Yozons Open eSignForms edited this page Sep 16, 2018 · 28 revisions
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Basic installation instructions for developers. Updated for Vaadin 7.


These instructions are pretty high level right now, so we'll want to nail it down to a more easily repeatable set of instructions, but we had to start somewhere!

Yozons offers low-cost hosted commercial solutions for those who prefer to just get up-and-running. Yozons also offers private web servers for those who want their own domain name (and SSL cert).

Amazon EC2 Installation Help? While Yozons does not provide operations or ongoing support for open source deployments, Yozons can install the latest release of Open eSignForms on your NEWLY DEPLOYED Amazon EC2 Linux instance for a one-time, fixed fee of $400. We recommend nothing smaller than a 1GB RAM server. Contact us for details. Just provision your Linux server, do not install any additional software, give it a host name (DNS server name that points to your instance's IP address), open up SSH for us to do remote logins to install, and we'll take care of the installation (root shell access is required via 'su' or 'sudo' -- you can remove this access afterwards).

Low Cost Monthly AGPL Shared Hosting? If you just want to use the open source licensed version without installation, server operations and OpenESF version upgrades, you may want to consider AGPL Shared Hosting.


Java 8 development and Java 10 runtime

As of release 16.10.8, Java 8 or better is required. Currently, the software is developed on Java 8, but we use the Java 10 runtime for deployments.

NOTE: Reports suggest that only the Oracle Java VMs work reliably. We suggest not using OpenJDK or IBM's Java as reports have not shown any successful deployments using it. Please let us know if you do succeed with other VMs.

We start by installing the latest version of Java 8 SE or Java 10 SE available. It appears that these days you just need the JRE, but you may find the JDK useful if you need to generate keystores, monitor the JVM and the like. The version tested here was 8.5.16. Java 10 is now supported for runtime as well, but is not yet used for development.

If using Java 8, because of the sophisticated encryption we use, you'll need the Java Cryptography Extension (JCE) Unlimited Strength Jurisdiction Policy Files installed in your jre/lib/security folder. Note that encryption entails issues with the U.S. government's misguided and impractical export rules. For Windows, be careful you may have 32-bit and 64-bit JREs installed and you'll want to update both as much depends on which Eclipse uses when it starts Tomcat, of if you run Tomcat directly yourself. You can download these files from the Java download site (often at the bottom of the page). The JCE policy files are no longer used if running on Java 9 or Java 10.


You can test as you see fit, but we're basically running the latest releases of Firefox, IE, Chrome, Safari and Opera. Earlier versions likely work, but with a Web 2.0 interface, a modern browser is best and fastest. Note that mobile browsers work fine processing your documents.


We use Cygwin on Windows so we have a Unix/Linux-like environment for our shell scripts. We actually use very few since we only develop on Windows and have never deployed in production on Windows (though it certainly should be doable), but the scripts for DB setup and the like are still driven by shell scripts. Generally, the standard install works well for our needs.

We generally add 'vim' from the Editors choices if you know how to use 'vi'. We often add links, too, if you ever need a command line web browser for simple testing needs.

We like to modify the shortcut properties Options to increase the command history buffer size from 50 to 500, and include 'QuickEdit mode'. We also modify Layout to use width 220 in both locations and a screen buffer height of 5000 so we can scroll back easily. We also set the Font to 8x12.

Of course, those on Linux/Unix don't need to worry about this.

Install the 'scripts' files in the cywgin/Linux-user account's 'bin' folder. You can also use a 'scripts' folder, but then be sure to add the scripts folder to your PATH.

For Windows, you'll need the .cygwin variants (we delete the file without the extension and then rename the .cygwin variants by removing that extension). All cygwin files typically need to a dos2unix * done on them so they'll run correctly. (See below for Cywin details.) Note that script files bashrc and profile should be in the home directory, not 'bin'. You can then update .bash_profile to include . ~/profile and .bashrc to include . ~/bashrc (or just put both dot commands in your .bash_profile like we do.

If you find that scripts won't run on Linux or via Cygwin's shell, you may need to do a dos2unix * on the text files and scripts to ensure they are in encoded correctly. You may also want to do a chmod +x ~/bin/* if the scripts don't seem to have execute permission.

Apache Tomcat

For testing, we generally run Tomcat from Eclipse, so it's best to download and install Tomcat next. If you plan on running Tomcat as a Windows service, there's a special installer for it. But we just download the ZIP file and really only run it via Eclipse, extracting to C:. The version tested here was 8.5.33.

