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From "Craig R. McClanahan" <>
Subject Re: Tomcat 4.0/Solaris why doesn't tomcat follow soft links?
Date Thu, 14 Jun 2001 17:56:01 GMT

On Thu, 14 Jun 2001, Robert Evans wrote:

> Greetings,
> I am in the process of configuring Tomcat to be used with several classes 
> at the Johns Hopkins University.  I would like to have each student have 
> their own webapp in their public_html directory.
> I tried Tomcat 3.2.1, but couldn't get the security policy to work right 
> (all jsp pages kept wanting to use the examples directory?)
> I am trying Tomcat 4.0B5, and was going to use soft links in the webapps 
> directory to point to each students public_html directory.  The only 
> problem is that Tomcat doesn't seem to want to follow the soft links.  If I 
> make a real directory in the webapps dir, everything works fine, but if I 
> try to use a soft linked one, I get:
>       Http Status 503 - This application is not currently available
>       The requested service(This application is not currently available) is 
> not currently available
> Any suggestions/help would be greatly appreciated.  If I don't get this 
> working within a week, it'll be back to the Java Web Server.  :-(
> Bob

Not following symlinks is an unfortunate side effect of the processing
that Tomcat has to do to avoid directory name spoofing (/WeB-iNf) on case
insensitive platforms).  :-(

For Tomcat 4, have you tried using the "user home directories" option, to
automatically recognize each student's public_html directory?  This will
save you having to configure them all into server.xml:

    <Host name="localhost" ...>


      <Listener className="org.apache.catalina.startup.UserConfig"



Craig McClanahan

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