name/image.manifest.xml -n name-of-the-image [/bash]

To see the created images

[bash]ec2-describe-images [/bash]

Simulating multiple IP-Camera with h.264 stream in Amazon EC2 using Wowza

When you are setting up a Wowza based streaming application which need to stream and record more than a thousand cameras, and in the testing stage you need to see how the system works by providing multiple H.264 camera streams. But, when you have only one camera for testing purposes, you cannot overload the camera by taking a thousand streams from it to test the application. And if the camera gives an MPEG-4 stream, Wowza is not going to play since H.264 is the only supported format by it. We did a workaround to overcome this situation in Amazon EC2. We launched a large wowza instance from paid AMI and installed VLC in it. Using VLC we transcoded the MPEG-4 video stream to H.264. Illustration given below
Simulating multiple=
vlc -vvv rtsp://camera.hostname:port/stream-name --sout "#transcode{venc=x264{keyint=60,profile=baseline,level=3.0,nocabac, qpmax=36,qpmin=10,me=hex,merange=24,subme=9,qcomp=0.6},vcodec=x264,vb=128,scale=1, width=640,height=480,acodec=mp4a,channels=1,fps=15,samplerate=4750} :rtp{dst=local.amazon.ip.ofwowzainstance,port-video=10000,port-audio=10002 ,sdp=file:///wowza-installation-dir/content/vlc.sdp}" -R -d

Next we added a username and password to file /usr/local/WowzaMediaServer/conf/admin.password so that we can access the stream manager. Then we had to start wowza server, access the stream manager using the url http://public-dns-name-of.instance:8086/streammanager/

After Login using the username and password mentioned in /usr/local/WowzaMediaServer/conf/admin.password. Click on “start receiving stream” under rtplive.

In the configuration window mentioned Application as rtplive/_definst_ , MediaCaster Type as rtp, and Stream Name as vlc.sdp and clicked “OK” to submit and stream to start. The RSTP url to access the stream was be rtsp://public-dns-name-of.instance:8086/rtplive/vlc.sdp and this give an H.264 stream which is equivalent to a stream from an H.264 camera. The advantage of this setup is you need not overload a single IP camera by taking 1000 streams as this single rtsp output can be used multiple times to simulate a multiple IP-Camera system and feed it as input to the wowza streaming infrastructure we are developing in Amazon EC2.

Postgresql on EC2

If you are looking forward to migrating your PostgreSQL database to AWS EC2 cloud servers, you can do so by following the simple steps we have posted below. You can make it more reliable and secure from accidental  EC2 instance crashing by allowing the postgresql server to run from an EBS volume. You can also take  a snapshot of the EBS volume which will be stored on AWS storage service s3 which will  make it highly reliable by making it available on multiple AWS availability zones that spans across datacenters. Read more…