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From Neven Cvetkovic <>
Subject Re: Separation of CATALINA_HOME and CATALINA_BASE
Date Mon, 03 Nov 2014 23:42:03 GMT
Chris, Leo, Vince,

On Mon, Nov 3, 2014 at 5:42 PM, Christopher Schultz <> wrote:

>> So, that's not all that complicated when you think about it, but
> >> to ask someone who knows nothing about a command-line, working
> >> effectively in an operating system, etc. and only knows about
> >> programming in Java -- maybe only servlet programming in Java --
> >> to configure the server in the split case is confusing as all
> >> hell.


> >>
> >> Anyone downloading a ZIP or tar archive containing a Tomcat
> >> installation would be confused if the archive contained not one
> >> but two top-level directories. Also, it would overwrite your
> >> split-configuration if you unpacked that archive in the same
> >> directory as when you first started.


>> An installer program would have to explain what in the world the
> >> split configuration was. Have you ever tried to tell someone how
> >> to set up their email? POP versus IMAP? Most users have
> >> absolutely no idea what that is, and mail programs give no clue
> >> as to which one to choose. The same would be true of
> >
> >
> > Everything has some degree of learning.  New people are trying to
> > learn two things at once, how something works as well as the "why
> > do it this way" conventions that experienced users have
> > implemented.  New users don't understand the convention and want to
> > learn it the hard way first before they can appreciate or even
> > understand the convention.
> Agreed. The point I'm trying to make is that experts are experts
> because they have learned. Peeling-back the covers of Tomcat reveals
> those expert features like a split configuration. Being forced to use
> a split-configuration because "it's what experts do" is one sure way
> to generate a lot of noise on this mailing list.


> >> I value my sleep and prefer to build new things instead of
> >> holding together configurations with chewing gum and duct tape.
> >> Oh, and rebooting all the time.)
> >>
> >> Anyhow, we can debate this all you want, but I will be -0 or even
> >> -1 to a default split-configuration of Tomcat unless someone has
> >> a really good idea for how to make it make sense to anyone on
> >> their first-touch.
> >>
> >> - -chris
> >>
> >
> > I would rather just point (windows) people to an example of a
> > split configuration or any other configuration and let them
> > implement it if they choose to do so, instead of getting Tomcat
> > pre-configured. Part of the draw to Tomcat is that you have
> > flexibility with how you choose to run it (script, service, windows
> > installer, etc)
> +1

Vince, the current configuration works great:

1) If you are a newbie administrator you are going to use
"easy-to-use-newbie-friendly" configuration. It will get you started, it
will get your application working, etc... Great starting point.

2) If you are developer (newbie or expert) and using IDE (Eclipse,
Netbeans, IntelliJ) - you are going to use out-of-box tomcat configuration.
Single Tomcat instance, no-split configuration.

3) If you are administrator that is upgrading Tomcat, you will just create
a process to configure your instance with new Tomcat binaries and copy over
the configuration file (most of the stuff is backwards compatible in
server.xml within the point-version) + add any shared libraries to new
tomcat/lib folder (JDBC drivers, etc...). Again, single-tomcat instance,
no-split configuration necessary. Although, may people do like to split for
"easier" upgrades and separation of concerns.

4) If you are administrator that is managing multi-instance environment,
you can still get away with copying standard out-of-box Tomcat directory
over and over again, for each instance separately. The hassle would be to
do the upgrades on many instances. That's why we have CATALINA_HOME for
shared stuff (binaries+libraries) and CATALINA_BASE for instance-specific
configuration. And in this case you would know about the split directory
setup option and would research how to do that effectively.

My question is - why do you use CATALINA_BASE if you are using IDE
(Netbeans)? If you are developer, there is no need to use split


Although, I would love to see out-of-box setup for additional shared-lib
folder, something other than TOMCAT/lib with Tomcat default libraries.
Essentially, I would love to separate my customer shared libraries from
Tomcat default libraries. I guess - question would be where are
CATALINA_HOME/lib JAR files being loaded from? Can we add another directory
to scan for libraries to be loaded? Is that configurable?


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