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Run “Hello World!!!1” Servlet on EC2 using AWS Toolkit for Eclipse

September 15th, 2010 by Moti Karmona | מוטי קרמונה · 12 Comments

It started like yetanother-weekend-experiment but once you start a weekend experiment you never know when or how it will end… ;)

I was very curios to take AWS for a quick test drive so I lost six hours of a precious beauty sleep and compiled this blog-post-capsule for future generations.



The Quest

* Run an “Hello World!!!1” Servlet on EC2 (less than $0.01 per hour)
Create a local development environment using EclipseAWS Toolkit for Eclipse (seems like a really interesting toolchain)

Preliminary Steps

Issues with AWS Toolkit defaults

The plan was to use this tutorial but surprisingly enough this did not work out-of-the-box (apparently due to Tomcat/JDK versions on the default AMI the plug-in is using but I didn’t waste time in making sure this is the issue) so I moved to plan B


Plan B – Create a custom EC2 AMI with Tomcat 6.something and JDK 1.6

* Launch an EC2 instance using Amazon’s ami-84db39ed AMI.  (basic Fedora 8 image)
* Use Putty connect to your instance


* Install Java on EC2 Instance

Download JDK (“Linux RPM in self-extracting JDK file”)

mkdir /usr/local/java
cd /usr/local/java
curl http://download.java.net/jdk6/6u23/promoted/b01/binaries/jdk-6u23-ea-bin-b01-linux-i586-30_aug_2010-rpm.bin > jdk1.6.0.23-rpm.bin
* Install the JDK
chmod 755 jdk1.6.0.23-rpm.bin # Change the permission of the file
./jdk1.6.0.23-rpm.bin #Install
updatedb; locate javac | grep bin  # this step merely serves to verify the installation
/usr/sbin/alternatives –install /usr/bin/java java /usr/java/jdk1.6.0_23/bin/java 100
/usr/sbin/alternatives –install /usr/bin/jar jar /usr/java/jdk1.6.0_23/bin/jar 100
/usr/sbin/alternatives –install /usr/bin/javac javac /usr/java/jdk1.6.0_23/bin/javac 100
/usr/sbin/alternatives –config java # Change the default JVM from gcj to Sun’s version (if needed)

* Install Tomcat on EC2 Instance

* Download Tomcat 6.0
mkdir /usr/tomcat
cd /usr/tomcat
curl http://apache.spd.co.il//tomcat/tomcat-6/v6.0.29/bin/apache-tomcat-6.0.29.tar.gz > apache-tomcat-6.0.29.tar.gz
tar zxvf apache-tomcat-6.0.29.tar.gz
* Start Tomcat and to verify the installation, load the root page from a web browser: http://your_instance_name:8080
cd apache-tomcat-6.0.29
bin/startup.sh  # Start Tomcat
* Configure Tomcat to launch automatically – Create a file “/etc/rc.d/init.d/tomcat” with the following content:
# Tomcat init script for Linux.
# chkconfig: 2345 96 14
# description: The Apache Tomcat servlet/JSP container.
exec $CATALINA_HOME/bin/catalina.sh $*
* Set the proper permissions for your init script and enable Tomcat for auto-launch:
chmod 755 /etc/rc.d/init.d/tomcat
chkconfig –level 2345 tomcat on
* Tomcat should now be automatically launched whenever your server restarts.


Are we there yet?

It could be but apparently the plug-in was poorly designed to use none-configurable command lines so I needed to add the following “tricks”:
* Set JAVA_HOME / PATH for your user – Login to your account and change your .bash_profile file
vi ~/.bash_profile
export JAVA_HOME=/usr/java/jdk1.6.0_23
export CATALINA_HOME=/usr/tomcat/apache-tomcat-6.0.29
* Create aliases to your Tomcat and JDK installation (these location are hard-coded in the plug-in)
ln -s /usr/java/jdk1.6.0_23/ /env/jdk
ln -s /usr/tomcat/apache-tomcat-6.0.29/ /env/tomcat
The EC2 instance is ready :)


What next?

* Create EBS Image AMI from your instance (it does takes couple of minutes to complete)
* Open your eclipse and start a new AWS project as described in the original link
* Define a new EC2 Server in Eclipse using your new AMI (reminder: the default didn’t work)
* Create your “Hello World!!!1” Servlet
protected void doGet(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws ServletException, IOException {
response.getWriter().println(“Hello World!!!1”);
* Click Run… this will automatically deploy your Servlet and run it on the remote EC2 instance… Wow :)


That’s it – I hope this will help, it does take approx. 1 hour so if you know some other way to make it work, please don’t be shy and comment.

Additional references I used to make it this far:

* Amazon EC2 – Getting Started Guide


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Tags: Cloud · Development · Simplicity · Tools

12 responses so far ↓

  • 1  Tzvika // Sep 15, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    Dude you need to switch to app engine pronto

  • 2  Moti Karmona | מוטי קרמונה // Sep 15, 2010 at 8:18 pm


  • 3  Tzvika // Sep 15, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Because it’s cheaper at scale

  • 4  Moti Karmona | מוטי קרמונה // Sep 15, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    * Cool – Where exactly can I see updated price list for Google App Engine?
    * Are there still limits on response time as I remember it had before?

  • 5  Tzvika // Sep 15, 2010 at 11:52 pm


    also for quotas see: http://code.google.com/appengine/docs/quotas.html

  • 6  Ed // Sep 16, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    The example for the Tomcat URL is not correct

    You say: http://your_instance_name:8080

    Should be: http://:8080

    The instance name and public DNS are two different things.

  • 7  Moti Karmona | מוטי קרמונה // Sep 16, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    @Ed, Thank for the fix! – You are more than right.
    It should be: http://your_public_dns:8080

    — Moti

  • 8  Yan Virin // Sep 17, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Well, you see that putting something in the “cloud” is not just yet a simple thing to do… how about running complex calculations on Terra’s of data? Not simple… Needs a strong infrastructure and a lot of nerves to restart, re-run, looking at logs, swearing and sweating when it does not work, scripting and more scripting and then debugging.

    But, it is the future :)

  • 9  Todd // Sep 10, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    This all worked perfectly until:
    ln -s /usr/java/jdk1.6.0_23/ /env/jdk

    which threw the error ln: creating symbolic link `/env/jdk’: No such file or directory

    I’m using the exact ami on ec2, and followed the steps exactly.

    Can you help?

  • 10  Moti Karmona | מוטי קרמונה // Sep 10, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Hi Todd,

    I can try :)

    Please make sure the destination folder already exist (in this case: /env/jdk) – Create it if needed using mkdir

    Please update me if you need any further help.

  • 11  Matthew Cornell // Dec 6, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Thanks for this! I’ve been resisting Eclipse because I love IntelliJ IDEA so much, but all those plugins are hard to beat…

  • 12  Noor Kaloon // Dec 9, 2011 at 6:00 am

    I have to thank you for such excellent piece of important work..

    I specifically needed the part for starting Tomcat automatically when the instance starts (in my case I started jboss AS)

    An inquiry:

    I’ve enabled AccessLogValves in my jboss server to info about requests. When I ssh to the instance that started my jboss automatically, I can’t find the log file in /home/ec2-user/jboss/server/default/log directory. Even the server logs are not there.

    Where the log file has gone? any pointers? I tested my instance without automatic start of jboss and I found the log file in that directory

    The JAVA_HOME & JBOSS_HOME I used are set to /home/ec2-user/jdk.. /home/ec2-user/jboss..

    Look forward for some pointers to access the log files

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