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Tomcat is the servlet container that is used in the official Reference Implementation for the Java Servlet and JavaServer Pages technologies.



Tomcat can be used on any system that supports jdk-1.5 or higher. This includes all Sun and Linux systems.


  • To setup tomcat in your environment, type:
setup jdk
setup tomcat
  • To start tomcat, type:
  • To view your work:
  1. Find your port number by typing:
  2. Find the hostname you're logged into by running:
  3. Browse to
  • The variable $CATALINA_BASE is populated with your personal tomcat root directory:

This directory and those under it are where you will put your config files, servlets, and JSPs.

  • To stop tomcat, run:


Instructions for accessing an Oracle database via JDBC on Tomcat 6.0 can be found here.

Note that classes12.jar is already installed in the system-wide $CATALINA_HOME/lib directory, so you don't need to do this in your local Tomcat directory. It should just work automatically.


  • Tomcat does not support csh or tcsh.
  • Each user is assigned two unique port numbers. However, if any conflict occurs, user shall contact the system administrator.
  • If you encounter an error starting, "You appear to have an existing but old tomcat directory" the simplest fix is to rename your old /webpages/<username>/tomcat/ directory and re-run "setup tomcat" to have it auto-create a new one for you. Then you'll need to migrate over any applications or settings to the new version of tomcat.


  • 404 Errors - If you have started tomcat, but get a 404 error when navigating to your tomcat page, you've very likely got some sort of syntax error in your tomcat configuration. To check, look in /webpages/<username>/tomcat/logs/catalina.out This log will tell you if there are any issues starting tomcat, and where those issues are.

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