Install/Deploy KeyCloak Standalone Server on Azure App Service (No Docker)

There are so many posts about deploying KeyCloak on Azure App Service, inside a docker container. But recently I wanted to install it on Azure App Service “bare metal”, (as bare as it gets on an Azure App Service!) i.e. without using docker. Here is what I discovered and did to get it up and running.

First some useful links about KeyCloak and Wildfly:

Here is a summary of what I have done:

Azure: Get an App Service and SQL Database

This is the most straightforward part to perform. Just go to the Azure Portal and get a Web App with runtime stack “Java” (I chose version 11) and Java web server stack “Java SE Embedded Web Server”. I feel more comfortable using Java on Linux, so I chose Linux as the OS.

For the Database, I bought the cheapest variant of Azure SQL Database. In the Firewall configurations, I made it accessible for Azure components.

KeyCloak: Download and Configure

I then downloaded the standalone server distribution version of KeyCloak and unpacked the content in my computer. As I wanted to be able to track my configuration changes in a git repository and, furthermore, create Azure DevOps pipelines for installing KeyCloak later, I created a git repository and pushed the contents of the KeyCloak Server to it.

I used Visual Studio Code (VS Code) with git and Azure Extensions.

Enable Remote Access

The first configuration change I performed was to enable remote access to Wildfly. To achieve that, I opened the stanalone.xml file (under the standalone/configuration) and changed the interface section as follows:

        <interface name="management">        
        <interface name="public">

I committed the change and moved on to the next step: It is necessary to enable the “proxy-address-forwarding”. So I added proxy-address-forwarding=”true” to the default http-listener, and committed this too:

<subsystem xmlns="urn:jboss:domain:undertow:10.0" default-server="default-server" default-virtual-host="default-host" default-servlet-container="default" default-security-domain="other" statistics-enabled="${wildfly.undertow.statistics-enabled:${wildfly.statistics-enabled:false}}">
            <buffer-cache name="default"/>
            <server name="default-server">
                <http-listener name="default" socket-binding="http" redirect-socket="https" enable-http2="true" read-timeout="30000" proxy-address-forwarding="true"/>

Taking Care of the MSSQL Database JDBC Driver

Next step was the JDBC driver for MSSQL. I navigated to the modules/system/layers/keycloak/com and created three new nested folders microsoft/sqlserver/main. I then downloaded the Microsoft JDBC Driver for SQL Server inside the main folder above. Having the driver rest in place, I created an XML file inside the main folder and named it “module.xml”. The content of this XML file should be like this:

<?xml version="1.0" ?>
<module xmlns="urn:jboss:module:1.5" name="">
        <resource-root path="mssql-jdbc-8.4.1.jre11.jar"/>

        <module name="javax.api"/>
        <module name="javax.transaction.api"/>

(Change the “path” attribute of the resource-root according to the version you have downloaded.)

I needed to register that driver in the standalone.xml file, under the drivers section as follows:

<driver name="sqlserver" module="">

Finally, I added a <datasource> that uses my brand new “sqlserver” driver under the datasources section of the standalone.xml file. There is one with jndi-name=”java:jboss/datasources/KeycloakDS” which is for the default “h2” driver. I just replaced it with a new one:

                <datasource jndi-name="java:jboss/datasources/KeycloakDS" pool-name="KeycloakDS" enabled="true" use-java-context="true">                    <connection-url>jdbc:sqlserver://[YOUR DB SERVER];DatabaseName=[YOUR DB NAME];</connection-url>
                        <user-name>[USER NAME]</user-name>

Once again, I committed my changes.

Deploy using VS Code

As mentioned above, I used Visual Studio Code (VS Code) with git and Azure App Service Extension. The deployment using the Azure App Service extension was straightforward: First of all, I set the startup command:

sh /home/site/wwwroot/bin/

I did it in Azure Portal, in the configuration section of the App Service:

Then, in VSCode, I logged in to my Azure account (using the command pallet issuing “azure: sign in”). Then, again using the command pallet I issued “azure: app service deploy to web app”. VS Code asked me to choose the directory I want to deploy, the Azure subscription, and the Web App I wanted to deploy KeyCloak to it. It took some minutes until all contents uploaded to Azure App Service (under /home/site/wwwroot/), and it took several minutes until the startup command finished the initialising of the database and started KeyCloak. I could follow the steps using Log stream, which is accessible through the Azure Portal or by using the Azure CLI command “az webapp log tail“.

Deploy using Azure DevOps

To deploy uisng build/release pipelines of azure DevOps, I first created a build pipeline, based on my git repository and branch, containing four tasks:

Copy files to staging folder: The goal is to copy just what is needed for the application to run, nevertheless keep the rest in the repository for future testing and references. For example, the folder “docs” contains some examples you may want to keep in the repository, but they are not needed for the deployment. I wanted to copy the necessary contents in a folder, let us call it “target”. It is then easy to clean and avoid publishing unnecessary files, as we shall see later. Here is the yaml representation of my copy task:

 task: CopyFiles@2
 displayName: 'Copy files to staging folder'
 SourceFolder: '$(system.defaultworkingdirectory)'
 Contents: |
 TargetFolder: '$(build.artifactstagingdirectory)/target/'
 CleanTargetFolder: true
 condition: succeededOrFailed() 

Next is archive: The goal is to create a zip file, to be used for deployment later, based on the contents of the folder “terget”, but outside of it:

 task: ArchiveFiles@2
 displayName: 'Archive $(build.artifactstagingdirectory)/target/'
 rootFolderOrFile: '$(build.artifactstagingdirectory)/target/'
 includeRootFolder: false 

Notice that the “includeRootFolder” is set to false. Otherwise a folder called “target” will be created under the “home/site/wwwroot/” on the Azure App Service and the Keycloak contents will be extracted under that “target” folder after deployment.

Then Delete: Now I could easily remove the whole “target” folder, as its content are already archived in my zip file in the previous task:

 task: DeleteFiles@1
 displayName: 'Delete files from $(build.artifactstagingdirectory)/target/'
 SourceFolder: '$(build.artifactstagingdirectory)/target/'
 Contents: '*'
 RemoveSourceFolder: true 

Finally publish:

 task: PublishBuildArtifacts@1
 displayName: 'Publish Artifact: drop'
 PathtoPublish: '$(build.artifactstagingdirectory)'
 condition: succeededOrFailed() 

Now that I have published a clean, deploy ready zip file, I can create a release pipeline, containing an “Azure App Service Deploy” task to deploy it:

 task: AzureRmWebAppDeployment@4
 displayName: 'Azure App Service Deploy: <appname>'
 azureSubscription: <myazuresubscrp>
 appType: webAppLinux
 WebAppName: <appname>
 RuntimeStack: 'JAVA|11-java11'
 StartupCommand: 'sh /home/site/wwwroot/bin/' 

Create the Admin User

Finally, I needed to create an initial administrator user, see this. I decided to ssh to the App Service and run the bin/ command. To do that, I installed the Azure CLI and then issued the command:

az webapp ssh --name <appname> --resource-group <azurerg>

to open an ssh connection to the App Service. Then:

sh /home/site/wwwroot/bin/ -r master -u <admin user name> -p <password>

That was it. I hope it is useful to someone else too.

Published by szarghani

I am a C#/Java developer. I live and work in Germany.

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