[fedora-java] Eclipse and Tomcat - where?

Adam Batkin devel at batkin.net
Wed Dec 21 13:07:07 UTC 2005

Okay, here goes.

You CAN in fact run Tomcat under Eclipse, despite the fact that your 
default Tomcat installation may be set to run as root (and by default 
may require root privileges). This is because when Eclipse (and I assume 
you are also using the WTP/WST which is what actually provides the 
Tomcat integration) launches Tomcat with an alternate configuration 
file, it passes some extra command line options (setting catalina.base 
to your Tomcat installation directory, and setting catalina.home to a 
hidden Eclipse directory that it manages, and which contains an 
alternate configuration file). Without Eclipse, catalina.base and 
catalina.home usually point to the same place.

Anyway, those details aren't important, it just explains to everyone 
else how in the world Eclipse manages to launch Tomcat without root 
privileges (because they seemed to doubt it was possible).

So here's some guidance on fixing your problem (invalid tomcat 
installation directory).

See: http://www.eclipsezone.com/eclipse/forums/t33013.html

The basic summary is that Eclipse is looking for certain files inside 
your tomcat directory:

But at least one of those files doesn't exist because it is named 
something different (the article suggests servlet-api.jar is named 
"[servletapi5].jar", and from what I can remember with the same problem 
a few months ago on Fedora, I agree). The simple solution is to create a 
properly named symbolic link to that file, then you should be set.

Good luck!

-Adam Batkin

> Tomcat is a java servlet application server and yet developers
> using eclipse are doing development work so why should it be a
> "root" requirement to run and/or start it? Sure beats me...
> But in any case and from what I can tell, no matter what I enter into
> the "Tomcat installation directory" textbox, the eclipse program
> keeps saying that the directory provided is not a valid tomcat installation
> directory and will not allow me to continue.  I have used eclipse on windows
> for awhile and tomcat (or other server) selections runs fine - "root" or not
> and it even "installs" the server (along with Sun's version of their app server
> w/ DB support) which makes it pleasant for developers so why not follow the same
> pathway for linux-based developers? Why force configuration make us jump through
> hoops when all "we" care about is to develop applications? I *should* be able to
> choose *any* AS with Eclipse under Linux?
> Anyone care to jump in and tell me how to get tomcat started under
> Eclipse's control?

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