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The mighty Tomcat - Meow!

Tomcat-Apache HOWTO

This document explains how to connect Tomcat to the popular open source web server, Apache. It was originally part of Tomcat: A Minimalistic User's Guide by Gal Shachor, but has been split off for organizational reasons. It should be considered a work in progress. Since the Tomcat source tree is constantly changing, the information herein may be out of date. The only definitive reference at this point is the source code.

Other important documents:

Table of Contents


Need for cooperation

As stated in the Tomcat User's Guide, Tomcat currently supports three modes of execution.  While it is entirely possible to have Tomcat serve both your static and dynamic document provision needs, there are several reasons why you might  not want want to do this.  With respect to the Apache web server,

    1.    Tomcat is not as fast as Apache when it comes to static pages.
    2.    Tomcat is not as configurable as Apache.
    3.    Tomcat is not as robust as Apache.
    4.    Tomcat may not address many sites' need for functionality found only in Apache modules (e.g. Perl, PHP, etc.).

For all these reasons it is recommended that real-world sites use an industrial-strength web server, such as Apache, for serving static content, and use Tomcat as a Servlet/JSP add-on.

How will they work together?

In a nutshell a web server is waiting for requests.  When these requests arrive the server does whatever is needed to serve the requests by providing the necessary content.  Adding Tomcat to the mix may somewhat change this behavior.  Now the web server needs to perform the following:

We'd like Apache to handle our static content, such as images and HTML documents, and forward all requests for dynamic content to Tomcat.  More specifically, we need answers to the following questions:

1.    How will Apache know which request / type of requests should be forwarded to Tomcat?
2.    How will Apache forward these requests to Tomcat?
3.    How will Tomcat accept and handle these requests?

The majority of our time will be spent dealing with points 1 and 2; 3 should be a snap!

What's required to pull this off?

Answers to the above three questions!

1.    Modify Apache's httpd.conf file.
2.    Install a web server adapter.
3.    Modify Tomcat's server.xml file.

It is assumed that you are comfortable modifying the configuration of Tomcat and Apache separately before you've attempted to integrate the two.  As such, we speak in Tomcat/Apache/Servlet lingo, not pausing to explain what's already been taught in their respective user guides.  Details on Tomcat setup can be found in the Tomcat User's Guide, while Apache configuration information can be found in the Apache User's Guide.

Running Examples

Throughout this document, we'll refer back to these examples, as these run the gambit of the commonly-desired Apache installs.

Non-virtual Hosts

1.    All JSP and Servlet requests consisting of http://localhost/ are sent to the "rootExample" Context.
2.    All JSP and Servlet requests consisting of http://localhost/subdirExample/ are sent to the "slifkaExample" Context.

Virtual Hosts

3.    All JSP and Servlet requests consisting of http://virtualhost/ are sent to "vhostExample" Context.
4.    All JSP and Servlet requests consisting of http://virtualhost/vhostSubdir/ are sent to the "vhostSubdir" Context.

As part of all of these configurations, servlets will be mounted as well.  To reach a servlet registered via a particular Context's WEB-INF/web.xml file, we'll configure it so that appending /servlet/registeredServletName to the URL does the trick.  For Example (2), let's say we had the following as part of our web.xml for this context:

        <param-value>A value</param-value>

To reach this servlet, we would request: http://localhost/subdirExample/servlet/SlifkaWorld

If you're unsure as to what web.xml, Contexts, servlets, or webapps are, then you probably haven't read through the Tomcat User's Guide.  Get to it!

Configuring Tomcat

We can configure Tomcat independantly of the other two items on our to-do list.  At this point, we're assuming that you've followed the directions in the User's Guide and have Tomcat up and running in stand-alone mode.

Setting up the Contexts

First off, let's explicitly define our example Contexts in Tomcat's server.xml.  The numbers preceding each configuration snippet refer to the aforementioned Running Examples.

1.    <Context path="/"

2.    <Context path="/slifkaExample"

Example (3) must be placed inside a <Host> element in server.xml.  This is because a <Context> with the same path attribute exists already; Example (1) is located at "/" as is (3).  We place (4) inside the <Host> element as well, because we only want it to be accessible when people specify this virtual host in the request.  For more information on the <Host> element, see the server.xml section of the User's Guide, and the Virtual Hosting section below.

