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How to Setup an Apache Tomcat Environment for Java on AWS Using EC2 in 15 Minutes

How to Setup an Apache Tomcat Environment for Java on AWS Using EC2 in 15 Minutes

So, you’re ready to enter the world of AWS then. Or, maybe you’re already used to working with AWS and just want to spin up a quick environment to prove a point. Either way, let’s take a look at how to spin up an Apache Tomcat environment on AWS in around 15 minutes so you can get the ball rolling. This clearly isn’t going to be a full production-ready setup, but it will get you going on the right lines.


Step 1 – Spin Up an EC2 Instance

I’m not going to talk through how to do that here. Google it. Click around. It’s a fairly simple setup. For the purposes of this blog post I’m going to assume you’re re-using an SSH Key so we don’t need to talk through how to get one of those setup and configured so you can SSH into your server.

NOTE: Important note on the different versions of the Operating Systems when installing;

  • Amazon Linux 2 only supports older versions of Apache Tomcat when using yum, i.e. version 7 and lower (oddly)
  • Amazon Linux (aka. version 1) support the later versions of Apache Tomcat when using yum, i.e. versions 8 and higher


Step 2 – Configure the Firewall aka. the AWS Security Group

As part of the setup in Step 1 you will have setup a Security Group, likely a brand new one. So you need to configure this to ensure that you can access your application. Thankfully there are a few simple ports you need to open on the Inbound Interface;

  • Port 80 for HTTP traffic
  • Port 443 for HTTPS traffic
  • Port 8080 or 8084 for Apache Tomcat, depending on the version or configuration you’re using

Once you’ve configured the ports on the firewall you can continue to get everything setup as required.


Step 3 – SSH Into the Server to Configure Things

As part of your setup in Step 1 once your EC2 instance is up and running, it will have a publicly accessible hostname and IP address. One thing to note with EC2 instance is that every time you reboot them the hostname and IP address changes. This doesn’t particularly matter for the purpose of this blog post, but it is something you should be aware of if you’re looking for something more permanent. You can setup Static IP address (which are confusingly known as Elastic IPs in AWS terminology) so that you can configure everything you need from there.

As mentioned earlier, I’m going to assume you can SSH into the server successfully. If not, there is a Console option within the AWS Console interface which allows you to SSH into your new box which is quite handy.

The public hostname will look something along the lines of, http://ec2-{public-ip-address}.{aws-zone}


Step 4 – Install Apache Tomcat and Goodies

Once you’re SSH’d into your server, basically just run the following command which will install Apache Tomcat and all handy tools including the Tomcat Manager which allows you to upload your .war file via a handy interface so you don’t have to worry about copying the files over.


sudo yum install tomcat8 tomcat8-webapps tomcat8-admin-webapps tomcat8-docs-webapp


Step 5 – Configure Apache Tomcat Users

Now you’ve got Apache Tomcat installed, you need to make sure you can actually access the Tomcat Manager interface, so let’s get you an account created. Simply run the command below which will open the configuration file;


sudo nano /etc/tomcat8/tomcat-users.xml


Then un-comment the line in the file which gives you a default admin/adminadmin username/password. Clearly you should make this more secure, but as mentioned, this isn’t a production ready system, we’re trying to do this in 15 minutes. Save the file and exit.


Step 6 – Configure Apache Tomcat to Whitelist a Valid Administration IP Addresses

Next you need to configure Apache Tomcat to ensure you can access the Tomcat Manager easily to upload your .war files to the system. To do this, first you need to find out the IP address of your system. If you’re not on a static IP address from your device (i.e. home dynamic IP address, tethered from a mobile phone or in a coffee shop), then this step is only going to work for a very short period of time for you. Best bet – get yourself a Static IP address if you don’t have one already so you don’t have to keep messing with the configuration files every time you need to deploy your code.

First, edit the Hosts Manager Context.xml file by running the following command;


sudo nano /usr/share/tomcat8/webapps/host-manager/META-INF/context.xml


Then include your IP address within that file.

Second, edit the Manager Context.xml file by running the following command;


sudo nano /usr/share/tomcat8/webapps/ manager/META-INF/context.xml


Then include your IP address within that file.

Note that your current static IP address will need to be in the format of 1\.2\.3\.4. And if you want to whitelist multiple IP addresses, then you can separate them with the Pipe character |.

