Tomcat on Ubuntu Feisty

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A while ago, I blogged about running OpenSSO on Tomcat in Ubuntu. I recently upgraded Ubuntu to 7.04 ‘Feisty Fawn’, which, while most things work great, seems to have caused some issues with Tomcat…

The first is this bug - when you start Tomcat, it just hangs. Apparently it’s to do with /var/lib/tomcat5.5/logs/catalina.out being a named pipe. The workaround that works for me is to add the following line (shown in bold) to the start block in /etc/init.d/tomcat5.5

-outfile "$LOGFILE"  -errfile '&1' \
**cat /var/log/tomcat5.5/catalina.out > /dev/null &**
log_progress_msg "(already running)"

The second issue is that Tomcat seems to have changed where it puts its web applications. They were in /usr/share/tomcat5.5/webapps; they are now in /var/lib/tomcat5.5/webapps. This breaks the security policy I blogged about last time - you now need to add the following to /etc/tomcat5.5/policy.d/50user.policy:

grant codeBase "file:${catalina.base}/webapps/openfm/-" {

(i.e. switch from ${catalina.home} to ${catalina.base})

And before anyone asks “Why aren’t you using Glassfish?” - I am, I’m just using Tomcat as well, since a lot of the OpenSSO contributors use it. Their pain is my pain



Paul C. Bryan

This is where Debian/Ubuntu sometimes seems to go too far in its directory placement policy. I avoid this pain by always downloading the Tomcat binary and putting it somewhere in my home directory. Example: /home/pbryan/Programs/apache-tomcat-5.5.23 Also, using Debian/Ubuntu packages for server software can present problems when you want multiple instances.


Many thanks for this, I was struggling. Somewhat surprised that they've not sorted it out for Feisty by now though (Gutsy's due out in 10 days or something.)

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