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From Apache Wiki <>
Subject [Tomcat Wiki] Update of "FAQ/Miscellaneous" by GianlucaVarisco
Date Wed, 28 Nov 2007 20:01:16 GMT
Dear Wiki user,

You have subscribed to a wiki page or wiki category on "Tomcat Wiki" for change notification.

The following page has been changed by GianlucaVarisco:

New page:
== Preface ==
This section contains various miscellaneous questions that are asked frequently enough to
be listed here.

== Questions ==

'''I'm having a problem with character encoding in tomcat 5'''

In Tomcat 5 - there have been issues with respect to character encoding. ( Usually of the
the form "request.setCharacterEncoding(String) doesn't work" ) Odds are, its not a bug. Before
filing a bug report, see these bug reports as well as any bug reports linked to these bug
reports: [ 23929], [
25360], [ 25231], [
25235], [ 22666], [
24557], [ 24345], [

'''I have a problem with webapp reloading in tomcat 4.1.27.'''

Update to a later tomcat version, preferably the latest stable one. If you must stay with
4.1.27, get this hotfix: [ Bugzilla

'''I am unable to compile my JSP!'''

Are you seeing this?

{{{      org.apache.jasper.JasperException: Unable to compile
      class for JSP

      An error occurred at line: -1 in the jsp file: null

      Generated servlet error:
          [javac] Since fork is true, ignoring compiler
          [javac] Compiling 1 source file
         [javac] Since fork is true, ignoring compiler
      setting. }}}
If so, here is some solutions:

 * [ Environment
variable issue]
 * [ Environment issue] or [
Ant issue]
 * Others have had success by added JAVA_HOME/bin to their PATH. [
1] ... [ 2] and make
sure you are using the full JDK and not the JRE.

In the case of the Environment issues, it is typical that on Windows, the startup scripts
work fine and the service does not. The service uses registry values to look for java and
other "stuff". To save yourself some trouble, see if the [
NT Service Config Utility] is helpful.

'''I can't get servlets to work under /servlet/*!'''

Using /servlet/ to map servlets is evil, absolutely evil. Even more evil than [
this] . That being said, here are some threads that may answer this:

 * [ [SECURITY] Apache
Tomcat 4.x JSP source disclosure] vulnerability
 * [ Cannot Run Servlets, only
JSP's, Part II]
 * [ Tomcat configuration problem:
JSPs work, servlets don]

'''Why is the invoker evil?'''

This is opinions of the writer (YMMV)
Quickie about the invoker: The invoker is a dynamic servlet which allows run-time loading
of other servlets based on class name. This servlet is the one that allows http://localhost/servlet/,
where is some class which can be loaded as a servlet but was never explicitly
declared in a config file.

Evil because:

 * Security risk ... see links above
 * Configuration hiding - There is NO way to determine which servlets are used vs which are
not used. In web.xml, every servlet is declared and mapped. In that one file you instantly
have a road map to how the webapp works.
 * Back doors. Servlets which '''are''' mapped can be alternately called via the invoker by
class name. Since the URL is different, all security constraints might be ignored since the
URL pattern is VERY different.
 * Back doors. Bad programmers make it easier to do bad things.
 * Back doors. It may be common to use common 3rd party jars in a shared area. If that shared
jar has servlets in them and that servlet has a hole in it, bad things happen.
 * Configuration hiding - it's important enough to say twice. Explicit declaration while a
PITA, will be more helpful in the maintenance scheme of your webapp.

For another explanation of the invoker servlet, why it's evil, and what to do about it, see
[ JavaRanch FAQ].

'''How to I get Tomcat's version number?'''


Starting with tomcat 5.0.28 - there is now a (or version.bat) program in the bin
directory. It will print the version number of tomcat to Standard output.

'''Tomcat eats 100% of the CPU!'''

Odds are, it might be the garbage collector going wacky.

In 1.4.1 JVMs there is a memory leak which could hampering the garbage collector. [
More information] Otherwise - get a memory profiler and/or tweak your memory settings.

How do I set system properties at startup?
Set JAVA_OPTS to be something BEFORE calling startup.bat or before calling catalina.bat. (or
you can edit those files, but it isn't advised)

Example (windows): SET JAVA_OPTS='-DpropName=propValue'

Example (UNIX): export JAVA_OPTS='-DpropName=propValue'

Windows service users - use [ this]

'''How do I get a customized error page?'''

In web.xml ...

{{{        <error-page>

You may also catch error 500's as well as other specific exceptions or exceptions which extend
For more information, see the Servlet Specification for all the gory details of how you can
play with this.

'''Should I use the LE version?'''

No. It was an experiment, it failed. (YMMV) The original purpose of LE was because jdk1.4
provides a LOT of standard functionality that Tomcat uses that was not in jdk1.3. So to save
some space two distributions were made to save some bandwidth. Since then, it has been an
exercise in confusion. (Flame me if you disagree) [
More info]

'''How do I configure Tomcat to NOT to store the sessions during shutdown?'''

[ Look at the Session manager component
and tweak accordingly. One way is to tell tomcat to persist sessions to a path which does
not exist. (So tomcat will not store, or be able to load the sessions)]

'''How do I disable tag pooling?'''

To disable tag pooling: See $TOMCAT_HOME/conf/web.xml --> enablePooling=false for the jsp
servlet declaration.

'''Is there a DTD for server.xml?'''

No! Nor can one accurately exist. [
Here's why]

'''How do I change the welcome file? ( I want to show index.jsp instead of index.html)'''

This is done in web.xml by changing welcome-files-list. [
More detail].

