Tomcat Host Manager is a web application inside of Tomcat that manages Virtual Hosts within the Tomcat application server.
A Virtual Host
allows you to define multiple hostnames on a single server, so you can use the
same server to handles requests to different subdomains, for example,
Unfortunately documentation on the GUI side
of the Host Manager doesn't appear to exist, but documentation on configuring
the virtual hosts manually in
context.xml is here:
The full explanation of the
Host parameters you can find here:
Accessing the Virtual Host Manager
To access the virtual host manager, you need to have appropriate
permissions set up in your
tomcat-users.xml - at the very least the
manager-gui role (see the official documentation
for full information). It should look something like this:
Once you have access, you can access the host-manager application at http://localhost:8080/host-manager.
Adding a new virtual host
The Add Virtual Host panel looks like this:
Tomcat Virtual Host Manager
At a minimum you need
App Base fields defined. From those, Tomcat
will create the following directories:
App Base will be where web applications will be deployed to the virtual host. Can be relative
Name is usually the fully-qualified domain name (e.g.
Alias can be used to extend the
Name also where
two addresses should resolve to the same host (e.g.
www.ren.myserver.com). Note that this needs to be reflected
in DNS records.
I'll let you look up the other manual parameters, but I find the most useful ones are:
Unpack WAR files placed or uploaded to the App Base, as opposed to running
them directly from the WAR.
Auto Deploy: Automatically redeploy applications placed into App Base.
Careful - this is potentially dangerous for Production environments!
Deploy On Startup: Automatically boot up applications under App Base when Tomcat
Copy XML: Copy
META-INF/context.xml to the App Base/XML Base on deployment,
and use that exclusively, regardless of whether the application is updated.
Deploy XML is false (Tomcat 8 only).
Determines whether to parse the application's
Manager App: Add
the manager application to the Virtual Host (Useful for controlling the
applications you might have underneath
ren.myserver.com). You would then access this
Once you hit Add, Tomcat will create the directories above and move in
the tomcat-manager app config under
You should be able to hit that straight away!
Now, a warning..
You need to add your virtual-host entry to Tomcat's
server.xml for it to persist after a
restart! (See the documentation link at the start of the article for how to
For who-knows-what reason, the virtual-host entry you add via the GUI isn't
written to disk. So, you may ask yourself, why don't I just add the entry into
server.xml instead of trying to use the GUI? Good question..
Originally posted by myself as an answer on stackoverflow.com.