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From "Maxim Veksler" <>
Subject Re: ${user.home} and other server.xml tags accepted by Tomcat?
Date Sun, 28 Sep 2008 15:48:48 GMT
On Sun, Sep 28, 2008 at 2:37 PM, Rainer Jung <> wrote:
> Maxim Veksler schrieb:
>> Hello list,
>> I'm looking for a way to make my tomcat configuration more dynamic
>> without resorting to editing xm files. I considering doing this by
>> using parameter substitution.
>> I've seen from the SSL guide that tomcat will accept configurations
>> like """${user.home}""".
>> Is there a list, or a known set of these options that tomcat will
>> read? Getting at least a reference to the cataline_home will be very
>> helpful.
>> p.s.
>> I know from ant files that you can do ${env.SOMEVAL} to get the
>> environment, sadly this does not work here. Is there an equivalent
>> alternative ?
> The answer depends on the exact version you are using. All version 5.5
> and 6 Tomcats and recent version 4.1 Tomcat supports resolving
> ${somevariable} in server.xml by looking at system properties automatically.
> Some properties are set during Tomcat startup, like catalina.home and
> catalina.base. Others you can set yourself by either adding to the
> commandline "-Dsomevariable=somevalue" or adding to the end of
> conf/
> Not all config files aloow this. I think itself does
> only allow for catalina.home and catalina.base and not general system
> properties, allows general system properties, I'm not
> sure about context.xml and web.xml at the moment (you could try).
> Be careful: system properties work, environment variables not. System
> properties are often seen as a java equivalent of environment variables,
> although those exist in java too.
> A common practise in a farms would be, to determine parts of the ports
> to bind to in a startup script and to set them in server.xml by using
> system properties, so the server.xml file in the whole farm can be kept
> identical.

Hello Rainer,

Thank you for the excellent pointers.

Are you perhaps familiar with a programmatic / configurable method to
output putting the full list of properties recognized by tomcat during
Catalina start up ?

Thank you,

> Regards,
> Rainer
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Maxim Veksler

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