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Installing OpenBoxes system

With the upgrade of OpenBoxes to Grails 3 the suggested way of hosting the application is to run embedded Tomcat in a WAR file.

Download OpenBoxes (Grails 3) WAR

sudo mkdir -p /opt/openboxes/.grails
cd /opt/openboxes/
sudo wget

Create openboxes.yml file using heredoc

Change your_mysql_password (and db user if it's not a default) with credentials set in MySQL

cat <<-EOT > /tmp/openboxes.yml
dataSource.dbCreate: none 
dataSource.url: jdbc:mysql://localhost:3306/openboxes?useSSL=false
dataSource.username: openboxes
dataSource.password: <your_mysql_password> "0 0 0 * * ?"
openboxes.anonymize.enabled: false

Copy the openboxes.yml with sudo

sudo mv /tmp/openboxes.yml /opt/openboxes/.grails/openboxes.yml

Create openboxes user, group and change permissions

sudo groupadd openboxes
sudo useradd -s /bin/false -g openboxes -d /opt/openboxes openboxes 
sudo chown -R openboxes:openboxes /opt/openboxes

Create systemd service with heredoc

sudo bash -c 'cat <<-EOT > /etc/systemd/system/openboxes.service
Description=OpenBoxes app

ExecStart=/usr/bin/java -Dgrails.env=prod -jar /opt/openboxes/openboxes.war

Environment="CATALINA_OPTS=-Xms1024m -Xmx1024m -XX:MaxPermSize=128m -server -XX:+UseParallelGC"


Reload systemd

sudo systemctl daemon-reload

Run openboxes on startup

sudo systemctl enable openboxes


You will likely encounter OutOfMemoryErrors with Tomcat's default memory settings.

You may be able to get away with using 256m as the max heap size, but 512m is a good setting, even for production environments.

If you are in a limited memory environment (like an EC2 t2.micro which only has 1GB of memory) you will need to reduce your memory settings a little more.

Environment='CATALINA_OPTS=-Xms128m -Xmx256m -XX:MaxPermSize=128m -server -XX:+UseParallelGC'

Unfortunately, with so little memory allocated you will probably run into several types of OutOfMemoryError issues (see Troublshooting section below).

Systemctl commands

systemctl start tomcat
systemctl stop tomcat
systemctl status tomcat

Service wrapper

At this point I generally go back to using the Ubuntu's service wrapper which abstracts the underlying implementation (could be /etc/init.d, Upstart, or systemctl). But it's up to you whether you want to continue using systemctl or switch back to service.

Here are the commands available if using the service wrapper:

sudo service openboxes status
sudo service openboxes stop
sudo service openboxes start
sudo service openboxes restart