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From Christopher Schultz <ch...@christopherschultz.net>
Subject Re: Best practices for upgrading Tomcat on Windows?
Date Wed, 19 Sep 2012 22:58:55 GMT
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David,

On 9/19/12 4:32 PM, David A. Rush wrote:
> Is there a set of best practices documented anywhere for upgrading 
> Tomcat on Windows? I run Tomcat as a Windows service on several
> machines.  I can, and have many times, completely removed Tomcat
> and reinstalled a new version, but there's probably a better way,
> particular for minor version updates (such as 7.0.x to 7.0.x+n).
> I've developed a standard way of setting up Tomcat that's used
> across multiple machines, but it doesn't lend itself well to
> upgrades.
> 
> I don't use the "Windows installer", but rather make bulk copies of
> the Tomcat code and use the "service installer" script, somewhat
> modified for our peculiarities.
> 
> For minor version updates, should I be able to stop the Tomcat
> windows service, copy any customized files such as server.xml and 
> catalina.properties and setenv.bat, copy new code over old code,
> copy the customized files back, and start the service again?

There are no hard-and-fast rules for what will and won't change with a
Tomcat release, even at the minor-revision level. Tomcat itself
doesn't offer any "upgrade" options -- just separate installs.

Honestly, I think that works out quite well, since it encourages you
to install multiple versions side-by-side which makes roll-backs quite
easy: if the latest version has some bug that scuttles your project,
you can just uninstall the "upgrade" and go back to business as usual.

IMO, the best way to "upgrade" Tomcat is to use a "catalina.base"
which is distinct from "catalina.home". Read the README.txt file that
comes with Tomcat to see how that's done. Once you are comfortable
with that, upgrading to a new version of Tomcat is as simple as doing
a diff between your customized server.xml (and catalina.properties, if
you end up customizing that for whatever reason) and the new stock
server.xml from the latest Tomcat and merging-in whatever is new,
switching the catalina.base parameter to your service and restarting
Tomcat. Switching back is the opposite procedure.

I would recommend this technique to anyone using Tomcat, whether they
are running on Microsoft Windows or not.

- -chris
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