Securing Linux for Java services
Linux and the Java platform have had a long -- but often troubled -- relationship. Early moves to develop open source clean room implementations of the Java platform largely floundered on the complexities of building high-performance virtual machines while simultaneously trying to keep up with the ever-growing set of core Java APIs. Licensed implementations of Java technologies eventually became available for Linux, but these implementations were not open source. Most Linux distributions don't include the licensed implementations for that reason.
Despite these difficulties, the Java platform provides major benefits that have led to increasing use of the licensed implementations on Linux, especially for server applications. In this article, I review the advantages of the Java platform for server applications, then look at the issues involved in simply and safely deploying Java services on Linux. As a practical example, I'll cover the details of setting up the Apache Software Foundation's widely used Tomcat Java servlet engine for standalone operation.
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