Install WebSphere on RHEL9 or CentOS9

Install WebSphere on RHEL9

In this article, we will review how to install WebSphere on RHEL9. It will include step-by-step instructions, prerequisites to ensure a smooth installation process, and insights into configuring WebSphere for optimal performance on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9.

Table of Contents


WebSphere, developed by IBM, is a robust and widely used application server that provides a stable platform for deploying and managing Java-based applications. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of installing and configuring WebSphere on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 (RHEL 9) or CentOS 9. By following these instructions, you’ll have a fully operational WebSphere environment ready to host your Java applications.


Before you begin the installation process, ensure that you have the following prerequisites in place:

  • IBMid: We will assume that you already have an IBMid account. If not, you will need to create on before proceeding with this tutorial.

  • Operating System: RHEL 9 or CentOS 9 installed on your server.

  • Java Development Kit (JDK): WebSphere requires a Java runtime environment. Install the JDK by running the following command:

					$ sudo dnf install java-11-openjdk-devel

The install will take a few minutes as there are over 170+ packages required to install Java-11-openjdk devel on a basic server instance.

					[admin@ws-1 ~]$ sudo dnf install java-11-openjdk-devel
CentOS Stream 9 - BaseOS                                                                                                            1.9 MB/s | 8.0 MB     00:04    
CentOS Stream 9 - AppStream                                                                                                          12 MB/s |  19 MB     00:01    
CentOS Stream 9 - Extras packages                                                                                                    20 kB/s |  15 kB     00:00    
Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux 9 - x86_64                                                                                      5.0 MB/s |  20 MB     00:04    
Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux 9 openh264 (From Cisco) - x86_64                                                                1.9 kB/s | 2.5 kB     00:01    
Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux 9 - Next - x86_64                                                                               740 kB/s | 1.4 MB     00:01    
Dependencies resolved.
 Package                                                 Architecture           Version                                             Repository                 Size
 java-11-openjdk-devel                                   x86_64                 1:                                appstream                 3.3 M
Installing dependencies:
 ModemManager-glib                                       x86_64                 1.20.2-1.el9                                        baseos                    335 k
 adobe-source-code-pro-fonts                             noarch                                       baseos                    832 k
 adwaita-cursor-theme                                    noarch                 40.1.1-3.el9                                        appstream                 650 k
 adwaita-icon-theme                                      noarch                 40.1.1-3.el9                                        appstream                  12 M
 alsa-lib                                                x86_64                 1.2.10-2.el9                                        appstream                 523 k
 at-spi2-atk                                             x86_64                 2.38.0-4.el9                                        appstream                  87 k
 at-spi2-core                                            x86_64                 2.40.3-1.el9                                        appstream                 195 k
 atk                                                     x86_64                 2.36.0-5.el9                                        appstream                 292 k
 avahi-glib                                              x86_64                 0.8-20.el9                                          appstream                  15 k
 bluez-libs                                              x86_64                 5.56-6.el9                                          baseos                     85 k
 bubblewrap                                              x86_64                 0.4.1-6.el9                                         baseos                     50 k
 cairo                                                   x86_64                 1.17.4-7.el9                                        appstream                 660 k
 cairo-gobject                                           x86_64                 1.17.4-7.el9                                        appstream                  19 k
 checkpolicy                                             x86_64                 3.6-1.el9                                           appstream                 353 k
 colord-libs                                             x86_64                 1.4.5-4.el9                                         appstream                 229 k
 copy-jdk-configs                                        noarch                 4.0-3.el9                                           appstream                  28 k
 cups-libs                                               x86_64                 1:2.3.3op2-22.el9                                   baseos                    263 k
 exempi                                                  x86_64                 2.6.0-0.2.20211007gite23c213.el9                    appstream                 525 k
 exiv2-libs                                              x86_64                 0.27.5-2.el9                                        appstream                 781 k
 fdk-aac-free                                            x86_64                 2.0.0-8.el9                                         appstream                 325 k
 flac-libs                                               x86_64                 1.3.3-12.el9                                        appstream                 218 k
 flatpak-selinux                                         noarch                 1.12.8-1.el9                                        appstream                  21 k
 flatpak-session-helper                                  x86_64                 1.12.8-1.el9                                        appstream                  74 k
xdg-desktop-portal                                      x86_64                 1.12.6-1.el9                                        appstream                 385 k
 xkeyboard-config                                        noarch                 2.33-2.el9                                          appstream                 859 k
 xml-common                                              noarch                 0.6.3-58.el9                                        appstream                  32 k
 xorg-x11-fonts-Type1                                    noarch                 7.5-33.el9                                          appstream                 505 k
Installing weak dependencies:
 abattis-cantarell-fonts                                 noarch                 0.301-4.el9                                         appstream                 365 k
 dconf                                                   x86_64                 0.40.0-6.el9                                        appstream                 113 k
 exiv2                                                   x86_64                 0.27.5-2.el9                                        appstream                 980 k
 flatpak                                                 x86_64                 1.12.8-1.el9                                        appstream                 1.7 M
 gtk3                                                    x86_64                 3.24.31-2.el9                                       appstream                 4.9 M
 libcanberra-gtk3                                        x86_64                 0.30-27.el9                                         appstream                  32 k
 libproxy-webkitgtk4                                     x86_64                 0.4.15-35.el9                                       appstream                  22 k
 p11-kit-server                                          x86_64                 0.25.3-2.el9                                        appstream                 246 k
 pipewire                                                x86_64                 1.0.0-2.el9                                         appstream                 106 k
 pipewire-alsa                                           x86_64                 1.0.0-2.el9                                         appstream                  57 k
 pipewire-jack-audio-connection-kit                      x86_64                 1.0.0-2.el9                                         appstream                 9.0 k
 pipewire-pulseaudio                                     x86_64                 1.0.0-2.el9                                         appstream                 192 k
 tracker-miners                                          x86_64                 3.1.2-4.el9                                         appstream                 944 k
 xdg-desktop-portal-gtk                                  x86_64                 1.12.0-3.el9                                        appstream                 134 k

