The beta of JBoss AS 5.0 does not support hot deployment (see the readme file). Therefore, you will have to copy the war file to the deploy directory first and then start (or restart) the server.
And no, you cannot modify the beta to support hot deployment (well you could, but it would take you a long time to figure it out). There has already been a forum discussion on this topic.
I was wondering whether there is any way I can deploy unexploded (zipped) war file in JBoss 5 since I am unable to do this. But I can deploy exploded war directory in JBoss 5.
Thanks in advance