On Tomcat version upgrades, we basically make the following changes on Linux:

  • profile - configure the following (only include the debug info if you remotely debug your Tomcat, and your memory values will need to match your server):
CATALINA_OPTS="-server -Xms500m -Xmx500m -Desf.deploybase=$ESF_DEPLOYMENT_BASE"
  • webapps - Move all webapps except perhaps 'manager' up a subdirectory so that they are no longer deployed. Obviously, we put the Open eSignForms webapp here. You can just move them from the prior Tomcat webapps location.
  mkdir ../ORIG-webapps
  mv docs examples host-manager ROOT ../ORIG-webapps
  • webapps/manager/WEB-INF/web.xml - If you use the manager webapp, add the following snippet to the <security-constraint> of the 'HTML Manager interface' and 'Status interface' to ensure it only works over SSL-protected connections.
  • webapps/manager/META-INF/context.xml - If you access the manager webapp across the Internet (normal), comment out or remove the <Valve className="org.apache.catalina.valves.RemoteAddrValve">.../> or update the allow attribute to include the IP address you'll access from.
  • conf/tomcat-users.xml - If you use the manager webapp, set up the username and password to use when remoting manager your webapps:
  <role rolename="manager-gui"/>
  <user username="admin" password="PUT-SECURE-PASSWORD-HERE" roles="manager-gui"/>
  • conf\ - Not required, but may speed up startup times, add to the tomcat.util.scan.StandardJarScanFilter.jarsToSkip setting:
  • conf/server.xml - You can set up as you need, such as if you have an Apache HTTPD server front-end and use the APR, but for a simple stand-alone Tomcat, we make the following changes. Under the "Catalina" <Service> entry (of course, if you have SSL, you want to point to your keystore and its password). We also comment our the AJP Connector on port 8009, but you may need it if you put HTTP in front:
    <Connector port="8080" protocol="HTTP/1.1"
               connectionTimeout="20000" acceptorThreadCount="2" URIEncoding="UTF-8" redirectPort="443" />

    <Connector port="8443" protocol="HTTP/1.1" SSLEnabled="true" scheme="https" secure="true" maxThreads="200"
               connectionTimeout="20000" acceptorThreadCount="2" URIEncoding="UTF-8" maxPostSize="10485760"
               compression="on" compressableMimeType="text/html,text/xml,text/plain,application/xml,application/json,application/javascript,application/pdf">
        <SSLHostConfig certificateVerification="none" protocols="TLSv1.2" honorCipherOrder="true"
            <Certificate certificateKeystoreFile="keys/mytomcatkeystore" certificateKeystorePassword="PUT-KEYSTORE-PASSWORD-HERE" type="RSA" />

    <Connector port="8009" protocol="AJP/1.3" redirectPort="8443" />
  • If your esign server will accept large API requests to submit data, generally this only occurs if receiving big files as named params, you can increase Tomcat's ability to process them by adding the following option to your Connector:
    The Tomcat default is 2MB, and this will increase it to 10MB. You generally only need this on your HTTPS Connector.

  • conf/server.xml - We also change the <Host> entry to turn off auto deploy:

      <Host name="localhost"  appBase="webapps"
            unpackWARs="true" autoDeploy="false">
  • keys - We put our Tomcat SSL certificate and keys in this folder. When upgrading, be sure to copy over this folder that matches the location of specified in the SSL Connector's SSLHostConfig element's attribute 'certificateKeystoreFile' in server.xml.

Tomcat's Java Keystore for HTTPS/SSL

You are free to setup Tomcat's keystore for HTTPS/SSL using any standard scheme. But here are a few key commands you that will get this going if you are not familiar with the procedure.

  1. Create the Java keystore that Tomcat will use to control SSL. In this case, the keystore file name is 'tomcatkeys'. You must use the alias name 'tomcat'.: keytool -genkeypair -keyalg RSA -keysize 2048 -alias tomcat -keystore tomcatkeys When prompted, you first enter the web site domain name, such as along with the other information requested. Choose a good password for the keystore, and then set the keystore file name and password in the Tomcat's conf/server.xml.
  2. Generate the CSR to request your SSL certificate from your favorite CA: keytool -certreq -alias tomcat -keyalg RSA -file certreq.csr -keystore tomcatkeys You can then submit the contents of certreq.csr when ordering your SSL certificate.
  3. Once your CA has issued your certificate, install it into the keystore: keytool -import -alias tomcat -trustcacerts -file YOURCERT.crt -keystore tomcatkeys
  4. Restart Tomcat after you have updated Tomcat's conf/server.xml for the HTTPS connector's keystore and password.


Install the latest version of Eclipse IDE for Java EE developers. The version tested here is Oxygen (4.7.2) Windows x64. We extract all to c:\Program Files. We set our workspace to c:\project.

Install the Apache IvyDE plugin and Vaadin Eclipse plugin as instructed on their book.

