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I am working with a CentOS VPS and would like to achieve this without running tomcat as root.

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you have two options:

  • Put an apache or other webserver in front of the tomcat server and pass the requests to the tomcat. This post shows how.
  • Using iptables redirects.

Nearly the same question is discussed here

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for iptables redirect you can do like this :

iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING  -p tcp --dport 80 -j REDIRECT --to-port 8080
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