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The following steps were used to configure a Tomcat 7 server listening on port 8081 to use https and forward regular http connections on port 80 to the standard https port 443.

Port forwarding:

sudo iptables -t nat -I PREROUTING -p tcp --dport 80 -j REDIRECT --to-port 8081
sudo iptables -t nat -I PREROUTING -p tcp --dport 443 -j REDIRECT --to-port 8443
sudo service iptables save
sudo service iptables restart

Standard port 80 connections will be forwarded to Tomcat at port 8081 and it will decide what to do (Tomcat is told to forward that to port 443 later). Standard port 443 connections are forwarded to port 8443, which is a new connector we will configure in Tomcat’s server.xml file.

Create a keystore and CSR to get an SSL certificate:

Note: ran this in the home directory of the tomcat user

keytool -genkey -alias server -keyalg RSA -keysize 2048 -keystore server_name.jks -dname "CN=fqdn-of-server.domain.com,OU=department-value, O=company-name, L=city, ST=state, C=US" && keytool -certreq -alias server -file server_name.csr -keystore server_name.jks && echo Your certificate signing request is in server_name.csr. Your keystore file is server_name.jks. Thanks for using the DigiCert keytool CSR helper.
sudo chown tomcat: server_name.jk

Be sure to update the ownership of the file so that the tomcat user has access.

Once you have your cert…

Import the certificate:

sudo keytool -import -trustcacerts -alias server -file cert-from-CA.p7b -keystore server_name.jks

Update the Tomcat server.xml file:

Updated the existing connector from:
<Connector port=”8081″ protocol=”HTTP/1.1″
redirectPort=”8444″ />


<Connector port=”8081″ protocol=”HTTP/1.1″
redirectPort=”443″ />

Created a new connector for the ssl connection:

<Connector port=”8443″ protocol=”HTTP/1.1″ SSLEnabled=”true”
maxThreads=”150″ scheme=”https” secure=”true”
clientAuth=”false” sslProtocol=”TLS”
keystorePass=”password-value” />

Update the Tomcat web.xml file:

Add the following before the closing </web-app> tag:

<web-resource-name>Protected Context</web-resource-name>
<!– auth-constraint goes here if you requre authentication –>

Restart Tomcat and hope for the best 🙂

Last, but not least, here’s the site I used to help generate the CSR: https://www.digicert.com/csr-creation.htm