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From Brian Burch <>
Subject problem using default Realm in new unit tests
Date Fri, 06 Jan 2012 01:34:00 GMT
I am developing some new unit tests to validate SingleSignOn and 
Authenticator logic. I have used this existing test class as my template:


.. which extends org.apache.catalina.startup.TomcatBaseTest.

I noticed that TestDigestAuthenticator sets up its own MapRealm and 
assigns it to its single Context. I thought this logic was unnecessary, 
and so my own initial test logic simply used the default RealmBase 
provided by the underlying Tomcat instance. I add my test user and role 
to that. It worked fine with my simple cases, however...

To test SSO, I need to set up two Contexts under the same Realm. I see 
the following message in the output log:

INFO: The start() method was called on component [Realm[Simple]] after 
start() had already been called. The second call will be ignored.

I know it is an INFO message. I know the second start (and its 
associated stop) are ignored and therefore are harmless. However, I am 
reluctant to simply shrug and ignore it. My instincts tell me something 
isn't right.

I have done quite a lot of investigating, but the underlying logic is 
very hard for me to follow. Here is what I am sure about:

1. The message is ONLY emitted in tests that create two Contexts and 
each have the same Realm assigned with setRealm.

2. The message is NOT emitted at the time the Contexts are created and 
defined (servlets, security constraints, etc).

3. The message IS emitted after the Tomcat.start method is called.

4. The message is emitted by one of the two threads which are started on 
behalf of my two contexts. The messages are issued by the start and stop 
methods in the abstract class org.apache.catalina.util.LifecycleBase.

5. org.apache.catalina.realm.RealmBase extends 
org.apache.catalina.util.LifecycleMBeanBase which extends LifecycleBase.

My currently unanswered questions are:

1. Is this message normal? (I don't see it when I start multiple 
contexts under a real tomcat server, but perhaps the logging properties 
are different).

2. Why isn't the redundant startup of the Realm detected earlier and 
simply avoided (maybe the Threads are intended to race to be first with 
startup - but then I think the message should be debug level and not 
sound so scary).

Please don't waste your time investigating this for me. I am only asking 
the question because I don't want too get side-tracked if one of you 
already knows the answers to my questions. I'd like to settle the matter 
quickly and get back to my original task!

Thanks for listening,


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