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From Peter Smillie <>
Subject Tomcat 5.5 - Context for "MyApp" in MyApp/META-INF/context.xml is always over-writing conf/[enginename]/[hostname]/MyApp.xml
Date Wed, 07 Dec 2011 02:23:17 GMT
According to the Tomcat 5.5 documentation page "tomcat-docs/config/context.html#Introduction"
when Tomcat is trying to decide on the context for a Web application:

Only if a context file does not exist for the application in the $CATALINA_HOME/conf/[enginename]/[hostname]/;
in an individual file at /META-INF/context.xml inside the application files. If the web application
is packaged as a WAR then /META-INF/context.xml will be copied to $CATALINA_HOME/conf/[enginename]/[hostname]/
and renamed to match the application's context path. Once this file exists, it will not be
replaced if a new WAR with a newer /META-INF/context.xml is placed in the host's appBase.

My experience with Tomcat 5.5 is that the META-INF/context.xml file in the MyApp.war file
is always overwriting $CATALINA_HOME/conf/[enginename]/[hostname]/MyApp.xml. Thus I always
lose my site specific context customisation of Resources and the like.

Previously I have used Tomcat 5.0 and in that case the above Tomcat documentation statement
held true, i.e. after an application's WAR was installed for the first time I could then customise
the context file in directory $CATALINA_HOME/conf/[enginename]/[hostname]/ and it would not
be overwritten.

Has anyone else had the same experience ? Can anyone explain how to change the behaviour of
Tomcat 5.5.

Peter Smillie

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