Save and exit each file in turn.


Step 7 – Access the Apache Tomcat Manager

Accessing the URL that you have in your AWS EC2 instance on the correct port should allow you to connect to the application manager;


Note, you’ll need to login with the username/password which you configured previously. Which as a default will be admin/adminadmin. Then from here you can simple manage the deployment of your application with ease.


Step 8 – Productionise the Above Setup

So we’ve flown through how to get an Apache Tomcat environment up and running for Java on AWS using EC2 and if you’ve followed the above steps, you should have had this done within 15 minutes. Some points you’re going to need to consider to get this into a production ready state include;

  • Server size
  • Server schedule for being turned on/off
  • Joining up Apache with Apache Tomcat to ensure you can run the application on port 80/443 instead of 8080/8084
  • Setting up SSL certificates using Let’s Encrypt
  • Locking down your firewall (aka. AWS Security Group) to ensure only whitelisted IP addresses can access the ports that you have opened
  • Setting up server monitoring software either as standalone applications or within AWS CloudWatch
  • Configuring any local or remote databases for your application to run on
  • Securing the Tomcat Manager and Host Manager applications using SSL Certificates

Hope the above guide has helped to get you up and running.

How to Create and Run a Basic HelloWorld Java Class

Ok. Back to basics. It’s rare these days that any developer working in the real world has to write a basic, compile the file with the core Java Compiler (javac, the Java Programming Language Compiler) and run the file using the command line ‘java’ command. But hey, sometimes things are just fiddly to debug and you need to get back to the real basics and say HelloWorld.

Honestly, I’m mainly writing this blog post for myself as I can never remember how to do this as it is something that I haven’t had to do in many years, because you know, we have things called IDEs, Web Applications, Automated Deployments and just modern technology in general which is the space I tend to work in.

Just a general note, the common reason why you’ll need to do things like this is because your Local à Dev à Test à Live Environments are slightly different. Different enough to cause issues that you’ll only notice while you migrate your applications through the development lifecycle.  


How to Create a File with a Main Method

For the purpose of this blog post, let’s forget we’re in the 20th Century using a modern IDE, let’s get Notepad open.

For the purpose of this blog post, I’m going to use a real world example that I was debugging, specifically when trying to figure out why the ‘reasonably recent’ Java 8 functionality on one application wasn’t working on one application server, which had recently had Java 8 installed with Tomcat 7 which was installed via WHM > cPanel’s Easy Apache 3. The function is only available from Java 8, and a specific release of Java 8, just to add to the confusion. None of which is really relevant for this blog post, but it puts into context why you sometimes need to go back to real basics and to try and figure out where the problem ultimately lies.

Sometimes you just need to strip back the many layers of applications, get back to the core and build up from there to identify where the problem is. Anyhow, back to where we were.

Basically create this file and save the filename as;


package PlayGround;

import java.time.LocalDate;


public class HelloWorldMain {

public static void main(String[] args) {

System.out.println(" " +;




Yes that’s right, pure, core, Java. No frameworks. No libraries. No helpers. Nothing. Welcome to the 80s.

The reason why we’re creating a Main method is to ensure that when we run the compiled code, as detailed later on, it will automatically run the Main method and print the information you require to the command line console.  


How to Compile Your File to Create a HelloWorld.class File

Ok, now you’ve created your file as outlined in the previous step, it’s time to compile this into executable code. As you’ll know, you can’t run .java files as they are (unlikely say .html files), instead you need to compile your .java files into .class files using the Java Development Kit (aka. JDK) that is installed on your machine (local machine or server).

To compile your .java file, firstly you need to open the Command Prompt (on Windows) or SSH into your Linux server. Using your command line skills (simple right…?), navigate to the location of your file and compile your .java file by running the following command;




Awesome, you should now have a HelloWorldMain.class file created in the same directory you are currently in.

But… things aren’t always quite as they seem. We’ve not gone into any of the details yet about where you’ve just run the Java compiler command. Windows? Linux? Now this is where things get interesting. Let’s say you’re developing on a Windows machine, and you’re deploying on a Linux server. Immediately you’ve got a discrepancy.

What version of Java are you running on your Windows machine?

What version of Java are you running on your Linux machine?

