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From "Shapira, Yoav" <>
Subject RE: Howto add shared libs to tomcat's classpath?
Date Thu, 08 Aug 2002 19:39:09 GMT

>There should be an easy way to extend tomcats classpath.

I disagree ;)  Tomcat should support the servlet spec, which it does.
The servlet spec says your webapp should be a war containing all the
jars.  You would have to duplicate the jars in that case.

Tomcat is nice enough to also let you deploy an exploded war on disk.
In that case, you can symlink to the jars (you don't have to copy) from
the WEB-INF/lib directory of your webapp, or from tomcat's common/lib
directory if more than one app requires the same jar.  (I'm assuming
you're using tomcat 4.x here when describing the above directories).

The documentation on class-loading is good:

>From experience, I would caution against various scripts modifying the
tomcat startup scripts to reference external jars.  It's a slippery

Just my $.02 ;)

Yoav Shapira
Millennium ChemInformatics

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