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From "Joe Reger, Jr." <>
Subject Re: Missing application web.xml
Date Wed, 02 Feb 2005 16:58:03 GMT
I'm having problems with the "Missing application web.xml" error on dev
machines running Windows XP,. Tomcat 5.5.7, Java 5.0.
It happens when I try to deploy a war file by using the Manager app or by
placing it in the /webapps directory.  Here are some of the things I've
done, each time trying to deploy the resulting WAR file with no success and
the same error:
1) Completely emptied the /webapps directory (per Paul's success below). 
2) Verified existence of web.xml inside WAR file.
3) Uninstalled ROOT app and verified file removal from /webapps directory.
4) Checked order of elements in web.xml to fit spec.
5) Validated web.xml in Intellij Idea against
6) Changed <web-app> tag from the sample web.xml in documentation to the one
used in Manager app from 5.5.7 build:
    <web-app xmlns=""
7) Removed all comments and spaces from web.xml.
When I unpack the WAR manually and place the unpacked files in /webapps the
application works fine.  Tomcat likes the web.xml, but it can't seem to find
it inside of the WAR file.
Incidentally, when I watch my /webapps directory during a Manager deploy,
the ROOT.war file does appear for a few seconds.  It appears that Tomcat is
trying to find a web.xml inside of it, fails and then deletes the file.
I use Ant to build the WAR file:
<jar jarfile="ROOT.war">
   <fileset dir="${files}" excludes="**/*.java"/>
Any help appreciated.  Seen this on two development XP machines today.
Joe Reger
 ---Original Message----------------------------------------------------
I just wanted to follow up and get into the record what I think is the 

solution to the problem I asked about

on 1/20.  I turns out that the reason I was getting "Missing 

application web.xml" errors in my stdout.log

was because of a problem that arose during the undeployment 

precipitated by my deployment of a new

build.  It appears (just based on Tomcat's behavior) that when you move 

a WAR file into the webapps directory, the first thing Tomcat tries to 

do is delete the old unpacked version.  In my case, it failed to do 

that because (as I found) the servlet had open file handles to files 

inside the servlet's context directory.  Windows  XP doesn't let you 

delete files that it thinks are "in use", and I suspect that is the 

trouble Tomcat was running into.  Anyway, it deleted everything except 

those files, including the web.xml file, which it then reported as 


When I modified my code to make sure the files were closed after being 

read, the problem went away.  Well, I haven't had the fix in place long 

enough to be sure it has gone away, but at the very least it certainly 

seems to have helped a great deal, so I think the problem is solved.

    --Paul Lynch (eph1v3t8 @

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