How to install the GlassFish Java Application Server on Ubuntu Server 22.04

Estimated read time 4 min read


Jack Wallen walks you through the process of deploying the open-source GlassFish Java Application server on the latest release of Ubuntu Server.

Colourful vector illustration of an open source
Image: Andrii/Adobe Stock

Glassfish is a free, open-source Java application server that simplifies the process of deploying your enterprise-grade Java apps to a scalable platform. Originally developed by Sun Microsystems, GlassFish is now maintained by Oracle and is released under both the Common Development and Distribution License as well as the GPL.

GlassFish includes features like:

  • Extensible core based on OSGi Alliance standards
  • Served in a web container
  • User-friendly web-based admin console
  • Update tool for Java apps and add-ons
  • Support for clustering and load balancing

The one thing I’ll warn you about is that GlassFish isn’t exactly the most responsive application you’ll ever use. That’s most likely to do with Java, so you’ll want to install the platform on a server with some pretty serious hardware. But once it’s installed on the right hardware, it’ll serve you well.

Let’s get GlassFish up and running.

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What you’ll need

To get GlassFish up and running, here’s what you’ll need:

  • A running instance of Ubuntu Server 22.04
  • A user with sudo privileges

That’s it, let’s make some Java magic.

How to install the dependencies

The first thing we’ll do is install a few basic dependencies. Log in to your Ubuntu Server instance and issue the command:

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common apt-transport-https wget ca-certificates gnupg2 ubuntu-keyring unzip -y

When that completes, install the Java OpenJDK and Java Runtime Environment with:

sudo apt-get install default-jdk default-jre -y

How to download and unpack GlassFish

Next, we need to download and unpack GlassFish. Before doing this, make sure to check with the official GlassFish Download page to locate the latest version of the software. Download version 6.2.5 with:


Once that downloads, unpack it with:


Move the newly-created folder into /opt with:

sudo mv glassfish6 /opt

How to create a systemd file for GlassFish

We now need to create a systemd file so we can control the GlassFish service. Create the file with the command:

sudo nano /usr/lib/systemd/system/glassfish.service

In that file, paste the following:

Description = GlassFish Server v6.1.0
After =

User = root
ExecStart = /usr/bin/java -jar /opt/glassfish6/glassfish/lib/client/appserver-cli.jar start-domain
ExecStop = /usr/bin/java -jar /opt/glassfish6/glassfish/lib/client/appserver-cli.jar stop-domain
ExecReload = /usr/bin/java -jar /opt/glassfish6/glassfish/lib/client/appserver-cli.jar restart-domain
Type = forking

WantedBy =

Reload the systemd daemon with:

sudo systemctl daemon-reload

Start and enable the GlassFish service with:

sudo systemctl enable --now glassfish

How to configure GlassFish

With GlassFish installed, we now must configure it with an admin password. The default password is blank, so you’ll want to create one with the command:

/opt/glassfish6/bin/asadmin --port 4848 change-admin-password

When prompted to type the admin password, just hit Enter and then type and verify the new password. Once that’s taken care of, enable secure login with:

/opt/glassfish6/bin/asadmin --port 4848 enable-secure-admin

How to configure the firewall

Since Ubuntu Server defaults to Uncomplicated Firewall, let’s open the required ports with:

sudo ufw allow 4848
sudo ufw allow 8080
sudo ufw allow OpenSSH
sudo ufw enable

How to access the GlassFish web UI

Everything is ready. Open a web browser and point it to http://SERVER:4848, where SERVER is either the IP address or domain of the hosting server. You’ll be prompted for the admin credentials you set earlier (Figure A).

Figure A

The GlassFish login screen.

Upon successful authentication, you’ll see the GlassFish main page (Figure B), where you can dive in and begin the process of deploying your first Java application.

Figure B

GlassFish is installed and ready to go.

Congratulations on taking this step toward centralized and simplified Java application deployment.

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