Transaction Summary
Install  176 Packages

Total download size: 124 M
Installed size: 456 M
Is this ok [y/N]: 


Also, ensure that the xorg-x11 package is installed on your machine. This will come in handy when running the installer.

					$ sudo dnf install xorg-x11*

With the xorg-x11 packages installed, X11 forwarding will be enabled on your machine.

					[admin@ws-1 ~]$ sudo dnf install xorg-x11*
Last metadata expiration check: 0:00:20 ago on Sat 27 Jan 2024 12:01:45 AM UTC.
Package xorg-x11-xauth-1:1.1-10.el9.x86_64 is already installed.
Dependencies resolved.
 Package                                                  Architecture                  Version                                  Repository                        Size
 xorg-x11-drivers                                         x86_64                        2021-4.el9                               appstream                        4.5 k
 xorg-x11-drv-dummy                                       x86_64                        0.3.7-17.el9                             appstream                         18 k
 xorg-x11-drv-evdev                                       x86_64                        2.10.6-12.el9                            appstream                         42 k
 xorg-x11-drv-fbdev                                       x86_64                        0.5.0-11.el9                             appstream                         20 k
 xorg-x11-drv-libinput                                    x86_64                        1.0.1-3.el9                              appstream                         46 k
 xorg-x11-drv-v4l                                         x86_64                        0.3.0-10.el9                             appstream                         20 k
 xorg-x11-drv-vmware                                      x86_64                        13.2.1-18.el9                            appstream                         65 k
 xorg-x11-drv-wacom                                       x86_64                        1.0.0-1.el9                              appstream                        310 k
 xorg-x11-drv-wacom-serial-support                        x86_64                        1.0.0-1.el9                              appstream                         24 k
 xorg-x11-fonts-100dpi                                    noarch                        7.5-33.el9                               appstream                        3.2 M
 xorg-x11-fonts-75dpi                                     noarch                        7.5-33.el9                               appstream                        2.8 M
mkfontscale                                              x86_64                        1.2.1-3.el9                              appstream                         32 k
 mtdev                                                    x86_64                        1.1.5-22.el9                             appstream                         22 k
 pixman                                                   x86_64                        0.40.0-6.el9                             appstream                        269 k
 ttmkfdir                                                 x86_64                        3.0.9-65.el9                             appstream                         53 k
 xcb-util                                                 x86_64                        0.4.0-19.el9                             appstream                         19 k
 xcb-util-image                                           x86_64                        0.4.0-19.el9                             appstream                         20 k
 xcb-util-keysyms                                         x86_64                        0.4.0-17.el9                             appstream                         15 k
 xcb-util-renderutil                                      x86_64                        0.3.9-20.el9                             appstream                         18 k
 xcb-util-wm                                              x86_64                        0.4.1-22.el9                             appstream                         32 k
 xkbcomp                                                  x86_64                        1.4.4-4.el9                              appstream                        100 k
 xkeyboard-config                                         noarch                        2.33-2.el9                               appstream                        859 k
 xml-common                                               noarch                        0.6.3-58.el9                             appstream                         32 k
Installing weak dependencies:
 mesa-dri-drivers                                         x86_64                        23.3.0-1.el9                             appstream                         11 M

Transaction Summary
Install  99 Packages

Total download size: 49 M
Installed size: 113 M
Is this ok [y/N]: y

  • System Requirements: Check and ensure that your server meets the hardware and software requirements specified by IBM for WebSphere.
    • Ensure your machine has 4GB of RAM and 2 cores
    • 20GB of storage allocated to /opt or install path.
  • IBM Installation Manager: Download and install the IBM Installation Manager, which is used to install WebSphere. You can get it from the official IBM website.