Remember to omit the numbers 3 and 4 if you plan on pasting this in!

<Host name="fully-qualified name or IP of the virtual host">

3.    <Context path="/"
4.    <Context path="/vhostSubdir"


After you've made the appropriate changes to server.xml, remember to restart Tomcat.

Making sure it all works

Where do we stand now?  So far it's just a normal Tomcat install, which you should be well-familiar with by now from the User's Guide.  Tomcat should be serving all the documents, both static and dynamic, for all of your Contexts.  An easy way to see which Contexts are serving which requests is to watch your Tomcat log output, either via stdout/err or the log file.

The AJP Connector

Before we leave this section, there's one more Tomcat aspect to discuss, the AJP <Connector> element in server.xml.  This is the mechanism by which Tomcat will communicate with Apache.

<!-- Apache AJP12 support. This is also used to shut down tomcat. -->
<Connector className="org.apache.tomcat.service.PoolTcpConnector">
    <Parameter name="handler"
    <Parameter name="port"

To ensure that it is indeed listening on that port, Telnet to it or HTTP request it.  The Ajp12ConnectionHandler will throw an exception (visible in the tomcat log file), and you'll know it's listening.  As far as the web server adapter goes, this is all you really need to know on the Tomcat side for now.

Tomcat also supports AJP v1.3 via the Ajp13ConnectionHandler.  We'll get to this when we discuss mod_jk and mod_jserv later on.

The Web Server Adapter

The next step in integrating Apache with Tomcat is to install a web server adapter.  This is the piece of software that will relay information between Tomcat and Apache.  It doesn't really belong under Apache configuration, and it doesn't really belong under Tomcat configuration, but it's required for both of them to work together.

The web server adapter answers question 2 posed above, "How will Apache forward these requests to Tomcat?"

mod_jk versus mod_jserv

Currently there are two adapters available - jk and JServ.

Taken from our, "mod_jk HOWTO",

mod_jk is a replacement to the elderly mod_jserv.  It is a completely new Tomcat-Apache plugin that passed adaptation to Tomcat.  With some luck, working with it is going to be simpler for everyone.  Here are some things to consider:

  • mod_jserv was too complex because it supported JServ specific requirements that Tomcat does not pose.
  • mod_jserv supported only Apache; on the other hand Tomcat supports many web servers through a compatibility layer named the jk library.  Supporting two different modes of work became problematic in terms of support, documentation and bug fixes.  mod_jk should fix that.
  • The layered approach provided by the jk library makes it easier to support both Apache1.3.x and Apache2.xx.
  • mod_jserv only supports AJP v1.2.  JServ is feature complete, and won't be enhanced aside from bug fixes.
  • mod_jk supports
    • AJP v1.3 - reuse the TCP connection between Apache and Tomcat, much faster.
    • JNI - the fastest if you have a multithreaded server like Apache 2.0.

Where do I get them?

Binaries are available for Linux and Win32 under the bin directory where you obtained the Tomcat distribution file.  For Linux, JServ is available as and Jk is available as  For Win32, JServ is available as ApacheModuleJServ.dll and Jk is available as mod_jk.dll.

For UNIX, JServ and Jk must be build from source.  Source is available as part of the Tomcat source distribution.  JServ source is found in the src/native/apache/jServ directory, which contains make files for UNIX and Win32.  Jk source is found in src/native/jk plus src/native/apache1.3 or src/native/apache2.0 depending on which Apache is the target.  Jk make files for FreeBSD, Linux, Netware, and Win32 (as a Visual C++ 6 project file) are found in the apache1.3 and apache2.0 directories.

How do I build them?

The make files for JServ contain a small amount of documentation within.  A little more can be found in User's Guide.  What we have below serves as a brief treatment of the mod_jk build steps for Win32 and *nix.  This is by no means meant to be a complete treatment of the build process in all environments, just a quick hit to get you started.

