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Learn how to effortlessly install GeoServer on RHEL 8 with our comprehensive guide. Set up your geospatial data server efficiently on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 for seamless geographic data management and analysis. #centlinux #linux #geoserver

What is GeoServer?

GeoServer is an open-source server software that allows users to share and edit geospatial data. It facilitates the creation of web map services (WMS), web feature services (WFS), and web coverage services (WCS) based on industry-standard protocols. GeoServer enables users to publish spatial data in various formats, including vector and raster data, making it accessible and interoperable across different platforms and applications. Key features of GeoServer include:

  1. Data Sharing: GeoServer enables users to share geospatial data over the web, making it accessible to a wide audience of users and applications.
  2. Interoperability: GeoServer supports various open geospatial standards such as OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium) standards like WMS, WFS, WCS, and more, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of GIS software and clients.
  3. Data Visualization: GeoServer provides capabilities for visualizing geospatial data through web map services, allowing users to create dynamic and interactive maps for data exploration and analysis.
  4. Data Editing: GeoServer allows users to edit geospatial data through web feature services, enabling collaborative data editing and management over the web.
  5. Scalability: GeoServer is scalable and can handle large volumes of geospatial data, making it suitable for enterprise-level applications and deployments.
  6. Security: GeoServer offers security features such as authentication and access control to protect sensitive geospatial data from unauthorized access.
  7. Extensibility: GeoServer is highly extensible, with a plugin architecture that allows users to customize and extend its functionality to suit their specific requirements.

Overall, GeoServer is a powerful and versatile tool for publishing and sharing geospatial data over the web, making it an essential component of many GIS (Geographic Information System) workflows and applications.

Recommended Book: GeoServer Beginner’s Guide – Second Edition: Share geospatial data using Open Source standards 2nd Revised edition (PAID LINK) by Stefano Iacovella.
Recommended Online Training: GeoServer Level 1: Web GIS & Server Management

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ArcGIS Server vs GeoServer

Both ArcGIS Server and GeoServer are powerful tools for managing and serving geospatial data, but they cater to different audiences and use cases. Here’s a detailed comparison to help you understand their differences:

ArcGIS Server


  • Developed by Esri, ArcGIS Server is a commercial product that is part of the larger ArcGIS platform.
  • Provides comprehensive GIS capabilities for creating, managing, and serving geographic information.

Key Features:

  1. Comprehensive GIS Tools: Offers a wide range of advanced GIS functionalities, including spatial analysis, geoprocessing, and mapping tools.
  2. Integration with ArcGIS Platform: Seamlessly integrates with other ArcGIS products like ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, and ArcGIS Enterprise.
  3. Enterprise-Grade Support: Provides robust support and extensive documentation, with access to Esri’s professional support services.
  4. Advanced Security: Offers advanced security features, including detailed access control, encryption, and user authentication.
  5. Data Interoperability: Supports a wide range of data formats and allows for complex data transformations and manipulations.
  6. Scalability: Designed to handle large-scale enterprise deployments, with support for distributed and cloud-based environments.
  7. User-Friendly Interface: Provides intuitive tools and interfaces for creating and managing GIS services.

Use Cases:

  • Suitable for large organizations requiring robust GIS capabilities and professional support.
  • Ideal for enterprise environments where integration with other ArcGIS products and services is essential.
  • Often used by government agencies, utility companies, and large corporations.



  • An open-source project, GeoServer is widely used for serving geospatial data and creating interoperable web services.
  • Focuses on OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium) standards for maximum interoperability.

Key Features:

  1. Open-Source and Free: Freely available and can be customized or extended through its open-source codebase.
  2. OGC Standards Compliance: Fully supports OGC standards like WMS, WFS, WCS, and others, ensuring interoperability with various GIS clients and tools.
  3. Flexible Data Publishing: Allows users to publish both vector and raster data from a wide range of data sources, including databases, files, and web services.
  4. Extensibility: Highly extensible through plugins and custom extensions, enabling users to add specific functionalities as needed.
  5. Community Support: Supported by a vibrant open-source community that contributes to its development and provides user support.
  6. Lightweight and Fast: Known for its performance and ability to serve data quickly and efficiently.

Use Cases:

  • Ideal for organizations and individuals looking for a cost-effective, open-source solution for serving geospatial data.
  • Suitable for academic institutions, non-profits, and small to medium-sized enterprises that need flexibility and customization.
  • Commonly used for creating web-based GIS applications and services that require adherence to open standards.


