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Tomcat Installation & Configuration



At the time of this post, the latest stable version available form Apache Tomcat is 6.0.x. Older releases of Tomcat can be found on download section of http://tomcat.apache.org/. Apache Tomcat version 6.0 implements the Servlet 2.5 and JavaServer Pages 2.1 specifications from the Java Community Process, and includes many additional features that make it a useful platform for developing and deploying web applications and web services.


Different versions of Apache Tomcat are available for different versions of the Servlet and JSP specifications. The following table shows the dependancies:


Servlet/JSP Spec Apache Tomcat version
2.5/2.1 6.0.x
2.4/2.0 5.5.x
2.3/1.2 4.1.x
2.2/1.1 3.3.x (archived)



Before downloading Tomcat, you might want to know about the different releases available from Apache:

  • Alpha releases may contain large amounts of untested/missing functionality required by the specification and/or significant bugs and are not expected to run stably for any length of time.
  • Beta releases may contain some untested functionality and/or a number of relatively minor bugs. Beta releases are not expected to run stably.
  • Stable releases may contain a small number of relatively minor bugs. Stable releases are intended for production use and are expected to run stably for extended periods of time.



Tomcat requires Java to be installed on your computer to run. Make sure you have a recent Java version installed and JAVA_HOME variable to be set. Note: Refer to Java Installation and configuration post for details. After setting the JAVA_HOME environment variable, you can install tomcat.


Download Instructions:

  • Apache Tomcat is freely downloadable from this webpage http://tomcat.apache.org/download-60.cgi.
  • Two distributions are available to download and they are Binary and Source code. If you want to just use Tomcat as webserver for web-application development then Binary downloaded will suffice , source code distribution can be downloaded to obtain the source code of the server itself / participate in the code contribution (as Tomcat is open source).
  • In the Binary Distributions section, in Core, select the .zip version.
  • Save the .zip file to a location on your computer.
  • Optionally, In Source Code Distributions section, select the .zip version.
  • Save the .zip file to a location on your computer.


Install Instructions:

  • Unzip Tomcat.
  • Tomcat base folder should have directories such as bin, conf, webapps etc.
  • Open bin directory and double click on startup.bat file. Startup.bat will open in dos command prompt
  • Tomcat server should start up saying “INFO: Server start up in … ms”
  • At this point, type the url http://localhost:8080, you should be getting a default Tomcat local home page with a message “If you’re seeing this page via a web browser, it means you’ve setup Tomcat successfully. Congratulations!”
  • To shut down your server and remove the Console window, double click the shutdown.bat file.


Configuration Instructions:

There are various configurations that can be done once Tomcat has been successfully installed based on the requirements. For basic usage of Tomcat as webserver, installation itself should suffice. For customization of the server, various other configurations can ber performed which will be covered in the later posts in this category.


There have been confusions around about CATALINA_HOME environment variable. Many users are able to use Tomcat’s basic functionality as a webserver after successfully downloading and installing it, then what is the need of CATALINA_HOME?

Clearly, CATALINA_HOME has no effect when running as a Windows service (i.e., after starting the server), since the services do not use environment variables. The real reason for setting CATALINA_HOME and CATALINA_BASE separately is to allow multiple instances of Tomcat running with the same code jar files.

Normal operation of Tomcat does not require setting CATALINA_HOME explicitly. The startup.bat / catalina.bat scripts will do that automatically if not previously set. If you want to use your current tomcat installation directory in some other applications or if you want to use reference to Tomcat installation directory, only then you will need to set CATALINA_HOME. And from then on it will be resoved by this location ${CATALINA_HOME}.

Note: Refer to RUNNING.txt file available in the tomcat installation directory for more details.



Follow the video below for download, install and configuration instructions:


Vodpod videos no longer available.






Note: Refer to other posts in Tomcat category for further knowledge.


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