We find that for debugging on your local computer, it's nice to be able to make changes without having the webapp reload, which you can often do because of the hotspot code changes Java allows. Open the view "Servers" -- if the "tab" is not shown at the bottom of your edit area along with Problems, Console, Error, History, etc., you can use the Window->Show View->Other to pick Server->Servers. If no servers appear, right-click New->Server; then choose Apache->Tomcat v8.5 Server, click Next and choose the location where you installed Tomcat (i.e. something like C:\apache-tomcat-8.5.33). Double-click your server (named Tomcat v8.5 Server at localhost or whatever version you are using) so you display the Overview and Modules "tabs". Click on Modules, then for your project (/open-eSignFormsVaadin for us -- see below for downloading the project code first) click the Edit button to uncheck the 'Auto reloading enabled'.

Using the same Servers configuration, we make the following changes:

Overview->Ports: Change HTTP/1.1 to use port 80 (unless you prefer 8080 for testing, but you'll need to put them in all your testing URLs).

Overview->Timeouts: Change 'Start' to be 600 to give you more time if you plan on debugging code during application initialization and don't want Eclipse to timeout the startup of your webapp.

Overview->Generation Information->Open launch configuration: Add to Arguments tab, VM arguments: -Xmx512m -Desf.deploybase=C:\deployments

Tip: For production deployments, you will not use Eclipse and you won't run Tomcat inside. These are just for software developers, not for those who will run/use the system.

Building Open eSignForms Using Eclipse

Create the Vaadin Eclipse project by downloading the code from CVS, project open-eSignFormsVaadin.

If you have edit/commit permission, you'll need a user account and password with SSH access to CVS with something like:

It seems from a fresh install that you'll want to right click on the ECLIPSEPROJECTNAME project, click on Ivy->Clean All Caches and then again on Ivy->Resolve to get all of the Vaadin JARs.

(If you plan to do any VaadinCKEditor project work, not necessary for Open eSignForms itself, you'll need to install a subversion plugin -- we use Subversive SVN Team Provider from the Eclipse installation location or Eclipse Marketplace and we selected the SVN Kit 1.7.9. This related project is hosted on Google Code.)

You will need to compile the Vaadin widgets before testing. Vaadin widgets compile to GWT-based javascript and are stored in the WebContent/VAADIN/widgetsets folder.

Eclipse should automatically compile all of the regular Java source code into the WebContent/WEB-INF/classes folder. If not, right-click on the project in Eclipse and select Properties, then click on the "Java Build Path", click on the Source tab, the "Default output folder" should be something like: ECLIPSEPROJECTNAME/WebContent/WEB-INF/classes but this normally should be set automatically if you are using checked-in code or a source code snapshot release.


The standard JAR Open eSignForms is delivered with should include the .class and .java source files that go with it.

There are also several *.properties files with passwords in them. For testing, these work out of the box, but of course in a production setting, you'll want to copy these individual .properties files into the WEB-INF/classes folder so they can have better values specified. - Sets the two boot passwords to 'test1' and 'test2' respectively. These values must match the values given to DbSetup when a new system is deployed. - Sets the database user and password for each deployment. The default user and password is the same for both: esignforms - Be sure to fix up the location where to store the log files for your deployment, such as log4j.appender.ROOTLOG.File=${esf.deploybase}/deployid/archive/logs/esf.log

Remember, in production, you never want to use such passwords.

In Linux, often the IP address is mapped to localhost.localdomain as well as localhost. On Windows, the former is generally not present, so you either need to change the .properties files that use localhost.localdomain to be just localhost, or you need to update c:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts so that you map the address to both names.

Database using PostgreSQL

Install PostgreSQL 9 per its usual mechanisms. The version tested here was 9.6.3.

It's just a convention, but we use the DB role 'esignforms' for our admin account, and each 'deployment' (a customer system that has its own webapp and database on the server) uses a 5 character unique name that is used as that application's DB role/user. The name is also the base name in the deployment folder for its database tables, log files, etc. It's base directory is set in 'profile' environment variable ESF_DEPLOYMENT_BASE.

For Windows, the installer defaults to the role 'postgres' so you can add our DB role with commands like (for production, use good passwords, of course):

psql -U postgres

Create the deployment folder in the home directory (/home/esignforms/deployments) or C:\deployments. On Windows, you will want to give all users full permissions to the C:\deployments folder and subfolders when testing. We are not sure the about the exact user permissions needed, but generally you want to access those files from Windows Explorer, your cygwin user, and the PostgreSQL user. Typical permissions on Linux are 750 for this deployment folder (and all subfolders: chmod -R 750 $ESF_DEPLOYMENT_BASE when you create the deployments folder and subfolders before you have files in them).

Update the ~/profile to point to the locations where all your stuff is. The next time you run cygwin, it should have the new good values. You can test with java -version and psql template1 to see that Java and Postgresql are setup for cygwin access.

Create the database

Install of the SQL code from 'database/postgresql/ddl' into the 'ddl' folder in your home folder. We use the 5 letter deployment id for creating the database for a given webapp.

