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From "Len Popp" <>
Subject Re: servlet init error pages
Date Wed, 14 Nov 2007 02:12:39 GMT
I do get my custom error page when an error happens in a servlet
init() method. But you didn't give many details about your problem, so
I can't say whether you should be seeing custom error pages on your

First of all, you didn't say what version of Tomcat you're using. If
it's older than 5.5, it could act differently from what I've seen.

Secondly, I'm assuming the "errors" you speak of are exceptions that
are thrown by the init() method. Not HTTP error status codes. (You
can't call response.sendError() in init().).

Normally, the servlet's init() is called when the first HTTP request
is received for that servlet, and if it throws an exception a custom
error page will be displayed as usual.

If the servlet has "load-on-startup" specified in web.xml, init() is
called when the server starts up, before there are any web requests -
so obviously it can't return an error page to anyone. But then init()
will be called *again* when a request is received for the servlet, and
you'll see your error page then.

Two reasons why you might not see your custom error page:
1. Error in the custom error page.
2. Error in the <error-page> declaration. To define a custom error
page for all exceptions, do this in your application's web.xml:

On Nov 13, 2007 6:19 PM, Adam Parker <> wrote:
> I am trying to override tomcat error pages, and I have tried various
> combinations of the <error-pages> element in both the global web.xml, and my
> application web.xml.  Nothing is working.
> After some research I believe the problem is that the error I am looking at
> actually occurs in the servlet.init(config) call.  This call doesn't seem to
> happen in the normal request processing loop, and hence the <error-pages> is
> never used and a generic tomcat error is returned.
> Is there anyway to override this error even when outside the context of a
> request/reply?
> Any info on how the error is returned without a request/reply would be
> greatly appreciated.
> -Adam Parker

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