Secure Cookies:  Installing Tomcat and Java

1. Downloading Files. Download Tomcat from If you do not have JDK 1.5 installed you need to download and install it from This is the link to the J2SE Development Kit 5.0 Update 6 and NetBeans IDE 5.0 Software Bundle.

2. Installing JDK. When installing java you should create a directory where the JDK will be installed i.e. C:\Java. You will also have to set the PATH so both java –version and javac –help gives a result when entered in the command window.

To set your java PATH variable open your System Properties window through the Control Panel and click on System. Then click on the Advanced tab and select Environment Variables.

3. Environment Variable for Java. Create a new environment variable called JAVA_HOME and enter the path to the JDK, which is C:\Java\jdk1.5.0_06. Failing to set this variable properly will prevent Tomcat from calling any servlets.

4. Installing Tomcat. Before you being the installation of Tomcat create a folder called Tomcat under your C drive, which is where you will put Tomcat5. Start the Tomcat installer and follow the on-screen directions. When you are presented with the Installation Location screen click the Browse button to change the installation location.

Navigate to the Tomcat folder you created in the previous step and click Make New Folder and create a Tomcat5 folder where Tomcat will be installed. Click OK to continue.

Your destination folder should now be C:\Tomcat\Tomcat5. Click Next to continue the installation.

Change the HTTP Connector Port to 80, which is convenient to run Tomcat on assuming you have no other sever already running on port 80. This is the default HTTP port instead of the 8080 port Tomcat uses. This will allow you to use URLs of the form http://localhost/folder instead of http://localhost:8080/folder. Click Next to continue.

You will have to select the path of the JVM Tomcat will use. This should already be filled in for you, so all you have to do is confirm that the path is correct. If it is not click the Browse button and navigate to where the JRE is installed and click OK. Click Install to complete the installation of the JDK.

The next step is to tell Tomcat to check the modification dates of the class files or requested servlets, and reload ones that have changed since they were loaded into the server’s memory. This will degrade performance; however, if you leave this off you will have to restate Tomcat every time you recompile a servlet.

To turn on servlet reloading edit the context.xml file found at C:\Tomcat\Tomcat5\conf.

Change <Context> to <Context reloadable = “true”>.

The invoker servlet lets you run servlets without first having to make changes to your Web application’s deployment descriptor, which is the web.xml file in WEB-INF. Instead, all you have to do is drop your servlet into WEB-INF/classes and use the URL http://localhost/servlet/ServletName. This is convenient during development but should be turned off before deploying any real applications.

Uncomment the following servlet and servlet-mapping elements in the C:\Tomcat\Tomcat5\conf\web.xml file. The servlet element starts at line 100 and lookes like:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The servlet-mapping element starts at line 351 and looks like:


Before you continue with this tutorial you should test Tomcat to ensure that the installation was successful. Right click on the Apache Monitor icon in your task bar and select Open Services.

Right click Apache Tomcat and click Start.

In the middle of the Apache Monitor icon there should be a green arrow, indicating that an Apache service is running. If there is still a red box like the previous image, then Tomcat did not start.

After starting Tomcat open a browser and go to http://localhost and you should get the Tomcat welcome page. If you receive an error message go back through the installation steps.

5. Tomcat and Servlets. To configure Tomcat to work with servlets you have to identify the servlet classes to the compiler because servlets and JSP are not a part of Java 2 platform, standard edition. You need to include the servlet-api.jar and jsp-api.jar in your CLASSPATH.

Open your System Properties window through the Control Panel and click on System. Then click on the Advanced tab and select Environment Variables.

Create a new environment variable called CLASSPATH. Enter C:\Tomcat\Tomcat5\common\lib\servlet-api.jar and C:\Tomcat\Tomcat5\common\lib\jsp-api.jar in the value for the new environment variable. You should have a . as your first entry to represent the current directory. All entries should be separated by a ;.

To test your servlet configuration open a browser and go to http://localhost and find the Examples menu on the left hand side. Check that both the JSP Examples and Servlet Examples work.