Note that the profile script sets ESF_DEPLOYMENT_BASE to the base directory where your deployment databases (PostgreSQL tablespaces) are independently stored. On Windows, we may use C:\deployments and on Linux something like /home/esignforms/deployments. The 'templates' folder should be created in the deployment folder automatically once you run the create_db script.

If you have a previous install and need to wipe it out first, use:

To create a DB, use (if you deploy your webapp in ROOT, use ROOT as the WEBAPPNAME to rundbsetup):
  Please enter the LOWERCASE name for the OpenESF database and role: test          (for testing, we just use 'test' for our deployid and DB role)
  Please enter the password to use for the OpenESF esfapp role test: test          (for testing, we just use the password 'test')
  Type 'y' to create the database.
  Type 'y' to create the tables.
  ./rundbsetup WEBAPPNAME
  In Eclipse, create a Java Application (debug configuration) for 'DbSetup' like below and then run it:
    Project: open-eSignFormsVaadin
    Main class:
    Program Arguments: open-eSignFormsVaadin
    VM Arguments: -Xmx512m -Desf.deploybase=C:\deployments
    Working directory: C:\project\.metadata\.plugins\org.eclipse.wst.server.core\tmp0\wtpwebapps\open-eSignFormsVaadin\

    (Obviously, you'll need to tweak any of the specific locations/names to match your environment.)
    When you run DbSetup you'll see something like:

Copyright (c) 2009-2018 Yozons, Inc.
DbSetup - Sets up the database for Open eSignForms vX.X.X

Enter setup command (initdb,addsuperuser,initsetup,setpassword,quit) [quit] : initdb
2011-07-22 00:31:49.353 UTC-PublicKeyGenerator provider = BC version 1.46; keysize: 4096
insertDeployment - Created deployment with id: b96513a5-9618-40ab-a1cd-79abf611ea32
Enter boot password 1: test1
Enter boot password 2: test2
insertBootKey - Added new boot key
Added super group: ESF/Group/Deployment/SuperAdmin
Added system admin group: System/Administrator
Added All Users pseudo-group: ESF/Group/AllUsers
Added External Users pseudo-group: ESF/Group/ExternalUsers
createInitialProperties - Updated deployment with global properties id: adeb5303-bdbe-4d46-968e-a8787db45160; deployment properties id: d4acceb5-977c-484a-b801-9666f7e6fd07
Added template library: ESF/Library/Template

Enter setup command (initdb,addsuperuser,initsetup,setpassword,quit,convert1.5) [quit] : addsuperuser
Enter super user's email address [] :
Enter super user's first/personal name [Yozons] : Super
Enter super user's last/family name [Support] : Openesf
Initial super user password: Test
insertSuperUser - Added new super user:
insertUserIntoSuperGroup - Added new super user: Super Openesf <>; to super group: ESF/Group/Deployment/SuperAdmin

Enter setup command (initdb,addsuperuser,initsetup,setpassword,quit,convertX.X) [quit] : initsetup
Enter Commercial DB license size in MB (enter 0 for AGPL deployment) [0] :
Enter company name: Demo Company
Enter company street address: 123 Main St.
Enter company city: Kirkland
Enter company state: WA
Enter company zip: 98033
Enter company default phone number [800.555.1212] : 800-555-4321
Enter company group EsfName [CompanyRenamePlease] : DemoCo
Enter company default email address [] :
Enter programmer user's email address [] :
Created company group:
Created company programming group:
Added company programming group to Library, Package, Transaction Template and Transaction Listing views
Added company groups to list/view the template library
Created sample company library: Lib/DemoCo
Created default style and version: ESF_DefaultDocumentStyle
Set default style in template library: ESF/Library/Template
Set default style in company library: Lib/DemoCo
Created standard package document: StandardPackageDisclosures
Created image: Logo
Created image: SignHereLeftArrow
Created image: PackageDocumentCompleted
Created image: PackageDocumentFixRequested
Created image: PackageDocumentRejected
Created image: PackageDocumentToDo
Created image: PackageDocumentViewOnly
Created email template and version: SetPassword
Created email template and version: ForgotPassword
Created email template and version: PasswordChanged
Created email template and version: PasswordLockout
Created email template and version: DefaultPickupNotification
Created dropdown and version: ESF_BackgroundColor
Created dropdown and version: ESF_BorderTypes
Created dropdown and version: ESF_Font
Created dropdown and version: ESF_FontColor
Created dropdown and version: ESF_FontSize
Created dropdown and version: ESF_FontStyle
Created dropdown and version: ESF_TextAlign
Created dropdown and version: ESF_Locale
Created dropdown and version: ESF_TimeZone
Created dropdown and version: ESF_USA_PostalStatePossession
Created dropdown and version: ESF_USA_PostalStates
Created dropdown and version: ESF_PartyRenotifyTimes
Created dropdown and version: ESF_TimeIntervalUnits
Created drop and version: ESF_DateFormat
Created dropdown and version: ESF_TimeFormat
Created drop and version: ESF_DecimalFormat
Created drop and version: ESF_IntegerFormat
Created drop and version: ESF_MoneyFormat
Created propertyset and version: ESF
Created propertyset and version: MyCompany
Created propertyset and version: MyCompany
Added template package and version: ESF/Package/Template
Added template package and version: Package/Template
Added ESF template transaction template: ESF/TransactionTemplate/Template
Added company template transaction template: TransactionTemplate/Template
Created programming user: Open eSignForms Programming <>

