The Tomcat Servlet/JSP Container

Apache Tomcat 4

Apache Logo



In order to use Tomcat 4 for developing web applications, you must first install it (and the software it depends on). The required steps are outlined in the following subsections.


Tomcat will operate under any Java Development Kit (JDK) environment that provides a JDK 1.2 (also known as Java2 Standard Edition, or J2SE) or later platform. You will need a Java Development Kit, as opposed to a Java Runtime Environment, so that your servlets, other classes, and JSP pages can be compiled. Tomcat 4 has been extensively tested with JDK 1.3.1, which is recommended.

Compatible JDKs for many platforms (or links to where they can be found) are available at


Binary downloads of the Tomcat server are available from This manual assumes you are using the most recent release of Tomcat 4. Detailed instructions for downloading and installing Tomcat 4 are available here.

In the remainder of this manual, example shell scripts assume that you have set an environment variable CATALINA_HOME that contains the pathname to the directory in which Tomcat 4 has been installed.


Binary downloads of the Ant build tool are available from This manual assumes you are using Ant 1.4 or later. The instructions should also be compatible with later versions, but this has not been tested.

Download and install Ant from the distribution directory mentioned above. Then, add the bin directory of the Ant distribution to your PATH environment variable, following the standard practices for your operating system platform. Once you have done this, you will be able to execute the ant shell command directly.


Besides the required tools described above, you are strongly encouraged to download and install a source code control system, such as the Concurrent Version System (CVS), to maintain historical versions of the source files that make up your web application. Besides the server, you will also need appropriate client tools to check out source code files, and check in modified versions.

Detailed instructions for installing and using source code control applications is beyond the scope of this manual. However, CVS server and client tools for many platforms (along with documentation) can be downloaded from

Copyright © 1999-2009, Apache Software Foundation