Win32 (an excerpt from our mod_jk HOWTO):

The redirector was developed using Visual C++ Ver.6.0, so having this environment is a prereq if you want to perform a custom build.  The steps that you need to take are:

  1. Change to the desired Apache (as explained above) source directory.
  2. Set an APACHE1_HOME environment variable which points to where your Apache is installed.
  3. Execute the following command:

    MSDEV mod_jk.dsp /MAKE ALL

    NOTE: If msdev is not in your path, enter the full path to msdev.exe. Also, ApacheCore.lib is expected to exist in the APACHE1_HOME\src\CoreD and APACHE1_HOME\src\CoreR directories before linking will succeed. You will need to build enough of the Apache source to create these libraries.
  4. Copy mod_jk.dll to Apache's modules directory.

This will build both release and debug versions of the redirector plugin (mod_jk).  An alternative will be to open mod_jk.dsp in msdev and build it using the build menu.


  1. Change to the desired Apache (as explained above) source directory.
  2. Set the environment variable $APACHE_HOME to the root of the Apache source tree.
  3. Execute the following command:


That's it!

Configuration implications

The effects we're concerned with relate to the different Apache directives each adapter makes available to us.  Conceptually, we'll be adding Apache directives to get the same job done, but depending on which adapter you've chosen, they will differ.  We will take both adapters into consideration while explaining the Apache configuration in subsequent sections.

httpd.conf - Apache's main configuration file

Now that we've answered questions (2) and (3), we're ready to dive into question (1) - Apache itself.  We need to tell Apache how to load and initialize our adapter, and that certain requests should be handled by this adapter and forwarded onto Tomcat.  Which requests depends on your configuration.  Surprisingly enough, this part can be just as simple as the previous two, considering that (surprise!) Tomcat does most of the work for you.

Each time you start Tomcat, after it loads Contexts (both from the server.xml and automatically from $TOMCAT_HOME/webapps), it automagically generates a number of files for you.  The two that we're concerned with are:

Both of these files do exactly what we want - supplement Apache's httpd.conf file with the directives necessary to have Apache (Tomcat) serve our static (dynamic) content needs.  We'll be examining each file in the coming sections.  For many users, directly including one of these files in httpd.conf, depending on the adapter you're using, suffices.  For example, if you're using mod_jk (which we suggest!), you would insert the following:

include /tomcat/conf/mod_jk.conf-auto

...of course substituting in the directory you've installed Tomcat into, in place of /tomcat.  NOTE: These files are generated each time Tomcat starts, and a Tomcat configuration change affecting whichever file you're including necessitates an Apache restart.  If you plan on customizing this file, do it elsewhere, as it is overwritten at each restart.


For now, refer to the comments in the mod_jk.conf-auto file and mod_jk HOWTO for details.


This isn't nearly as verbose as the mod_jk file, and is therefore a bit trickier to read through.  What you will see below is a condensed version of the .conf file generated from a server.xml containing our Running Examples.  To aid in our explanation of the file's contents, we've inserted comments directly, and funked with the formatting.

Before we get started, there is one JServ directive used extensively that you should know about: ApJServMount.  ApJServMount has the following syntax:

ApJServMount <URI> <Tomcat process location and context in URI format (relative or full)>

In English, this says, "Any request that starts with <URI> should be passed on to <Tomcat process location and context> for execution."  Don't worry if it's not quite clear yet, examples follow!

This file has been modified quite a bit as the auto-generated one doesn't do exactly what we want, and isn't laden with comments :-) but it comes pretty close!  With the knowledge gained thus far, this shouldn't be too much of a leap, so here goes: 

Apache-Tomcat Configuration where Apache Serves the Static Content
# BEGIN JServ Configuration
# Step (1) - See description following this sample file
LoadModule jserv_module libexec/
<IfModule mod_jserv.c>
# Step (2) - See description following this sample file
ApJServManual          on
ApJServSecretKey       DISABLED
ApJServMountCopy       on
ApJServLogLevel        notice
# Step (3) - See description following this sample file
ApJServDefaultProtocol ajpv12
ApJServDefaultPort     8007
ApJServDefaultHost     localhost
# END JServ Configuration
# The following two lines register the JSP type with
# Apache and instruct it to have all JSP requests
# handled by the jserv-servlet handler.
AddType      text/jsp .jsp
AddHandler   jserv-servlet .jsp
# WAS: ApJServMount /servlet /ROOT
# WHY: We changed it because we want to explicitly state
#      that all requests to /servlet are sent to our
#      "/rootExample" context in Tomcat.  See the details
#      of Example (1) above for more information.