Enter setup command (initdb,addsuperuser,initsetup,setpassword,quit,convertX.X) [quit] : quit

NOTE: Be sure to update the MyCompany property set to have more appropriate values. These are configured in libraries ESF/Template/Library as well as the library setup for your branded transaction workflows.

Running the Application in Eclipse

Generally for testing in Eclipse, click Debug As->Debug On Server->Apache->Tomcat v8.5 Server. The first time you just need to point it to where you installed Tomcat above.

Windows file and folder permissions concerns

Open eSignForms creates a folder called LIBRARYGENERATED-KEEP in the webapp's deployment folder that is used to store generated CSS and JSP files. On Linux, this seems to work naturally with respect to ownership and file/subdirectory permissions as set from the Java code, but we've seen issues in Windows where Tomcat/Eclipse is not given permission to create files in this location.

You will see the errors in the esf.log during startup for your deployment when this is the case. Here's an example we get from time to time:

ERROR ( generateCode() could not create read/write/execute document version directory: C:\project\.metadata\.plugins\org.eclipse.wst.server.core\tmp0\wtpwe

Unfortunately, while we manage to resolve this suitable for a developer's personal deployment, we never really know which of our various attempts at setting up Windows security is the correct way. Surely if you expect to run on Windows, this needs more attention. In general, we struggle with folder permissions and granting permission so that the application can create files/folders/subfolders in this directory as needed. If you have Windows expertise and know just want to do to make this happen, please let us know and we'll update this section.

In general, we find we need to give "Full control" permission to seemingly too many group/user names using the Security tab on the folder's properties. We seem to need to use the Advanced button, giving permissions to "This folder, subfolders and files" (sometimes with "Include inheritable permissions from this object's parent" and "Replace all child object permissions with inheritable permissions from this object" checked. It generally seems to take 2-3 restarts with permission settings for us to get it working. Ugh!


Under the System config->Deployment link in the application, you must configure the SMTP Return Path hostname, SMTP server and IMAP server to use. These are Internet standard services external to Open eSignForms, but must be available. Open eSignForms sends out notifications and invitation emails using a scheme that will associate bounces and replies to the original email sent.

Our basic configuration works like this:

  • Set the SMTP Return Path Hostname to the hostname where you are runnning your SMTP server. The Return-Path SMTP header, along with the Reply-To and Sender headers, are used by receiving systems to validate that an email is legitimate and not spam sent through an open relay. In general, this is the server name where Open eSignForms is installed. On our demo system, we use the value which results in emails sent with a return-path something like: Return-Path: <> The 'deploy2' value is technically the IMAP user name (normalized to lowercase and replacing any non-alphanumeric, other than period, underscore or hyphen, by '_'), but we mirror it to also be the deployment id so that a single server can run multiple deployments of our application for multiple customers. The 'pxriwpqowoislybxlucq' is a random, unique value that allows us to associate bounces and replies to the original email sent.
  • Set the SMTP server to the server that sends out emails for your deployment. Typically this is the same as the SMTP eturn Path Hostname. You can also set the SMTP Port, SMTP Auth User, SMTP Auth Password and whether SSL should be used. For typical deployments, port 25 is fine, but for some home developer systems, you may find 587 works for you to bypass ISP firewalls. For a typical deployment where relaying is allowed only from the localhost, you may not need to set the Auth User, Password or SSL options.
  • Set the IMAP Server to the server that will handle inbound emails, such as bounces and replies. This most certainly is the same value as the SMTP ReturnPath Hostname. The IMAP Port of 143 is standard. You will want to set the IMAP User and Password to be used to retrieve emails. We typically create a user account for each deployment, so in the example above, we'd have a user account 'deploy2' created. Note that this user account is only used for receiving email, and we do not allow it to be accessed from the Internet for login purposes. We recommend using SSH with a setting that restricts user login accounts, and if possible, do as we do and prohibit 'root' login and only allow logins via public key authorization so password guessing cannot be used to hack your system.
  • In our deployments, we use Postfix for SMTP, configured to allow only the localhost server to send out messages (external systems cannot relay through it). We then set the /etc/postfix/virtual_alias to use values like /^deploy2_.*$/ deploy2 This basically will match that return path value and assign it to the right user account that we'll access via IMAP for correlating bounces and replies. Typical settings changes we make to the /etc/postfix/ is (the domain is your server's name):
mydomain =
home_mailbox = Maildir/
inet_interfaces = all
mynetworks_style = host
virtual_alias_maps = regexp:/etc/postfix/virtual_alias
  • In our deployments, we use dovecot for our IMAP server. With CentOS 6, we seem to need to add the following to /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf file:
mail_location = maildir:~/Maildir

Other tools

We also are making use of FindBugs. They have an Eclipse update site that you can use to add it to your Eclipse. We also make use of OWASP LAPSE.