What other crazy-ass things have you got configured that may be getting in the way in either environment? Hopefully nothing, but keep that in mind. Often things are configured in the background that you may not be aware of, particularly whenever you’ve used handy installers and other software to manage the installation of your environments.

So, let’s get back to the basics and find out the environments we’re working in.


Check the Java Version

On the machines you’re working on, check what version of Java is currently the priority by running the command;

java -version


You can also view on Linux the Environment Variables which can help to identify what is setup by running the command;


(aka. the Print Environment Variables command)


And on Windows you can view your Environment Variables by opening the Command Prompt ( aka. Windows Start Menu > Run > Then type ‘cmd’ without the quotes and press go ) or ( Just press Windows Key + R ), then type;


Which will output your Environment Variables.


Check the Java Alternatives

On Linux machines you can configure multiple versions of Java to run via the ‘alternatives’ feature. This essentially allows you to install multiple Java versions alongside each other without having to worry about the specifics. This allows you to have multiple versions of Java installed, and still configure a default.

Which basically means that when you run any default java command that it will run against whatever alternative has been configured to point at the different versions of Java installed on your Linux box.

To check this, simply run the command;

sudo alternatives --config java

Which will allow you to configure which is the default Java version – according to the Linux environment.

This is an important point to note, since an application (for example Tomcat…) can actually still override this locally within the application configuration files and hence completely ignore what you set at the base server level. The joys and flexibility (aka. frustrations…) of dealing with Linux.


How to Run Your HelloWorld.class File From the Command Line

Ok, so now we’ve covered a fair amount of the ‘basics’, let’s take a look at actually running the file we’ve just created.

Basically just run this command (with tweaks) against the file that is hosted against your own Linux server;

java -cp /home/{Root Directory for User }/public_html/WEB-INF/classes/ PlayGround.HelloWorldMain

How to Disable Safe Updates in MySQL Workbench

So, you’ve just got MySQL Workbench installed and you’ve tried to run some of the handy commands that you’ve picked up from W3Schools (seriously, if you haven’t been through this before, you should!), specifically you’re trying to run a simple UPDATE command in MySQL against a table. Great. But… you’ve noticed that this doesn’t quite work out of the box with MySQL Workbench and it’s likely telling you that you cannot update due to MySQL Workbench being in SAFE MODE. But what is this?

Safe Mode in MySQL Workbench is designed to save you from yourself. Basically it stops you running update commands against anything but a Primary Key. So when you run an update command, you need to specify a Primary Key against the table to ensure you are only updating a single row, rather than wiping out your entire database. While this is great for newbies, it is a little annoying for those more advanced users. When Safe Mode is enabled in MySQL is makes sure rookie mistakes can’t be made, i.e. `UPDATE my_table SET column_name = 123` (whoops…. No ‘WHERE’ command….). #DataGone.

So… It’s time to…. DISABLE SAFE MODE! (at your own peril…aka. You break it….. you fix it!).  But thankfully, you’re a little more experienced than the average rookie. You are READY to DISABLE SAFE MODE!

So, now we’ve got past the #BeCareful section, let’s look at how you exactly disable Safe Updates in MySQL Workbench so you can run all the updates you like and as you see fit.


Disable Safe Updates in MySQL Workbench

It’s actually really simple. Follow the steps below within MySQL Workbench;

  • Select from the main menu: Home > Edit > Preferences
  • Click the ‘SQL Editor’ menu item
  • Uncheck the option for ‘Safe Updates (rejects UPDATEs and DELETEs with no restrictions)’
  • Click ‘OK’
  • Now ‘Disconnect’ and ‘Reconnect’ to the server and you’re good to go! Simple!

And just for re-iteration, disabling this can really break things – so be careful! If you aren’t sure what you are doing you can easily overwrite data for column(s) in your entire database by missing a simple command. Triple check every command before running it while Safe Updates are disabled.

How to Copy Data From a Colum in One Table to a Column in Another Table in MySQL

Quick Answer


INSERT INTO `new table` (`column z`) VALUES ( SELECT `column a` FROM `old table` )


Detailed Answer

Ok, so for those of you looking for a little more information about how/why the above MySQL query works, let’s get into the details. Firstly you likely want to move data from one column in one table in a MySQL database and move this data to another column in another table as part of a refactoring exercise on your database, data and database schema. This is never a simple process and this blog post isn’t going to go into all the considerations you’ll need to make as part of this process, so bear that in mind, instead we’re simply going to look into how to do this basic part of the process and what the details mean.