Installing WebSphere on RHEL9: X11 Forwarding

Forward X11 to your server as the root user by running the following command:

					$ ssh -XY root@ws-1
Last login: Sat Jan 27 00:14:17 2024 from
/usr/bin/xauth:  file /home/admin/.Xauthority does not exist

[root@ws-1 ~]# echo $DISPLAY


Note: We created a machine named ws-1 for this demonstration. The output of the echo $DISPLAY command indicates X11 was forwarded successfully.

Installing WebSphere on RHEL9: Unpack and Install the Installation Manager

For demonstration purposes, we will unpack and install the (your version will be different) file under the /opt directory on our machine.

					[root@ws-1 opt]# sudo unzip 
  inflating: META-INF/MANIFEST.MF    
  inflating: META-INF/PRD00008.SF    
  inflating: META-INF/PRD00008.RSA   
   creating: Offerings/
   creating: configuration/
   creating: configuration/org.eclipse.update/
  inflating: silent-install.ini      
  inflating: tools/imcl              
  inflating: tools/imcl.ini          
  inflating: tools/imutilsc          
  inflating: tools/imutilsc.ini      
  inflating: user-silent-install.ini  
  inflating: userinst                
  inflating: userinst.ini            
  inflating: userinstc               
  inflating: userinstc.ini       
[root@ws-1 opt]# ll
total 218468
-rw-r--r--.  1 admin admin 223019942 Jan 27 00:14
-rwxr-xr-x.  1 root  root       4642 Sep 25 13:38
drwxr-xr-x.  3 root  root         50 Sep 25 13:38 configuration
drwxr-xr-x. 13 root  root        122 Sep 25 13:38 documentation
-rwxr-xr-x.  1 root  root      80385 Nov 23  2016 groupinst
-rwxr-xr-x.  1 root  root      80385 Nov 23  2016 groupinstc
-rwxr-xr-x.  1 root  root        278 Sep 25 13:38 groupinstc.ini
-rwxr-xr-x.  1 root  root        233 Sep 25 13:38 groupinst.ini
-rwxr-xr-x.  1 root  root      80385 Nov 23  2016 install
-rwxr-xr-x.  1 root  root      80385 Nov 23  2016 installc
-rwxr-xr-x.  1 root  root        276 Sep 25 13:38 installc.ini


Now run the following command to launch the Installation Wizard:

					[root@ws-1 opt]# ./install
Install WebSphere on RHEL9

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IBM Installation Manager: Installation Wizard

Follow the steps (below) to install the IBM Installation manager. We need this tool to install the WebSphere Application Server.

Install WebSphere on RHEL9

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Click the Next button to continue.

Install WebSphere on RHEL9

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Accept the license agreements and click the Next button to continue.

Install WebSphere on RHEL9

Photo by admingeek from Infotechys

Enter an installation path for the Intstallation Manager or click the Next button to accept the default location under /opt/IBM/InstallationManager/eclipse and continue.

Install WebSphere on RHEL9

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The installation process will begin and complete in a minute or less.

Install WebSphere on RHEL9

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Upon completion, click the Restart Installation Manager button to relaunch the Installation Manager and begin the WebSphere Application Server install.

IBM Installation Manager: WebSphere Application Server Install

Follow the steps below to proceed with the WebSphere install.

Install WebSphere on RHEL9

Photo by admingeek from Infotechys

Click Install to proceed.

Install WebSphere on RHEL9

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Click the Next button to continue to the prompt where you will enter the link to the WebSphere Application Server repository.

Repository Connections

Enter the following URL in the textbox (shown in the image below):

Install WebSphere on RHEL9

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You will be prompted for your IBMid credentials in order to access the respository.

Install WebSphere on RHEL9

Photo by admingeek from Infotechys

At the Install Packages window, you will be presented with  various software packages to choose from. Here are a few of the selections available:

  • Application Client for IBM WebSphere Application Server
  • DMZ Secure Proxy Server for IBM WebSphere Application Server
  • IBM HTTP Server for IBM WebSphere Application Server
  • IBM WebSphere Application Server for Liberty Network Deployment

For the demonstration purposes, we chose the DMZ Secure Proxy Server option for install. Your selection will be determined by what suits your environment.

Install WebSphere on RHEL9

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Common Configurations

NOTE: Depending on your software selection, you may also be prompted to provide your hostname and port number. We chose to go with the defaults.

Install WebSphere on RHEL9

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Firewall Settings

Check the network configuration of your server. Ensure that necessary ports are open for WebSphere communication. WebSphere typically uses ports like 9060 for HTTP, 9043 for HTTPS, and additional ports for various services.