While not needed for this particular effort, we recommend PasswordSafe (sourceforge) or something similar so you can remember one great pass phrase and keep your various other passwords unique, so when your bank or the like is hacked, at least the password is not used in other sites that become vulnerable as a result.

We also like LibreOffice or OpenOffice to replace any need for Microsoft Office.

For Windows, we use WinSCP and Putty for SSH/SCP access to our Linux servers.

Linux setup

For Linux deployment servers, we use a layout like this in the home directory for the application. For scripts and such, you may want to run dos2unix on them.

  • ~/bashrc and profile are here; tweak as necessary for your setup.
  • ~/bin contains our shell scripts. Add wherever you install these to your .bash_profile PATH.
  • ~/deployments contains the template folder hierarchy and is used to store the PostgreSQL database per web app deployment (via PostgreSQL's tablespace directive). This folder is set as the ESF_DEPLOYMENT_BASE environment variable setup in the 'profile' file. Permissions on this folder and all subfolders is typically 075.
  • ~/java is where we install our Java 8 Runtime Environment, and we create a softlink of that to 'jdk1.8' which is referenced in the profile. This allows updates to Java by changing where the softlink points. (i.e. ln -s jdk1.8.0_92 jdk1.8)
  • ~/postgresql contains the location where PostgreSQL is installed. It has folders like bin, data96 (where the main db is stored, but each web app's tablespace puts those databases in the deployments folder), ddl, logs, pg96 (where PostgreSQL installs to) and postgresql-9.6.3 (were we unzipped PostgreSQL and compiled it).
  • ~/tomcat where we unzipped Tomcat into a folder like apache-tomcat-8.5.33, and then we create a softlink from that version to tomcat8.5 which is referenced in the profile script. (i.e. ln -s apache-tomcat-8.5.33 tomcat8.5). The 'profile' script also sets Tomcat's CATALINA_OPTS variable used when starting Java for Tomcat.
  • ~/wkhtmltox-0.12.4 which contains the code to [wkhtmltopdf generate PDFs from HTML]. We then create a softlink of the executable to our bin with something like ln -s ../wkhtmltox-0.12.4/bin/wkhtmltopdf wkhtmltopdf (command run from the bin directory).
  • After you update your profile and the rest, be sure to include . profile in your .bash_profile and . bashrc in your .bash_rc file (or put both dot commands in your .bash_profile like we generally do), and if not already done, ensure that your '~/bin' is in your PATH, so .bash_profile looks something like:
    export PATH
    . ~/profile
    . ~/bashrc

Mapping code from the Eclipse project to Linux paths

  • From ECLIPSEPROJECTNAME/database/postgresql, we put 'ddl' in ~postgresql and run dos2unix on them.
  • From ECLIPSEPROJECTNAME/database, we put 'deployments' in ~.
  • From ECLIPSEPROJECTNAME/scripts, we put all files in ~/bin and run dos2unix on them. You can put them in a 'scripts' folder, too, but just remember to add that directory to your PATH. You can delete the *.cygwin files. You may want to do a chmod +x ~/bin/* if the scripts don't seem to have execute permission.
  • From ECLIPSEPROJECTNAME/WebContent, we put all files in ~/tomcat/tomcat8.5/webapps/WEBAPPNAME where WEBAPPNAME is what you are calling your deployment.

General Linux X64 server setup information

As root do the following on your new Linux instance:

  • useradd esignforms (assuming you install the code under this username)
  • passwd root (be sure to set good passwords)
  • passwd esignforms (be sure to set good passwords)
  • yum update (to ensure you are up-to-date with everything)
  • yum install iptables ntp logwatch dos2unix gpg bind-utils jwhois telnet traceroute make gcc libgcc gcc-c++ glibc-devel readline readline-devel ncurses ncurses-devel zlib zlib-devel zip unzip bzip2 pam pam-devel postfix screen lynx dovecot rsync
  • See the wkhtmltopdf wiki for other components you need, including using the 32-bit versions of some libraries.
  • Put ALL: ALL in /etc/hosts.deny
  • Put sshd: ALL in /etc/hosts.allow
  • Ensure you /etc/hosts file is correct with your hostname and IP address.
  • hostname
  • Set up for you timezone, i.e. rm -f /etc/localtime and then ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/America/Los_Angeles /etc/localtime
  • Set ZONE="America/Los_Angeles" and UTC=true in /etc/sysconfig/clock
  • Set in /etc/sysconfig/network
  • Ensure your /etc/resolv.conf is set up for the name servers you can use to resolve external host names.
  • Create Yozons-specific /usr/local/bin/sp script wrapper for ps (chmod 755).
  • Create Yozons-specific /etc/esfprofile script for offsite backups. chmod 640 and chown root.esignforms
  • Change /etc/ssh/sshd_config to use:
    • PermitRootLogin no
    • PasswordAuthentication no
    • AllowUsers esignforms