Prepare Your New Table and Column

Get prepared to store your data in a new location by making sure your database table has a new column of the exact same data type as the column you are moving the data from. Any discrepancies here will cause issues, you need to prepare in much more detail if you are migrating data types, which is beyond the scope of this blog post.


Migrate Your Data

Now you’ve got your new table and column prepared, it’s time to copy the data from the old table to the new table by running the MySQL command outlined at the start of this blog post. Let’s get into the details of what this means though;


INSERT INTO `new table` (`column z`)


The above part of the MySQL query is a basic INSERT statement, specifically inserting data into a specific column. Then the next part of the query is telling MySQL what data to insert into this column.


VALUES ( SELECT `column a` FROM `old table` )


Since the sub-select query returns multiple records, and due to the fact that this sub-select is part of an INSERT statement, MySQL is smart enough to realise that you want to copy the data across.

Now the above isn’t going to work in every scenario and to be fair it really only works perfectly when you don’t have to take into account NOT NULL fields and non-AUTO_INCREMENT fields. Things get significantly more complex when you start to add in these types of…. Complexities, but hey.

Hopefully this is a good starting point to get you thinking along the right lines for migrating data from one table and column in a MySQL database and over to another new table and column with ease as part of your database and data migration processes. Leave a comment with your nuances that you’ve had to deal with along the way – it’s great to share!

How to Setup CIFS on Windows 10 to Share a Folder on the Network

Ever needed to share a folder from your Windows 10 machine so that it is accessible to other computers on the same network? Well, if you do need to do this you’ll soon start learning about CIFS and NFS. For clarity;

  • NFS stands for Network File Share and is used by Linux (so we’re not going to be covering this within this blog post)
  • CIFS stands for Common Internet File System and it is basically the Windows version of Network File Share. More specifically CIFS is actually the public version of SMB, the Server Message Block protocol. The core difference is that CIFS is actually much broader than NFS in the sense that CIFS can support the sharing of printers and serial ports.

So, now we’ve got the definitions out of the way the common use case for setting up CIFS is for easily sharing your files to other computers on a network, for example in an office space you may have a shared file system on a physical server in the corner of the office for example. You’ve got to remember, CIFS was about way before everything moved to the cloud.


How to Turn on CIFS on Windows 10

By default, CIFS is disabled on Windows 10 since the vast majority of normal users will never need to use this feature. And as such, since opening up access to your computer so that another computer can access it opens a potential security threat, it is a good thing that this feature is disabled by default. For example, imagine if anyone on your network could just place a virus on your computer, that wouldn’t be good now would it.

So to turn on CIFS, first open up Control Panel then Programs and Features then click on the Turn Windows features on or off. Once opened, select all of the options for SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support as can be seen below;

This turns things on, next we need to configure the network settings within your Windows 10 machine for the network you are currently connected to. Go to Control Panel then Network and Sharing Center then click on Change advanced sharing settings then select Turn on network discovery and Turn on file and printer sharing. Save the changes and you’re done.

How to Setup CIFS on a Folder

Let’s take a look at an example for how to share a folder. First, let’s create a folder within your main C:\ drive, for example, C:\Your Folder That You Want To Share On The Network\.

Next, simply Right Click and select Properties, then click on the Sharing tab, then on the Share button.

Then select the user who you want to Share this file with and click on Share. Note, that the list of users here are those who are currently setup on your Windows 10 machine. Don’t think of this like modern cloud based applications work in the sense that you share something with someone by sending it to them, this isn’t how this works. Instead, think of this type of sharing as making something accessible to someone else – they still have to configure things at their end to actually view this information. Once complete you’ll see this confirmation;

Depending on your use case, you may want to restrict what people can/can’t do with the content you are sharing. If you go back to the Sharing tab in the Properties popup, then click on the Advanced Sharing options you can see in here that you can configure additional options to secure your data in the way you see fit. You can customise the permissions on the content, such as to allow or deny Read or Write access and you can even limit the number of simultaneous connections.

