info: Apache Tomcat/6.0.36 CentOS 2.6.32-279.14.1.el6.x86_64

Is it possible? I heard from someone that an older version of tomcat had a manager tool that allowed non-privileged users to restart the server. I checked the manager, but I only see options to disable applications that run on the server, but the the server itself.


I settled for the setuid workaround described on the tomcat wiki.

Another method is to use SetUID scripts (assuming you have the capability) to do this. Here's how I do it.

Create a file called foo.c with this content (replace "/path/startupscript" with the tomcat startup script):

#include <unistd.h> #include <stdlib.h>

int main( int argc, char *argv[] ) {

if ( setuid( 0 ) != 0 ) perror( "setuid() error" ); printf( "Starting ${APPLICATION}\n" ); execl( "/bin/sh", "sh", "/path/startupscript", 0 ); return 1; 


Run the following as root (replacing tmp with whatever you want the startup script to be and replacing XXXXX with whatever group you want to be able to start and stop tomcat:

gcc tmp.c -o tmp chown root:XXXXX tmp chmod ugo-rwx tmp chmod u+rwxs,g+rx tmp

Now members of the tomcat group should be able to start and stop tomcat. One caveat though, you need to ensure that that your tomcat startup script is not writable by anyone other than root, otherwise your users will be able to insert commands into the script and have them run as root (very big security hole).

source: http://wiki.apache.org/tomcat/HowTo#How_to_run_Tomcat_without_root_privileges.3F

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