As esignforms do:

  • mkdir .ssh
  • chmod 700 .ssh
  • cd .ssh
  • Install your authorized_keys file so you can SSH in
  • chmod 600 authorized_keys
  • For compiling PostgreSQL, we use this configure commands:
    cd ~/postgresql/postgresql-9.6.3
    ./configure --prefix=/home/esignforms/postgresql/pg96 --with-pam
    gmake install
    cd contrib/vacuumlo
    cp -p vacuumlo ../../../bin/
    cd ../pg_standby
    cp -p pg_standby ../../../bin/
    cd ~/postgresql
    initdb -D $PGDATA
    yostart db
    psql template1
    yostop db    
  • Allow for local access to all databases (for multiple deployments) by updating data96/pg_hba.conf:
    local all all md5
    host all all md5
  • A few tweaks to data96/postgresql.conf for basic operation:
    logging_collector = on
    log_directory = '../logs'
    log_line_prefix = '%m %d [%p] '
    log_connections = on
    log_disconnections = on
Restart PG: `yostart db`

As root again do:

  • service sshd restart
  • service ntpd start
  • chkconfig ntpd on
  • Setup /etc/sysconfig/iptables something like:
# We do simple NAT here to map HTTP/HTTPS to the safer unprivileged ports Tomcat listens on.
-A PREROUTING -p tcp -m tcp --dport 443 -j REDIRECT --to-ports 8443
-A PREROUTING -p tcp -m tcp --dport 80 -j REDIRECT --to-ports 8080
# causes outbound connections on my public IP to also redirect like above
-A OUTPUT -p tcp -m tcp -d --dport 443 -j REDIRECT --to-ports 8443
-A OUTPUT -p tcp -m tcp -d --dport 80 -j REDIRECT --to-ports 8080
:RH-Firewall-1-INPUT - [0:0]
-A INPUT -j RH-Firewall-1-INPUT
-A FORWARD -j RH-Firewall-1-INPUT
-A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -i lo -j ACCEPT
-A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -p icmp --icmp-type any -j ACCEPT
-A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -m state --state ESTABLISHED,RELATED -j ACCEPT
-A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 22 -j ACCEPT
-A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 25 -j ACCEPT
-A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 80 -j ACCEPT
-A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp -s localhost.localdomain -d localhost.localdomain --dport 143 -j ACCEPT
-A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 443 -j ACCEPT
# 9090 is the tomcat debug port
# -A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 9090 -j ACCEPT
-A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 8080 -j ACCEPT
-A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 8443 -j ACCEPT
-A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -j REJECT --reject-with icmp-host-prohibited
  • Make changes to /etc/postfix/ as above.
  • Set up /etc/postfix/virtual_alias something like with the first being how to map individual deployments (named 'demo' in this example) as well as creating forwarding rules for the esignforms, postmaster and root users:
/^demo_.*$/ demo
  • Add MailTo = to /etc/logwatch/conf/logwatch.conf
  • service postfix start
  • chkconfig postfix on
  • service dovecot start
  • chkconfig dovecot on
  • Here is a sample init script for auto-starting/stopping the application on boot and shutdown (so you can use service esignforms start and service esignforms stop for example). The latest Red Hat and CentOS has programs named start and stop so our start/stop scripts are often renamed to yostart and yostop along with similar changes in their contents in the bin subdirectory:
# Copyright (c) 2012 Yozons Inc.  All rights reserved worldwide.
# Start in runlevels 3, 4, 5, with start at the end and stop at the beginning
# chkconfig: 345 99 3
# description: Init file for Yozons Open eSignForms web applications