It’s that simple to do for a very basic setup. You may want to go to lengths to secure user accounts further for example setting up additional users Windows with different levels of access.

How to Access a Shared Folder that has Been Setup Using CIFS on Windows 10 – From Another Computer on the Network

The next step is to access this shared folder from another computer on the same network. This is going to be very dependent on how you want to access this information, for example, are you wanting to access this information from within Windows itself or via an application on the other computer? As such, I’m not going to go into too much detail here other than to let you know that when you are configuring the other computer you are likely going to need to enter in one of the following options;

  • \\DESKTOP-S0K1813\Your Folder That You Want To Share On The Network
  • \\\Your Folder That You Want To Share On The Network  (i.e. the Static IP Address for the computer that is sharing the file)

And you’ll also likely need to specify the username and password for the computer that is sharing the file.

Hope that helps to get you going in the right direction.

How to Restore all MySQL Server Databases on Windows 10 After a Meltdown

Note: Read this entire set of information multiple times before actually doing anything – you can really do some damage if you don’t know what you’re doing. If in doubt, speak to an expert.


Well, this isn’t something you have to do on a regular basis (thankfully!) but you’ll probably need to do this at some point when things go a little wrong.

So, a bit of setting the scene, for myself using Windows 10 for a development machine, all of a sudden something odd happened which looked like either a temporary hard drive failure / blip and / or an automatic Windows Update that didn’t quite work as expected (more than likely…). After not being able to boot onto the machine at all, this resulted in me having to completely re-install Windows 10 from a bootable USB. Thankfully when you do this, Microsoft copies all of your data to a ‘Windows.old’ folder so at least you still have access to everything on your machine. I mean, you’ve got everything backed up in the cloud anyway, so it doesn’t really matter… right?

Anyhow, you now have to task of getting your local MySQL Server back up and running in the exact state they were in before everything went into meltdown. And this is where things get a little interesting.


Step 1 – Find Your Old MySQL Server Information

Firstly you need to understand what version of MySQL Server you were running previously as you’ll need to download and install that exact version to avoid any version mismatches. To find this out, open the folder C:\Program Files\MySQL\MySQL Server X.X. Note, this is the original file path where it likely lives. If you had a similar issue to myself, then this will now be within C:\Windows.old\Program Files\MySQL\MySQL Server X.X.


Step 2 – Re-Install MySQL Server X.X

Now you know what version of MySQL Server you need to re-install, head over to Microsoft and download that. There is an archive page where you can download different versions of the MySQL installer which may come in handy,


Step 3 – Find your Old Databases and Data

For localhost development, you’ve likely build this up with both genuine, temporary, test and junk databases and data over a period of time. And while you’ll have the schema creation files somewhere as you’ve been building genuine things, along with and migration files – the reality is that to go from nothing then through a number of migrations (for every database) over a period of time – this is going to be a nightmare to do and it highly unlikely to work 100%. Hey, if you have handy full database backup scripts that you run on your local machine on a nightly basis – you’re awesome – but let’s be honest – most people don’t have this (no-matter what they say…). So you’re back to restoring your databases by manipulating the core underlying files that MySQL Server runs from – yay!

So, before we get started, let’s first understand how MySQL Server works and actually stores the data on a Windows 10 machine. There are a few bits of information that you need to understand;

  • C:\Program Files\MySQL\MySQL Server X.X: This is where all of the files live that MySQL Server requires to run. Your actual databases and data aren’t stored within here.
  • C:\.Program Data\MySQL\MySQL Server X.X\data: This is a hidden file and this is where all of your databases and data are stored. It is these files that we’ll be using to restore your entire MySQL Server databases and data.
  • C:\.Program Data\MySQL\MySQL Server X.X\data\{your_database};
    • {your_database}.frm: FRM is a file extension for formatting used with MySQL. FRM stands for FoRMat. FRM files are used to define the format of a table used with MySQL. MySQL is a cross-platform relational database.
    • {your_database}.ibd: The IBD file type is primarily associated with MySQL – InnoDB by Sun Microsystems, Inc. InnoDB tables and indexes can be stored in their own file (a feature called “multiple tablespaces” since in this way each table uses its own tablespace).
    • {your_database}.opt: opt is just overall database options file. They contain no data.


