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From Aron Roberts <>
Subject Changes to deployed .war file not copied to unpacked war directory at Tomcat startup?
Date Wed, 18 Jan 2012 20:31:05 GMT
  With apologies if this turns out to be a truly newbie question, or
has been answered in the archives (the MARC archives are
inaccessible today due to SOPA Blackout Day) ...

  We've reproducibly observed the following with respect to
updating the contents of unpacked/exploded WAR directories,
and wish to ask whether this is the intended behavior:

 With Tomcat 6.0.33, running on various recent Linux releases (e.g.
Fedora 15, Ubuntu 10), and with default settings of 'unpackWARs="true"
autoDeploy="true"' for the default host in

 1. Stop Tomcat.
 2. Copy an updated WAR file ('cspace-ui.war') to
$CATALINA_HOME/webapps (the default appBase directory).
 3. Start Tomcat.

 Following Tomcat startup:
 * Any changes that had been made within the newly-copied 'cspace-ui.war' WAR
file, such as additions or deletions of files in the WAR ...
 * Are *not* also appearing within the corresponding unpacked/exploded WAR
directory, 'cspace-ui' - if that directory already existed at Tomcat startup.

 This appears on its face to be problematic.  Following Tomcat
startup, we would intuitively expect that changes made within an
updated WAR file - copied when Tomcat was not running - would soon
appear, as well, within the corresponding unpacked/exploded WAR
directory.  And it isn't readily evident to us from this document why
it might not be so:

 The following related behaviors do work as we would expect:

 * If Tomcat is already running, any changes made to the
'cspace-ui.war' WAR file, once copied to
$CATALINA_HOME/webapps (e.g. an autoDeploy scenario),
soon appear as well within the
corresponding unpacked/exploded WAR directory, 'cspace-ui.

 * If the unpacked/exploded WAR directory, 'cspace-ui', corresponding
to the newly copied WAR file, 'cspace-ui.war', doesn't already exist,
it will be duly created on Tomcat startup.

   Other details that may potentially be relevant:
 * This WAR's purpose is to simply package up a collection of HTML,
JavaScript, CSS, JSON and properties files, which are used by another,
Java-based web application.
 * Its context.xml and web.xml files are truly minimal, consisting of
just XML declarations and root elements.  (These can be gladly
provided, along with any other requested details, in a follow-up
upon request.)


Aron Roberts

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