# source in the function library
. /etc/rc.d/init.d/functions

        echo -n "Starting Open eSignForms:"
        su - esignforms -c "bin/yostart all" && success || failure
        [ "$RETVAL" = 0 ] && touch $LOCK

        echo -n "Stopping Open eSignForms:"
        su - esignforms -c "bin/yostop all"
        [ "$RETVAL" = 0 ] && rm -f $LOCK

case "$1" in
                sleep 5
                        echo Status of ntpd:
                /usr/local/bin/sp ntpd
                        echo Status of sshd:
                /usr/local/bin/sp sshd
                        echo Status of postfix SMTP:
                /usr/local/bin/sp postfix
                        echo Status of dovecot IMAP:
                /usr/local/bin/sp dovecot
                su - esignforms -c "bin/checkall"
                echo Adding esignforms to runlevel system for auto start and stop
                cp $0 $INITFILE
                chmod 755 $INITFILE
                /sbin/chkconfig --add esignforms
                echo Removing esignforms from runlevel system for auto start and stop
                /sbin/chkconfig --del esignforms
                rm -f $INITFILE
                echo $"Usage: $0 {start|stop|restart|status|install|uninstall}"
exit $RETVAL

IPv6 use

We have no IPv6 expertise yet, but you may consider the following changes if you do not want IPv6 connections on your server if IPv6 is otherwise configured. The application has no specific knowledge of IPv6, but our testing on Mac OSX suggests it works fine.

  • Add to /etc/sysctl.conf:
net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6 = 1
net.ipv6.conf.default.disable_ipv6 = 1
  • For a running system:
sysctl -w net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6=1
sysctl -w net.ipv6.conf.default.disable_ipv6=1
  • Change /etc/sysconfig/network: NETWORKING_IPV6=no
  • You may want to turn it off for Postfix, too, in /etc/postfix/ inet_protocols=ipv4

Other considerations

If your installation reports errors like the following:

su: PAM adding faulty module: /lib64/security/
su: PAM unable to dlopen(/lib64/security/ /lib64/security/ cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

You may want to run the command to suppress them: authconfig --disablefingerprint --update

CentOS 7 Differences

These are just some tech notes for using CentOS 7 over CentOS 6. We have much less experience on CentOS 7, but we know it works fine.

To permanently set the hostname, use /etc/hostname instead of /etc/sysconfig/network.

Most 'service' commands, like 'service iptables restart', now use systemctl:

systemctl start ntpd
systemctl stop ntpd
systemctl status ntpd
systemctl restart ntpd

To make a system service permanent, instead of chkconfig, use:

systemctl enable ntpd
systemctl disable ntpd
systemctl is-enabled ntpd  (check if so)

To list all services, use: systemctl list-unit-files

There's a conflict between iptables and firewalld. To use iptables and not firewalld, use:

systemctl stop firewalld
systemctl mask firewalld

There's a similar conflict between ntpd and chronyd. To use ntpd and not chronyd, use:

systemctl stop chronyd
systemctl mask chronyd

Fonts configs moved locations from /etc/fonts/conf.avail to /usr/share/fontconfig/conf.avail

and to install them create the softlink (ln -s) from the above conf.avail in /etc/fonts/conf.d

Timezone setting:

timedatectl set-timezone America/Chicago
hwclock --systohc

No longer ifup/ifdown for network interface:

nmcli c up ifname $interface

List all network interfaces:

ip addr

List all IPv4:

ip -f inet addr

List all IPv6

ip -f inet6 addr

Upgrading to new releases

In general, all new release need the following pattern of updates from the release code to the corresponding deployment location.

  • From your deployment area, remove/clear all files in the VAADIN folder so you get the latest themes and GWT code. Also, you may want to do the same for all prior JAR files in WEB-INF/lib. And if you have any patched code in WEB-INF/classes (besides the standard .properties files), you should remove any .class files you have there.
  • All files from the WebContent folder in the code to the webapp folder where you have deployed the application. The only exceptions in general is WebContent/WEB-INF/web.xml, though you may need to refer to it when it changes so you can sync yours to it.
  • Normally, the web.xml file does not change, but some major changes like the upgrade from Vaadin 6 to Vaadin 7 required a new web.xml file. In this case, it's a good idea to compare the two files and be sure to synchronized them. Typically, any given deployment can use the web.xml as is, but you may have tweaked the following elements <display-name>; <description>; in production you may have set <context-param> productionMode to true; <session-timeout>; and perhaps the <security-constraint> if on a non-SSL protected test server.
  • Copy all files from VAADIN-release-extras/VAADIN to VAADIN. This is particularly important for production systems that will not compile the SCSS theme files on the fly.
  • Copy all files from VAADIN-release-extras/WEB-INF to WEB-INF. This includes a few WEB-INF/lib JARs that need to be in a running system, but Vaadin doesn't want in the normal WebContent/WEB-INF/lib folder as of Vaadin 7 and it's use of Ivy for dependency management.
  • Assuming you removed the WEB-INF/lib/openesignforms-*.jar for the prior version, be sure to copy over the version from the lib folder of the project area.
  • As always, you may need to run SQL updates and 'rundbsetup' as described in the wiki [DatabaseUpdatesForNewReleases DatabaseUpdatesForNewReleases]. You can review the scripts/createRelease and 'scripts/installRelease' for other details.
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