'''How do I enable/disable directory listings?'''

This is done in TOMCAT_HOME/conf/web.xml by changing the listings property for the default

'''How do I make Tomcat listen on a specific IP address instead of all available addresses?'''

RTFM! [Add the property address='' to your Connector config.] For more detail: [
JK], [ http] (legacy), [
http] (coyote).

'''How do I use symbolic links with jars?'''

You'll need to tweak with server.xml and [
do this]. (Don't worry - its really easy!)

'''How do I get UTF-8?

[ This thread] should answer

'''How do I change the name of the file in the download Save-As dialog from a servlet? (or

Use the [ Content-Disposition]

'''Is tag pooling broken? It doesn't call release!'''

It is not broken, your tag probably is. Many bug reports have been filed about this. Here
is the bug report with all the gory details.

'''Why do I get java.lang.IllegalStateException?'''

These are the most common reasons how you can get an java.lang.IllegalStateException:

 * Calling setBufferSize and content has been written.
 * The response has been committed and you do any of the following:
   * Calling ServletResponse.reset() or ServletResponse.resetBuffer()
   * Calling either HttpServletResponse.sendError() or HttpServletResponse.sendRedirect().
   * Calling RequestDispatcher.forward() which includes performing a jsp:forward
   * Calling RequestDispatcher.forward() which includes performing a jsp:forward

Remember that if you call forward() or sendRedirect(), any following lines of code will still
execute. For example:
  // At this point, you should probably have a return statement otherwise
  // the following code will run
  System.out.println("After redirect! By the way ...");
  System.out.println("Use commons-logging or log4j, not System.out");
  System.out.println("System.out is a bad practice!");

  response.sendRedirect("bar.jsp"); /* This will throw an error! */


'''How do I make a scheduled event on Tomcat?'''

Tomcat does not support this directly. Its not part of the Servlet or JSP Specification.
If you do need this functionality see [
this thread] or [
this link].

'''What is Element "web-app" does not allow "servlet" here?'''

Your web.xml is not well formed or it is not conforming to the DTD as defined by the servlet
spec. Use an XML validator to ensure your web.xml file is ok.

'''Where does System.out go? How do I rotate catalina.out?'''

See the [ Logging] section of the FAQ.

''' How do open a file for reading in my webapp?'''

Use ServletContext.getResourceAsStream().

'''Can I run tomcat with the JRE, or do I need the full JDK?'''

Tomcat officially requires the full JDK, because it needs javac in order to compile JSPs.
If you pre-compile all your JSPs, you can get away with running tomcat on a JRE only, but
you do so at your own risk.

'''Is tomcat an EJB server? Can I use EJBs with tomcat?'''

Tomcat is not an EJB server. Tomcat is not a full J2EE server. Tomcat is a Servlet container.
Tomcat does support those parts of the J2EE specification that are required for Servlets,
such as a subset of JNDI functionality. Furthermore, you can connect to remote J2EE servers,
or run tomcat embedded inside a full J2EE server.

'''Can I access Tomcat's JNDI provider from outside tomcat?'''

Not at this time.

'''Who uses tomcat in production?'''

Numerous organizations across various industries all over the world. A full listing can be
found at the [ Wiki].

'''How do I configure commons-logging and log4j in tomcat 5?'''

See the [ Logging] section of the FAQ.

'''I'm getting java.lang.ThreadDeath exceptions when reloading my webapp.'''

See [ Bugzilla discussion] of this.

'''Help! Even though I run (or shutdown.bat), Tomcat does not stop!'''

Most likely, a non-daemon thread is running. JVM's do not shutdown until there are 0 non-daemon
threads. You will need to perform a thread dump [kill -3 pid for Unix or CTRL+Break for Windows]
to determine the code which started the thread.

'''How do I debug JSP errors in the Admin web application?'''

The admin web application that ships with Tomcat's binary distribution contains pre-compiled
JSPs and mappings for them. In order to debug these JSPs, you need to get the source versions,
place them in the admin webapp directory, and disable the JSPC-generated web.xml servlet mappings.
Here's how to do it from scratch for a clean Tomcat installation:

 1. Download Tomcat's base and admin webapp distributions (binaries), unzip to a directory
of your choice. We'll use c:\temp in this example.
 2. Edit c:\temp\server\webapps\admin\WEB-INF\web.xml to remove the JSPC-generated servlet
mappings. These are marked in the web.xml file with comments indicating the beginning and
end of the JSPC section. You can simply comment out all these servlet-mappping elements. Be
careful not to comment out other servlet mappings such as the Struts dispatcher servlet.
 3. Open c:\temp\server\webapps\admin\WEB-INF\lib\catalina-admin.jar with a zip file program
like WinZip. Remove the files named *_jsp.class, as these are the compiled JSPs. Do not remove
the other class files, the ones under the org/apache/ paths.
 4. Download a Tomcat source distribution and unzip it to a directory of your choice, but
not the same directory that you used above. We'll use c:\src in this example.
 5. Copy everything '''except''' the WEB-INF/lib directory from c:\src\container\webapps\admin
to c:\temp\server\webapps\admin. Now you will have the uncompiled admin webapp JSPs.
 6. If you haven't already, define an admin user in %CATALINA_HOME%\conf\tomcat-users.xml.
 7. Start Tomcat, navigate to http://localhost:8080 (or your actual server:port if you have
modified the default values), and access the admin web application. It will run slower because
Tomcat is now compiling the JSPs on-demand the first time you access them, but should otherwise
appear normal.

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