ApJServMount /servlet /rootExample
# Step (4) - BEGIN Example (1) Configuration
# Step (4a)
# WAS: Alias /rootExample "/home/rslifka/tomcat/webapps/rootExample"
# WHY: Why did we remove it?  Well, this was here so that requests
#      to http://localhost/rootExample would serve the right
#      static documents.  Unfortunately, we wanted our application residing
#      at the root of the server, and not under the /rootExample directory.
#      The DocumentRoot should be set instead.
DocumentRoot /home/rslifka/tomcat/webapps/rootExample
# Step (4b)
# WHY: Just like a regular Apache setup, we're setting some
#      traits of how we'd like requests handled.  See the Apache
#      documentation for more detail than you could ever want. ;)
#      This particular setup leaves directory indices on, which
#      most people turn off.  To do that, you'd use the uncommented
#      line in the middle of the <Directory> element.
<Directory "/home/rslifka/tomcat/webapps/rootExample">
    Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
#   Options -Indexes
# Step 4(c)
# WAS: ApJServMount /rootExample/servlet /rootExample
# WHY: Why did we remove it?  Because we remapped the first
#      ApJServMount further up, before the configuration for
#      this context.
# Step 4(d)
# WHY: As per the servlet spec, nothing under WEB-INF should
#      be viewable since that's where all your gold (web.xml, etc.) is.
#      See the User's Guide and servlet spec for more information on 
#      the application hierarchy.
<Location "/home/rslifka/tomcat/webapps/rootExample/WEB-INF/">
    AllowOverride None
    deny from all
# END Example(1) Configuration
# Step (5) - BEGIN Example (2) Configuration
Alias /subdirExample /home/rslifka/tomcat/webapps/slifkaExample
ApJServMount /subdirExample/servlet /slifkaExample
<Location "/home/rslifka/tomcat/webapps/slifkaExample/WEB-INF/">
    AllowOverride None
    deny from all
<Directory "/home/rslifka/tomcat/webapps/slifkaExample">
    Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
# END Example(2) Configuration

All of the above directives, with the exception of anything prefixed by "ApJServ" are extensively documented in the Apache User's Guide.  If you find our coverage brief, please look there for the desired information.

Below, we go into further detail about each commented step:

1.    Instruct Apache to load the jserv shared-object (or the NT world dll).

If the loading went well and the module came from a file named mod_jserv.c (1a) we can start with the rest of the configuration.

2.    This step sets various JServ internal parameters, in order:

  • Instruct JServ not to start the Tomcat process. Automatically starting Tomcat is not implemented yet.
  • Disable the secret key challenge/response between Apache and Tomcat. Again, the secret key work is not implemented yet.
  • Instruct JServ to copy the base server mount points (see next section) in case of virtual hosting.
  • Instruct JServ to use the notice log level. Other log levels include emerg, alert, crit, error, warn, info and debug.

3.    This step sets JServ's default communication parameters.

It says that the default protocol used for the communication is ajpv12 (do not mess with this one) and that the Tomcat process runs on the same machine and listens on port 8007.  If you run Tomcat on a machine other than the one used for Apache you should either update your ApJServDefaultHost or use a full URL when mounting contexts (see next). Also, if you configured the Tomcat connectors to use a port other then 8007, you should update your ApJServDefaultPort or use a full URL when mounting contexts.

4.    These steps "register" (for lack of a better word) our Example (1) context w/Apache.

Most everything is explained up inside the example, but there are a few things you should know.  The first is that, as you can see, contexts mounted at the root of your web (e.g. http://localhost/ versus http://localhost/myApp) server require a little more work than they would otherwise.  Second, don't take anything auto-generated for granted.  It's a very nice feature and works in many, many cases.  Still though, you're setting up two complicated pieces of software and should probably be familiar with what it all means and why/how it all works!  Tomcat has no way of knowing how you're going to "register" the context in Apache, and does its best to guess.

