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JavaServer Pages, Second Edition by Hans Bergsten

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Installing the Tomcat Server

You can download the Tomcat Server in binary format or as source code that you compile yourself. If you’re primarily interested in learning about JSP, I recommend that you use the binary download for running the examples in this book and to develop your own applications. If you’re a Java programmer and are interested in seeing how Tomcat is implemented, feel free to download the source as well and take a look at the internals.

The binary distribution is available at http://jakarta.apache.org/site/binindex.html.

On this page you find three types of builds: release builds, milestone builds, and nightly builds. Release builds are stable releases that have been tested extensively and verified to comply with the servlet and JSP specifications. Milestone builds are created as intermediary steps towards a release build. They often contain new features that aren’t yet fully tested but are generally known to work. A nightly build, however, may be very unstable. It’s actually a snapshot of the latest source code and may have been tested only by the person who made the latest change. You should use a nightly build only if you’re involved in the development of Tomcat.

I recommend that you download the latest release build. All examples in this book were developed and tested using the 4.0.4 version, but any release later than 4.0.4 should work fine as well. When you click on the link for the latest release build and select the bin directory, you see a list of archive files in different formats, similar to Figure 4-1.

Release build packages

Figure 4-1. Release build packages

How to continue from here varies a bit depending on your platform.

Windows Platforms

For Windows, select jakarta-tomcat-4.0.4.zip and save it to your hard drive, for instance in a directory named C:\Jakarta. You can unpack the package either with a ZIP utility program, such as WinZip or using the jar command that’s included in the Java distribution. Use the Command Prompt window where you set the JAVA_HOME and PATH environment variables earlier, change to the directory in which you downloaded the ZIP file, and unpack it:

C:\> cd Jakarta
C:\Jakarta> jar xvf jakarta-tomcat-4.0.4.zip

This creates a directory structure with a top directory named jakarta-tomcat-4.0.4 with a number of subdirectories. Like most software packages, the top directory contains a file named README.txt; do exactly that. Software distributions change and if, for instance, the instructions in this chapter no longer apply when you download the software, the README.txt file should contain information about how to get started.

You should also set the CATALINA_HOME environment variable to point to the Tomcat installation directory:

C:\Jakarta> set CATALINA_HOME=C:\Jakarta\jakarta-tomcat-4.0.4

If you wonder about the variable name, Catalina is the name of the servlet container, and Jasper is the name of the JSP container; together they are known as the Tomcat server.

The Tomcat installation directory contains a number of subdirectories, described later. The bin directory contains Windows batch files for starting and stopping the server. The batch files are named startup.bat, shutdown.bat, and catalina.bat. The catalina.bat file is the main script for controlling the server; it’s called by the two other scripts: startup.bat and shutdown.bat. To start the server in a separate window, change to the bin directory and run the startup.ba t file:

C:\Jakarta> cd jakarta-tomcat-4.0.4\bin
C:\Jakarta\jakarta-tomcat-4.0.4\bin> startup

A new Command Prompt window pops up, and you see startup messages similar to this:

Starting service Tomcat-Standalone
Apache Tomcat/4.0.4
Starting service Tomcat-Apache
Apache Tomcat/4.0.4

Just leave this window open; this is where the server process is running.

If you’re running this on a Windows 95/98/ME platform, you may see an error message “Out of environment space,” when you try to start the server. That’s because the default amount of space allocated for environment variables isn’t enough. To be able to run Tomcat, run this command in the Command Prompt window before you run the startup.ba t file again:

C:\Jakarta\jakarta-tomcat\bin> COMMAND.COM /E:4096 /P

This command sets the environment space to 4096 bytes (4 KB). That should be enough for the server. If you still get the same message, use a higher value.

For some installations, this command may not work. If it doesn’t, try this instead:

  1. Close the Command Prompt window, and open a new one.

  2. Click on the MS-DOS icon at the top left of the window.

  3. Select the Properties option.

  4. Click on the Memory tab.

  5. Change the Initial Environment value from Auto to 4096.

  6. Click on OK and try to start the server again.

At this point, the server may not start due to other problems. If so, the extra Command Prompt window may pop up and then disappear before you have a chance to read the error messages. If this happens, you can let the server run in the Command Prompt window with this command instead:

C:\Jakarta\jakarta-tomcat-4.0.4\bin> catalina run

On Windows NT/2000 and Windows XP, you should first make sure that the Command Prompt window has a large enough screen buffer so that you can scroll back in case the error messages don’t fit on one screen. Open the Properties window for the Command Prompt window (right mouse button in the upper left corner), select Layout and set the screen buffer size height to a large value (for instance 999). Unfortunately, the Command Prompt screen buffer can’t be enlarged for Windows 95/98/ME, so scrolling back isn’t an option. If you run into problems on these platforms, double-check that you have installed the Java SDK correctly and that you have set the JAVA_HOME and PATH environment variables as described earlier.

Unix Platforms (Including Linux and Mac OS X)

For Unix platforms, you can download the jakarta-tomcat-4.0.4.tar.gz file, for instance to /usr/local, and use these commands to unpack it (assuming you have GNU tar installed):

[hans@gefion /] cd /usr/local
[hans@gefion local] tar xzvf jakarta-tomcat-4.0.4.tar.gz

If you don’t have GNU tar installed on your system, use the following command:

[hans@gefion local] gunzip -c jakarta-tomcat-4.0.4.tar.gz | tar xvf -

This creates a directory structure with a top directory named jakarta-tomcat-4.0.4 with a number of subdirectories. Like most software packages, the top directory contains a file named README.txt; do exactly that. Software distributions change and if, for instance, the instructions in this chapter no longer apply when you download the software, the README.txt file should contain information about how to get started.

You should also set the CATALINA_HOME environment variable to point to the Tomcat installation directory:

[hans@gefion local] export CATALINA_HOME=/usr/local/jakarta-tomcat-4.0.4

If you wonder about the variable name, Catalina is the name of the servlet container, and Jasper is the name of the JSP container; together they are known as the Tomcat server.

The Tomcat installation directory contains a number of subdirectories, described later. The bin directory contains Unix scripts for starting and stopping the server. The scripts are named startup.sh, shutdown.sh, and catalina.sh.

Start the server with this command:

[hans@gefion jakarta-tomcat-4.0.4] ./startup.sh

If you want to have Tomcat start each time you boot the system, you can add the following commands to your /etc/rc.d/rc.local (or equivalent) startup script:

                  export JAVA_HOME=/usr/local/jdk1.3.1_01
                  export CATALINA_HOME=/usr/local/jakarta-tomcat-4.0.4
                  $CATALINA_HOME/bin/startup.sh &

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