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1. Introduction

WildFly provides different approaches for server administration. The most familiar approach is to use its web interface, but we can use the CLI or XML scripts.

In this tutorial, we'll focus on accessing the administration web interface.

We'll assume that readers already understand the standard WildFly Setup process. 

2. Remote Access

The web interface or console is a GWT application that uses WildFly's HTTP management API to configure either a standalone or a domain-managed server. This API serves two different contexts:

By default, the web console is only accessible from localhost. That is to say, our configuration files contain only local interfaces to interact with a web console.

In WildFly jargon, an interface consists of a network interface with selection criteria. In most cases, a selection criterion is the bound IP address to the interface. The local interface is declared as follow :

<interface name="management">
    <inet-address value="${jboss.bind.address.management:127.0.0.1}"/>
</interface>
<!--127.0.0.1 is the localhost IP address. -->

As a result, this management local is attached to socket listener management-http receiving connections for web console from port 9000:

<socket-binding-group name="standard-sockets" default-interface="public" 
  port-offset="${jboss.socket.binding.port-offset:0}">
    <socket-binding name="ajp" port="${jboss.ajp.port:8009}"/>
    <socket-binding name="http" port="${jboss.http.port:8080}"/>
    <socket-binding name="https" port="${jboss.https.port:8443}"/>
    <socket-binding name="management-http" interface="management" 
      port="${jboss.management.http.port:9990}"/>
    <socket-binding name="management-https" interface="management" 
      port="${jboss.management.https.port:9993}"/>
    <socket-binding name="txn-recovery-environment" port="4712"/>
    <socket-binding name="txn-status-manager" port="4713"/>
    <outbound-socket-binding name="mail-smtp">
       <remote-destination host="localhost" port="25"/>
    </outbound-socket-binding>
</socket-binding-group>

To allow access from a remote machine, we first need to create the remote management interface in the appropriate configuration file. If we're configuring a standalone server, we'll change standalone/configuration/standalone.xml, and for domain-managed, we'll change domain/configuration/host.xml:

<interface name="remoteManagement">
    <inet-address value="${jboss.bind.address.management:REMOTE_HOST_IP}"/> 
</interface> 
<!--REMOTE_HOST_IP is the remote host IP address. (e.g 192.168.1.2) -->

We must also modify the socket binding of management-http to delete the previous local interface  and add the new one:

<socket-binding-group name="standard-sockets" default-interface="public" 
  port-offset="${jboss.socket.binding.port-offset:0}">
    <!-- same as before -->
    <socket-binding name="management-http" interface="remoteManagement" 
      port="${jboss.management.http.port:9990}"/>
    <socket-binding name="management-https" interface="remoteManagement" 
      port="${jboss.management.https.port:9993}"/>
    <!-- same as before -->
</socket-binding-group>

In the above configuration, we bind the new remoteManagement interface to our HTTP (9990) and HTTPS (9993) ports. It'll allow the remote host IP to connect to the web interface through HTTP/HTTPS ports.

3. Authentication

WildFly secures all remote connections by default. The default security mechanism is a username/password via HTTP digest authentication.

But, if we attempt to connect to the admin console before we've added a user to the server, we won't be prompted with login popup.

To create users, then, WildFly provides an interactive add-user.sh (add-user.bat on Windows platforms) script with several steps:

  1. Type of user: Either management or application user
  2. Realm: The realm name used in the configuration, which is ManagementRealm by default
  3. Username: The new user's username
  4. Password: The new user's password
  5. Slave domain controller: A flag indicating whether the user will control slave domains processes in a distributed-domains architecture; it defaults to No

It's also possible to add users in a non-interactive way by making use of the same script and specifying the input as parameters:

$ ./add-user.sh -u 'adminuser1' -p 'password1!'

adds a management user “adminuser1 with the password “password1!” to the default realm.

4. Conclusion

In this short tutorial, we explored how to setup WildFly to allow remote access to the management web console of the server. Furthermore, we also saw how we can create users using WildFly's provided scripts.

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