5.    These steps register our Example (2) context w/Apache.

There are two differences between Example (1) and Example (2)'s setup.  First, since the DocumentRoot is already defined and mounted to our rootExample content (Example (1)), we use an Alias to tell Apache how to serve up our static documents.  Second, we modify the ApJServMount directive to reflect the path that the context resides in (/subdirExample).

Your configuration is complete!  All you have to do now is restart Apache, and you're cooking with gas.

Multiple Tomcat JVMs

Sometimes it is useful to have different contexts handled by different JVMs, for example:

Implementing such schemes where different contexts are served by different JVMs is very easy and the following configuration file demonstrates this:

Tomcat Configuration

Here's where we have to step back to Tomcat.   First, you have to be running two separate instances of Tomcat, hence the "mutliple JVMs".  Of course, each instance of Tomcat will need its web adapter Connector listening on a unique port.  You'll remember the following snippet from server.xml in our AJP section:

<!-- Apache AJP12 support. This is also used to shut down tomcat. --<
<Connector className="org.apache.tomcat.service.PoolTcpConnector">
    <Parameter name="handler" 
    <Parameter name="port"

The key here is that each port parameter's "value" attribute must have a different value.  To keep in sync, let's pretend that our Example (1) has its own instance of Tomcat, as does Example (2).  Example(1)'s port is 8007 and Example (2)'s port is 8009; they are both running on the localhost.

NOTE: There are other changes required to run multiple instances of Tomcat (e.g. specifying different logging directories).  Those changes and more are covered in the User's Guide.

Apache Configuration

We've snipped out the irrelevant sections (at least to this example) of the .conf file.  The only change(s) you need to make, is to be a bit more specific when instructing the web server adapter on how to find the Tomcat process responsible for your context.

Apache-Tomcat Configuration with per Context JVM
[ snip! ]

# Mounting Example (1)
ApJServMount /servlet ajpv12://localhost:8007/rootExample

# Mounting Example (2)
ApJServMount /subdirExample/servlet ajpv12://localhost:8009/slifkaExample
[ snip! ]

As you can see, the key to integrating multiple instances with Apache is to specify the full URL when mounting via the ApJServMount directive.  This is how you're able to tell JServ that the Tomcat processes are each listening on separate ports.  If the Tomcat instances were running on separate machines, you would change the "localhost" to the appropriate machine name in the ApJServMount directive(s).

NOTE: Your $TOMCAT_HOME/conf/tomcat-apache.conf file is overwritten each time you restart Tomcat.  This configuration requires a custom tomcat-apache.conf, so making your changes to, and subsequently including, one of the auto-generated ones is a *bad idea*.  Your changes will be overwritten each time Tomcat restarts.

Virtual Hosting

Once you've got Apache configured correctly with the <VirtualHost> entries (discussed in part below), getting virtual hosting working under Tomcat isn't that difficult. There are two ways achieving this:

  1. Use a different Tomcat port (and therefore multiple instances of Tomcat) between Apache and Tomcat per virtual host.
  2. Use the <Host> directive in Tomcats' server.xml file

To set up Apache and Tomcat using the first method, you need to set up a different ports for Apache and Tomcat to communicate for each host. Here's a sample Apache configuration (which uses mod_jserv):

Option 1 - Different Tomcat for each Apache Virtual Host
[ snip! ]
# Mount Example (3)s virtual host
DocumentRoot path-to-your-docbase
ApJServMount /servlet ajpv12://localhost:8007/vhostExample

# Mount Example (4)s virtual host
ApJServMount /servlet ajpv12://localhost:8009/examples
DocumentRoot path-to-your-docbase
[ snip! ]

NOTE: Remember to set the DocumentRoot so Apache knows where to serve the static files from.  In our mod_jserv and mod_jk examples, this was done by specifying an Alias since the DocumentRoot was already defined.  Keep in mind that the ApJServMount is relative from the DocumentRoot.  What's a DocumentRoot and what's an Alias?  See the Apache User's Guide!

