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From "Borut Hadžialić" <>
Subject Tomcat 5.5 class loader question.
Date Tue, 22 Aug 2006 13:25:02 GMT
Hello, I have a question related to class loading in tomcat.
Tomcat documentation says this:

Therefore, from the perspective of a web application,
class or resource loading looks in the following repositories,
in this order:

Bootstrap classes of your JVM
System class loader classses (described above)
/WEB-INF/classes of your web application
/WEB-INF/lib/*.jar of your web application

But while installing Jira (a popular web application for issue tracking),
we seem to have observed different behaviour.

We have set up a Tomcat instance for Jira (in some directory, lets

Jira has a set of jar files that contain dependencies, that are not
included in Jira's /WEB-INF/lib directory.
Jira manual states that these jars should be copied to
CATALINA_HOME/common/lib directory.
When those files are copied to CATALINA_HOME/common/lib, Jira works fine.

However, when we move those Jira dependencies from
$CATALINA_HOME/common/lib/ to $CATALINA_BASE/shared/lib/
Jira starup fails - it throws several ClassDefNotFoundException
(for org.postgresql.Driver and other classes)

All this happened while the Jira instance was the only Tomcat instance
on the server,
and while $CATALINA_HOME/conf xml config files did not contain any
entries specific for Jira or
any other aplication other than those that come with Tomcat ba default.

Accoring to what Tomcat help stated this should not be happening,
because jar were only moved to another directory which is also
included in the search path of the class loader.

Does anyone know why is this happening?

redhat 4.1
Java jdk1.5.0_07
Tomcat 5.5.x, probably 5.5.17

Because YES!

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