Step 4 – Stop the MySQL Server Windows Background Service

If you’ve just installed MySQL Server again, it has likely automatically started and/or been configured to start as part of the Windows startup process. Since you’ll be changing one of the files and importing the old ones, this step just stops things failing along the way.

To do this, type;

  • CTRL + R (to open the Run box)
  • msc (to open the Windows Services)
  • Find ‘MySQL Server X.X
  • Right Click
  • Select: Stop

The service will now be stopped.


Step 5 – Rename your New ‘Data’ File

Remember I said that your databases are stored in C:\.Program Data\MySQL\MySQL Server X.X\data? Well, since you’ve just done a fresh install, it’s likely that you’ll have one of these folders created already. So go ahead and rename that to ‘data-old’ – You know, just in case anything goes wrong with the next step.


Step 6 – Move All Your Old Databases and Data

Next, simply move the entire /data/ folder that you want to restore and place it in C:\.Program Data\MySQL\MySQL Server X.X\data. Simple.


Step 7 – Start the MySQL Server Windows Background Service

Now you’ve copied all of your old databases and data over into the current installed folders, then you’re good to start the Windows service again now.


Step 8 – Verify the Restored Databases and Data in MySQL Workbench

Now you’ve restored the databases and data, let’s just double check that everything is there as you’re expecting. Open up MySQL Workbench, connect to your MySQL Server and verify the databases are listed and there is data in the tables where you would expect to see them.

Depending on how you installed MySQL Workbench, it is likely that you also installed the newest version of MySQL Server – so make sure you’re connecting to the correct version of MySQL Server that is running on your system as you may have multiple versions.

You can download older versions of MySQL Workbench from here and use the installer to set it all up,, although if you’ve installed the latest version of MySQL Server already and likely the latest version of MySQL Workbench too, then before you install an older version of MySQL Workbench, I’d just try connecting to the older version of MySQL Server on your machine – just put it on a different port than the standard 3306, put it on 3307 or something like that if you aren’t using that port for anything else.



The above steps clearly aren’t going to work for everyone – but hopefully this is a starter for 10 if you’ve come across this problem and are in the process of trying to resolve.

There is also MySQL Utilities which may come in handy for more challenging restorations,, you’ll need to have Python 2.6 installed (it doesn’t work on newer versions of Python), so download that from here if you need to, And you’ll also need Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable Package (x64) installed too if you’re using MySQL Utilities, so download that here, If you try to run MySQL Utilities once it’s installed without having Python 2.6 and the C++ package mentioned, then you’ll likely get the error “The command line MySQL Utilities could not be located. To use them, you must download and install the utilities package for your system from Click on the Download button to proceed.”

Good luck and feel free to comment with any tips / pointers you’ve found helpful along the way.

How to Create a DOS Bootable USB

So, you’re probably reading this blog post after lots of searching online about how to do this, likely after lots of reading of hardware manufacturer’s documentation about how to upgrade firmware or similar. And you’ll probably also realise that we live in 2019 (at the time of writing….), so when a hardware manufacturer recommends you install some software on a ‘floppy disk drive’ you realise that the hardware world is stuck in the stone age. But hey. It is what it is, and we have to deal with this nonsense.

So, let’s figure out how to get this firmware upgrade onto a ‘floppy disk drive” aka a USB Drive!

A bit of background before we do though. It used to be pretty easy to boot into a DOS environment when Windows owned the world back in 1995. But things have changed a little since then and we have things like non-Microsoft software and other hardware made by many manufacturers around the world. This is great, but does complicate things a little.

DOS is an operating system that runs from a hard disk (aka. Disk Operating System) – but typically refers to MS-DOS, i.e. Microsoft Disk Operating System.

Ultimately if you need to upgrade the firmware on a piece of hardware on a machine, then you need to Boot the Machine to your DOS USB (i.e. configure the Boot Priority in your motherboard BIOS to boot from your USB, not Floppy…., Disk Drive).

What this means in simple terms is that you need to have on your UBS Drive is the Bootable USB Operating System (more on how to do this shortly…) PLUS the Firmware upgrade files (likely a Shell or Bash or Executable file).