As you can see from the above example, using Tomcat in a virtual hosting environment isn't that different insofar as Apache is concerned.  Of course, you'll need to setup the appropriate <VirtualHost> entries, but other than that, there isn't much difference.  Inside each virtual host entry, you have all of your context-specific information in the usual way, and that's it really.

Here is an example setup for a machine serving virtual hosts using the second method described above.

Option 2 - Same Tomcat for all Virtual Hosts (httpd.conf)
[ snip! ]
# Minimalistic Virtual Host configuration
ServerName host1
DocumentRoot /web/host1/html
ApJServMount /servlet /ROOT
<Directory "/web/host1/html/WEB-INF">
Options None
Deny from all

ServerName host2
DocumentRoot /web/host2/html
ApJServMount /servlet /ROOT
<Directory "/web/host2/html/WEB-INF">
Options None
Deny from all
[ snip! ]

This creates two virtual hosts, host1 and host2, both running off of the same IP -  Any requests for paths beginning with "/servlet" are passed to Tomcat for processing, as are JSP requests, providing of course that you've added the aforementioned AddType and AddHandler directives.

Next, you need to configure Tomcat's server.xml file.

Option 2 - Same Tomcat for all Virtual Hosts (server.xml)
[ snip! ]
# Minimalistic Virtual Host configuration
ServerName host1
DocumentRoot /web/host1/html
ApJServMount /servlet /ROOT
<Directory "/web/host1/html/WEB-INF">
Options None
Deny from all

ServerName host2
DocumentRoot /web/host2/html
ApJServMount /servlet /ROOT
<Directory "/web/host2/html/WEB-INF">
Options None
Deny from all
[ snip! ]

That's it!  Place your servlets in the WEB-INF/classes directory for each virtual host, restart Tomcat and Apache, and you should be away.  If not, be sure to check the Common Problems section.

Common Installation and Configuration Problems

This section isn't meant to be your one-stop shop for all troubles Tomcat-Apache, but a resource for stumbling blocks common to many first-time Tomcat'ers.  See the help section of the User's Guide for additional links.

One thing that many users don't recall is that there is a wealth of information to be found in the log files!  Primarily, the tomcat.log file in your $TOMCAT_HOME/logs directory, or wherever you've configured it.  If you want more detail, see the User's Guide for instructions on how to edit your server.xml to have more verbose logging.

In addition, the web server adapter has a log file as well.  It's usually <adapter_name>.log (e.g. mod_jserv.log).

Requesting http://webserver:8007/ produces an HTTP 500 error

If this occurs, you should see a stack trace in your tomcat.log file, starting with:


By default, Tomcat listens for AJP connections on port 8007.  AJP is a protocol used to communicate between the web server and Tomcat, not Tomcat and your browser.  Many first-time users mistakenly assume that this is how you test your Tomcat installation or Tomcat-Apache integration, while this is not the case.

Apache doesn't start when Tomcat is running

This most likely means that Tomcat is trying to use a port that is already being used by someone else - usually Apache or another instance of Tomcat.  By default, Tomcat's comes configured to run an HTTP server on port 8080.  If you examine the supplied server.xml file, you'll see the following element:

<!-- Normal HTTP -->
<Connector className="org.apache.tomcat.service.PoolTcpConnector">
    <Parameter name="handler" 
    <Parameter name="port" 

To disable this, just comment out the entire <Connector> element.  Otherwise, just change it to a port that doesn't conflict with Apache.  If you're not going to use the Tomcat HTTP server, and you probably won't be if you are reading this document, disable it.

If you're running Apache / JServ, JServ may be clashing with Tomcat on port 8007 as well.

Can I run both Apache/JServ and Apache/Tomcat on the same machine?

Apparently you can, but you'll need to use mod_jserv rather than mod_jk.  As of Tomcat 3.2b2, the is the same as that used by Apache/JServ.  You will need to run Apache/JServ on a different port to Tomcat, then you can control which servlet engine/container handles which requests by specifying the appropriate port via the ApJServMount directive in Apache's httpd.conf.