Run the following command(s) on your machine to ensure ports 2809 and 9060 (console) are open:

					[root@ws-1 opt ]# firewall-cmd --permanent --add-port=2809/tcp --add-port=9060/tcp 
[root@ws-1 opt]# firewall-cmd --reload


Repeat the commands (above) for any subsequent ports as needed.

					[root@ws-1 opt]# firewall-cmd --list-all
public (active)
  target: default
  icmp-block-inversion: no
  interfaces: eth0 eth1
  services: cockpit dhcpv6-client ssh
  ports: 2809/tcp 9060/tcp
  forward: yes
  masquerade: no
  rich rules: 


Run the firewall-cmd --list-all command to verify settings.

Finalize WebSphere Installation

The remainder of this process is straightforward and self-explanatory. Accept license agreements and ensure you have sufficient disk space and system resources (e.g RAM, cores) for the software package you want to install.

Install WebSphere on RHEL9

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Upon completion, the WebSphere Application server is ready for the final step which involves setting up profiles and customizing according to your specific requirements. The following section provides some basic examples that you can modify as needed to suit your needs.

Install WebSphere on RHEL9

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Deploying WebSphere: Command Line Procedures

Here’s an example you might use to start the WebSphere Installation with a profile template:

Launch WebSphere
					/opt/IBM/WebSphere/AppServer/bin/ -create -templatePath /opt/IBM/WebSphere/AppServer/profileTemplates/default -profileName AppSrv01

Here’s what a sample.xml file residing under /opt/IBM/WebSphere/AppServer/profileTemplates/default looks like (below)

  <!-- Define the server name -->

  <!-- Define the node name -->

  <!-- Define the host name -->

  <!-- Define the port number -->

  <!-- Define the admin console port number -->

  <!-- Define the JVM settings -->
  <jvmEntries xmi:id="JavaVirtualMachine_1" verboseModeClass="false" verboseModeGarbageCollection="false">

  <!-- Define data source configurations -->
  <dataSource xmi:id="DataSource_1" jdbcDriverRef="Derby Embedded JDBC Driver" jndiName="jdbc/MyDataSource">

  <!-- Define additional configurations -->
  <!-- Add more configurations as needed -->



This XML snippet represents a simplified server profile configuration. Here’s a breakdown of the key elements:

  • serverName: Specifies the name of the server.
  • nodeName: Specifies the name of the node where the server resides.
  • hostName: Specifies the host name or IP address of the server.
  • serverPort: Specifies the port number on which the server listens for incoming requests.
  • adminPort: Specifies the port number for accessing the administrative console.
  • jvmEntries: Defines Java Virtual Machine (JVM) settings such as initial and maximum heap sizes.
  • dataSource: Defines a data source configuration, including JDBC driver reference and JNDI name.
  • Additional configurations: You can add more elements to define other aspects of the server configuration, such as security settings, application mappings, and resource environment entries.

This profile template serves as a basis for creating server profiles in WebSphere. You can customize it further according to your specific application requirements and deployment environment.

Start WebSphere Server
					/opt/IBM/WebSphere/AppServer/bin/ server1

Replace server1 with the actual name of your server instance.

Stop WebSphere Server
					/opt/IBM/WebSphere/AppServer/bin/ server1

This command gracefully shuts down the WebSphere Application Server.

Access WebSphere Console

Open a web browser and navigate to http://localhost:9060/ibm/console. Log in with the credentials you specified during installation.

  • WebSphere Console Navigation:

    • Explore the WebSphere Console to manage and configure server settings.
    • Navigate through the tabs to configure data sources, manage applications, and monitor server performance.

Deploying Applications

  • Deploy Applications via WebSphere Console:

    • Log in to the WebSphere Console.
    • Navigate to “Applications” > “New Application” to deploy a new application.
    • Follow the wizard to specify the application file, target server, and deployment options.
  • Deploy Applications via Command Line
					/opt/IBM/WebSphere/AppServer/bin/ -lang jython -c "AdminApp.install('/path/to/your/application.ear', '[ -appname YourAppName -MapWebModToVH [[.* .* default_host]]]')"

Adjust the path to your application and set the desired application name.

Monitoring and Logs

  1. Accessing Logs:

    • WebSphere logs are usually located in the /opt/IBM/WebSphere/AppServer/profiles/<YourProfile>/logs directory.
    • Review logs such as SystemOut.log and SystemErr.log for application and server-related information.
  2. Monitor Server Performance:

    • Utilize the WebSphere Console to monitor server performance metrics and identify potential issues.


By following these examples, you can start, access, deploy applications, and manage WebSphere on RHEL 9 effectively. Remember that these are basic commands, and you may need to adapt them based on your specific WebSphere configuration and application requirements. Always refer to the official WebSphere documentation for more in-depth information and advanced configurations.

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