Create a DOS Bootable USB

If you’ve simply tried to move the firmware upgrade files to the USB and boot directly to the USB drive with these files present you’ll be sorely disappointed as you’ll probably have received an error along the lines of “firmware upgrade shell load.exe is not recognised as an internal or external command

What this basically means is that you cannot simply run the USB from Shell, but you must run the command from DOS instead. Semantics, but you’re working with underlying hardware here so you must be specific, so let’s create a DOS Bootable USB.

Firstly, download Rufus here,, it’s pretty awesome, and more importantly allows you to create a bootable USB. Once you’ve opened Rufus, fill out the details as follows;



Prepare the Firmware Upgrade and Upgrade It

Basically, once you’ve created your DOS Bootable USB above, copy whatever files over to the same USB Drive as you’ll need to work with these once you’ve booted into the system.

Next, once you’ve booted into your DOS, simply run whatever commands your firmware upgrade tells you to.

And that’s it! This is a simple step 🙂 

How to Customise the Welcome Text When SSHing Into a Server

Ok, so if you’re reading this, you’re probably a bit of a geek like myself. We’ve all seen the “Welcome Mr Stark” message that appears on Iron Man when Tony Stark logs into his private server. i.e. in other words, SSH’ing into his server.



So, how easy or difficult is it to get this set up? Well, it’s remarkably easy to configure this and it is all down to configuring your ‘Message of the Day’ on your server. So let’s have a play around.

Firstly, generate some text that you want to display, you could simple try the basis such as “Hello”, but that’s a bit boring. Instead, let’s look to replicate the same message that we can see on Tony Start’s private server. You’ll find many different ASCI Art Generators online if you search, so find one that you like the look of. Here are just a few examples that I’ve generated to give you an idea of the different styles you can use.



So once you’ve got the text that you want to configure, simply SSH into your server and run the command;


sudo -s


Which will switch your user over to the Sudo user, you’ll need to enter in the password to do this.

Next, run the command;


nano /etc/motd


Which will create a new file for you, if it doesn’t already exist, or edit the current file if it is already there. Feel free to use the editor of your choice here, personally I prefer the Nano editor as I find it more intuitive to use. Simply paste your text into here, and save the file.

Simple, you’re done. Then the next time you login to your server via SSH you’ll be greeted with the nice message that you entered;




How to Create a Bootable USB for Ubuntu Server

If you’re reading this blog post then you’re probably in the realms of playing with hardware and building a mini server, media server, web server or something along those lines. Great! So now you’ve got your hardware pieced together, it’s now time to start installing software on it. For the purposes of this blog post, I’m not going to go into the details of what/why/when/who/how for the vast array of choices and options available for configuring software on your server. Instead, I’m just going to look specifically about how to create a bootable USB for installing Ubuntu Server. Simple and straight to the point.  


Step 1: Install Universal USB Installer 

Download here, 

This software will turn a .iso file into a bootable partition on a USB drive.  


Step 2: Download Ubuntu Server 

Download the relevant version here, 

Note, make sure you’re downloading the correct version for what you require, there are quite a few different versions! 

This step will download the .iso file to your computer. You’ll need this file in the next step.  


Step 3: Create the Bootable USB 

Follow the instructions here, 

In essence, you’re installing the .iso file you downloaded in the previous step onto your USB Pen Drive. Note, make sure you install on the correct drive on your computer or you can really really really mess things up! 

When you are creating the bootable USB for Ubuntu Server, make sure you actually select Ubuntu Server from the dropdown list, as there is also an option for installing Ubuntu (desktop) version too, which you don’t want.  



That’s it! You’re done. You’ve just created yourself a bootable USB that can be used for installing Ubuntu Server. Simply plug this device into your server, make sure that it has priority boot settings so your installer can then run and you’re on your way! 


Note for Ubuntu Server 18.04

The above software doesn’t seem to like Ubuntu Server 18.04, so you’ll probably need to use the Rufus software instead –


How to Loop Through a Map in Java Using JSTL on a JSP

Quick info for reference.
Loop through a Map and output the Key and Value data using;

<c:forEach items="${map}" var="entry">
  Key: <c:out value="${entry.key}"/>
  Value: <c:out value="${entry.value}"/>

If you have an object within the Key:Value pair, such as within an object Map(), you can get this data as follows;


Then you can iterate over the above list using the code to get the Attribute data within the CustomerInformation object a follows;

<c:forEach items="${map.value}" var="customerInformation">