<Directory> and <Location> directives ignored

Apache forwards all requests underneath a mounting to Tomcat.  Let's say you had the following at the root-level of your httpd.conf file.  You're thinking, "I'll forward all JSP and Servlet requests to Tomcat".  What Apache thinks is, "I'll forward EVERYTHING to Tomcat":

Counter-intuitive Tomcat-Apache configuration
[ snip! ]
# OOPS! - Forward everything to Tomcat
ApJServMount / ajpv12://myTomcatHost:1234/blah
# Do not show directory indicies
<Directory "/home/myApp">
	AllowOverride AuthConfig
	Options -Indexes

# Block WEB-INF from all viewing
<Location "/home/myApp/WEB-INF/">
	AllowOverride None
	deny from all

[ snip! ]

What's happened here is that the first ApJServMount is saying, "Anything under the root '/' should be forwarded to the following Tomcat process/path for handling."  This results in requests for static documents being forwarded as well, which isn't what we want.  If I was told to 'fix' the above conf file, I would just change the '/' after ApJServMount to "/servlet".  You would have already defined earlier up that all JSP requests go to the jserv-servlet handler (see our Apache-mod_jserv configuration section).

mod_ssl - pages sometimes don't finish loading using Internet Explorer

Tomcat sends data back to the browser using the Transfer-Encoding: Chunked method.  This causes problems with Internet Explorer when using SSL.  The solution is to make sure the first line of the returned file isn't blank.

mod_ssl - getScheme() always returns HTTP!

The protocol used by mod_jserv can't identify whether a page was requested via HTTP or HTTPS.  Yes, Apache/JServ did it, but that was a hack (just checked for requests on port 443).  The solution is either to check for port 443 yourself, or to upgrade to mod_jk and the ajpv13 protocol.  Another symptom of this is finding requests redirected to rather than

Migrating from Apache/JServ JSSI  to Apache/Tomcat

Tomcat doesn't support JSSI. Until someone writes an Interceptor to handle them, the easiest way is to convert your .jhtml files to .jsp files.  Just replace:

<servlet name=myServlet>
    <param name=aParam value=aValue>


<jsp:include page="/servlet/myServlet" flush="true" >
    <jsp:param name="aParam" value="aValue" />

mod_rewrite - Used to work fine with Apache/JServ, what gives?

Tomcat implements the servlet specification v2.2, whereas JServ implemented version 2.1.  In the newer version, there are tighter restrictions on the mapping from URL (what the user requests) to the filename (what they get).  Specifically, it insists that:

request URI = context path + servlet path + path info

This means that the arbitrary mappings that mod_rewrite is capable of simply won't work without breaking the Servlet specification.  One solutions is to use the [R] flag on the RewriteRule directive to "externally redirect" the request.

Tomcat isn't receiving requests under /servlet

If you have a "<Location />" directive in your httpd.conf file, this will take precedence over any ApJServMount directives.  The following example won't forward "/servlet" requests to Tomcat.

ApJServMount /servlet /ROOT
<Location />
Options Indexes Multiviews

A workaround is to use <Directory> instead of <Location>

How do I get Tomcat to start automatically as "nobody"?

If your UNIX-style box has an "rc.d"-style boot directory (Solaris, RedHat, etc.), then the simplest way is to create a file in the appropriate boot directory which looks something like this:

su - nobody -c "/tomcat/bin/ $@"

You can then invoke this as /etc/rc.d/init.d/tomcat (start | stop) from your boot sequence in the same way that you start Apache (for instance).

mod_jk - I want to use it, but I can't find it.  Where is it?

As of this writing (Sept. 30, 2000) mod_jk has to be built from the Tomcat source distibution.

mod_jk - Apache locks up when requesting a Servlet or JSP

mod_jk reuses the same port when talking to Tomcat, unlike mod_jserv.  You'll need to restart Apache whenever you restart Tomcat.


This document was created by Gal Shachor.  It was split off into a separate document and revised by Rob Slifka and Mike Bremford.  Contributors, listed in alphabetical order:

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