08 March 2012

Setup an AWS EC2 Instance Running Railo

Setup an AWS EC2 Instance Running Railo

OK so you want to delve deep into cloud computing and start your own instance Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) instance? Sadly the “official” Railo AMI seems to have died, so here we’ll be starting our own new one. We’ll be running firmly within the free criteria here and choosing options appropriately, most significantly this means linux! We’ll also be using putty to connect to our instance. For part of this tutorial we’re going to be running alongside the official Amazon starting an instance guide. So I will skimp on the details already covered by Amazon themselves:


Start-up an Instance

  1. Click the giant “Launch an Instance” button. Select Basic Amazon Linux AMI I choose 32bit because it’s cheaper and (at the moment) free.
  2. Ensure you’ve selected a micro instance.
  3. Skip the instance details section, just accepting the defaults.
  4. Create and download a Key Pair. This is important as it allows us to log onto our instance securely.
  5. Next is the firewall or security groups section. This bit is important as it configures what applications and ports are allowed to access your instance. Create a new security group. You should select SSH and HTTP as a minimum, you can accept the default of but that allows any IP access to these ports. This is fine for HTTP but if your ISP has given you a static IP then put this in for SSH.
  6. Done, your instance will begin powering up. Watch the instances dashboard to see it’s status, eventually the status will flick to green, display “running” and the status checks will show 2/2. Once that happens we’re ready to logon.

Connect to your instance
I’m going to leave this bit a little to Amazon to explain. You’ll need to download and install putty and convert your key pair file (from step 4 above) into a putty private key file. Then grab your amazon public dns value (something like ec2-11-11-111-111.compute-1.amazonaws.com) and connect to it using putty. Don’t forget to enter the username ec2-user.

Get Linux straight & Install Railo

  1. First lets get Linux to update itself:
sudo yum update
  1. Download Railo to the instance:
wget http://www.getrailo.org/down.cfm?item=/railo/remote/download/
  1. Assign permissions
sudo chmod 777 railo-
  1. Run Railo
sudo ./railo-

Here you’ll want to accept all the defaults except three. First change the default password to something good. Second you should set the port to 80 (not 8888). This will allow normal connections to your server and links into why we had to allow HTTP (port 80) in the EC2 security group. Lastly you should say no to the apache connectors. This sets up railo with tomcat and installs tomcat for you. Of course if you’re more familiar with apache then go with that.

Hit your url
The above link (customized for your public DNS) should show you the default Railo welcome page.

Use putty and VI to change your cfm files
  1. Navigate to the webroot:
cd /opt/railo/tomcat/webapps/ROOT/
  1. Remove all these files
sudo rm -rf *
  1. Create a new index.cfm file
sudo vi index.cfm
VI - Linux editor
  1. In vi to delete the contents of the whole file type
  2. :1,$d
  3. To swap between command and insert modes just press escape

  4. To exit without saving, switch to command mode and press
  5. :q!
  6. To exit and save switch to command mode and press
  7. :x