OS Service Deployment

CAS can be easily started as Unix/Linux services using either init.d or systemd. Windows support is also made available via an external daemon. Note that most if not all of the below strategies attempt to run CAS via an embedded servlet container whose configuration is explained here.

init.d Service

If CAS is built and run as a fully executable web application, then it can be used as an init.d service. Simply symlink the web application file to init.d to support the standard start, stop, restart and status commands.

The configuration built into CAS allows it to interact with the OS system configuration as such:

  • Start the service as the user that owns the jar file
  • Track CAS web applications’ PID using /var/run/cas/cas.pid
  • Write console logs to /var/log/cas.log

To install CAS as an init.d service simply create a symlink:

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sudo ln -s /path/to/cas.war /etc/init.d/cas
service cas start

You can also flag the application to start automatically using your standard operating system tools. For example, on Debian:

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update-rc.d myapp defaults <priority>

Security

When executed as root, as is the case when root is being used to start an init.d service, the CAS default executable script will run the web application as the user which owns the web application file. You should never run CAS as root so the web application file should never be owned by root. Instead, create a specific user to run CAS and use chown to make it the owner of the file. For example:

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chown bootapp:bootapp /path/to/cas.war

You may also take steps to prevent the modification of the CAS web application file. Firstly, configure its permissions so that it cannot be written and can only be read or executed by its owner:

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chmod 500 /path/to/cas.war

Additionally, you should also take steps to limit the damage if the CAS web application or the account that’s running it is compromised. If an attacker does gain access, they could make the web application file writable and change its contents. One way to protect against this is to make it immutable using chattr:

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sudo chattr +i /path/to/cas.war

This will prevent any user, including root, from modifying the file.

systemd Service

To install CAS as a systemd service create a script named cas.service using the following example and place it in /etc/systemd/system directory:

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[Unit]
Description=CAS
After=syslog.target

[Service]
User=bootapp
ExecStart=/path/to/cas.war
SuccessExitStatus=143

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target
Not So Fast

Remember to change the Description, User and ExecStart fields for your deployment.

The user that runs the CAS web application, PID file and console log file are managed by systemd itself and therefore must be configured using appropriate fields in service script. Consult the service unit configuration man page for more details.

To flag the application to start automatically on system boot use the following command:

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systemctl enable cas.service

Refer to man systemctl for more details.

Upstart

Upstart is an event-based service manager, a potential replacement for the System V init that offers more control on the behavior of the different daemons. When using Ubuntu you probably have it installed and configured already (check if there are any jobs with a name starting with cas in /etc/init).

We create a job cas.conf to start the CAS web application:

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# Place in /home/{user}/.config/cas
description "CAS web application"
# attempt service restart if stops abruptly
respawn
exec java -jar /path/to/cas.war

Now run start cas and your service will start. Upstart offers many job configuration options and you can find most of them here.

Windows Service

Windows Service Wrapper

CAS may be started as Windows service using winsw.

Winsw provides programmatic means to install/uninstall/start/stop a service. In addition, it may be used to run any kind of executable as a service under Windows.

Once you have downloaded the Winsw binaries, the cas.xml configuration file that defines our Windows service should look like this:

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<service>
    <id>cas</id>
    <name>CAS</name>
    <description>CAS web application.</description>
    <executable>java</executable>
    <arguments>-Xmx2048m -jar "path\to\cas.war"</arguments>
    <logmode>rotate</logmode>
</service>

Finally, you have to rename the winsw.exe to cas.exe so that its name matches with the cas.xml configuration file. Thereafter you can install the service like so:

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cas.exe install

Similarly, you may use uninstall, start, stop, etc.

Refer to this example to learn more.

Others

CAS web applications may also be started as Windows service using Procrun of the Apache Commons Daemon project. Procrun is a set of applications that allow Windows users to wrap Java applications as Windows services. Such a service may be set to start automatically when the machine boots and will continue to run without any user being logged on.