glassfish 3.1 setup and blank j_security_check page during admin login

After reading up on the basics of the JSTL and various other JSP stuffs, I thought it was time I run my own glassfish development server. Do note that the paths and commands may not work exactly for your distro, this is only a log of the problem points that I hit upon while getting GlassFish Server Open Source Edition - 3.1 Final running on Debian Squeeze (6.0).

Doing this on Debian, I was met with the usual Java + Linux hate. Had to configure apt to use the contrib and non-free packages, just to be sure to get the most up-to-date binaries and the official Sun/Oracle JRE and JDK (apt-get install sun-java6-jdk).

You also need to modify /etc/profile to include the java6 binaries in your path:

if [ "`id -u`" -eq 0 ]; then
export PATH

Now Debian should be cool and let you install glassfish with just a sh Be sure to have X11 forwarding on if you are running this on a remote VM like I was, as this is the graphical installer.

Once everything was installed and running I noticed that I was using the admin interface over http, well that won't do, so I went to enable Security (using the admin domain interface). glassfish crapped its pants, giving me a blank page “j_security_check” and the log files said that a user was trying to log in with blank credentials. It turns out that you are supposed to use the shell script glassfish/bin/asadmin in your glassfish3 install directory to connect to your glassfish3 domain server instance - bin/asadmin --user [admin|your admin username] --passwordfiledomains/[your main domain]/config/admin-keyfile --secure=true - and execute the command enable-secure-admin. See the glassfish project JIRA ticket changing admin-listener security-enabled attribute breaks REST, GUI and cannot stop domain.