Choosing Between ArcGIS Server and GeoServer:

  • ArcGIS Server: Opt for ArcGIS Server if you need a comprehensive, enterprise-grade GIS solution with professional support, advanced security, and seamless integration with other ArcGIS products. It’s particularly suitable for large organizations with substantial GIS needs and budgets.
  • GeoServer: Choose GeoServer if you prefer an open-source, customizable, and standards-compliant solution. It’s ideal for those who need flexibility, are working within a budget, or want to leverage the benefits of an open-source community.

In essence, the choice between ArcGIS Server and GeoServer depends on your specific requirements, budget, and the level of support and functionality you need for your geospatial projects.

Environment Specification

We are using a minimal RHEL 8 virtual machine with following specifications.

  • CPU – 3.4 Ghz (2 cores)
  • Memory – 2 GB
  • Storage – 20 GB
  • Operating System – Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4
  • Hostname –
  • IP Address –

Update your Linux Server

Connect with as root user by using a ssh client.

It is the best practice to update Linux server before installing any new software.

Therefore, execute following dnf command to update your Linux server.

# dnf update -y

If the above command updates your Linux Kernel, then restart your operating system with new Kernel before moving forward.

# reboot

After reboot, login to your GeoServer machine and verify the Linux Kernel and operating system versions.

# uname -r

# cat /etc/os-release
NAME="Red Hat Enterprise Linux"
VERSION="8.4 (Ootpa)"
PRETTY_NAME="Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 (Ootpa)"

REDHAT_BUGZILLA_PRODUCT="Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8"
REDHAT_SUPPORT_PRODUCT="Red Hat Enterprise Linux"

Install Java on RHEL 8

GeoServer software is developed in Java programming language, therefore, you have to install Java runtime environment to execute GeoServer application.

Use dnf command to install OpenJDK on your Linux operating system.

# dnf install java-1.8.0-openjdk-devel

After installation, verify the Java version.

# java -version
openjdk version "1.8.0_302"
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_302-b08)
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (build 25.302-b08, mixed mode)

Install GeoServer on RHEL 8

To download and extract you may need wget and unzip software packages.

Therefore, install these packages before installing GeoServer on your Linux server.

# dnf install -y wget unzip

You can download GeoServer software from their Official website.

GeoServer Downloads
GeoServer Downloads

Right Click on the “Platform Independent Binary” and “copy link address” if you are using Google Chrome. The option may vary on other web browsers.

Use the wget command to download GeoServer software directly from the Linux CLI.

# cd /tmp
# wget
Connecting to (||:443... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 206 Partial Content
Length: 103982460 (99M), 28517756 (27M) remaining [application/octet-stream]
Saving to: ‘’

geoserver-2.19.2-bi 100%[++++++++++++++=====>]  99.17M  97.7KB/s    in 3m 26s

2021-10-17 10:20:39 (135 KB/s) - ‘’ saved [103982460/103982460]

Create a directory for GeoServer software and use unzip command to extract downloaded zip file therein.

# mkdir /usr/share/geoserver
# unzip -d /usr/share/geoserver/

Create a Linux user and grant him the ownership of GeoServer home directory.

# useradd -m -U -d /usr/share/geoserver -s /bin/false geoserver
# chown -R geoserver:geoserver /usr/share/geoserver

Allow GeoServer service port in Linux Firewall.

# firewall-cmd --permanent --add-port=8080/tcp
# firewall-cmd --reload

Create a Systemd unit for GeoServer service. You can use vim text editor for this purpose.

# vi /usr/lib/systemd/system/geoserver.service

Add following directives in this file.

Description=GeoServer Service






Enable and Start geoserver.service.

# systemctl daemon-reload
# systemctl enable --now geoserver.service

To access GeoServer application, open URL in a web browser.

GeoServer Welcome Page
GeoServer Welcome Page

Login with default credentials i.e. admin/geoserver

GeoServer Dashboard
GeoServer Dashboard

Final Thoughts

Installing GeoServer on RHEL 8 can significantly enhance your ability to manage and share geospatial data efficiently. This guide is designed to provide you with clear and comprehensive instructions to ensure a smooth installation process. However, if you encounter any difficulties or prefer professional assistance, I am here to help.

Visit my Fiverr profile here to explore my services. I offer expert installation and configuration of GeoServer, as well as other geospatial data management solutions. Let me handle the technical setup so you can focus on leveraging the full potential of your geospatial data.