Java, Tomcat, and Eclipse for Web Development - Part III
Copyright © 2005
Install Tomcat Plugin for Eclipse on Windows XP
1. Download Tomcat plugin for Eclipse
Click the following link to download the tomcat plugin for Eclipse. http://www.sysdeo.com/eclipse/tomcatPluginV3.zip
Unzip the downloaded file and copy its contents to C:\eclipse\plugins\,assuming that you installed Eclipse at C:\eclipse\. Now folder C:\eclipse\plugins\com.sysdeo.eclipse.tomcat_3.0.0\ should exist. 2. Configure Tomcat plugin for Eclipse
First close all Eclipse if there is any running. Start Eclipse. This would force Eclipse to freshly load all plugins from its plugins
, then expand Tomcat
in the left column of the windows. If Tomcat
is not shown in the list, you may want to check whether a folder named "com.sysdeo.eclipse.tomcat_3.0.0
" exits in the plugins
folder of the Eclipse. If not, carefully perform step 1 again.
The folowing shows how to configure Tomcat at the top level, Tomcat
, and Advanced, JVM Settings, Source Path, and Tomcat Manager App at the second level, as shown in the Preferences screen snapshot below.
Double click Tomcat
in the left column, the following dialog box shows. If you followed this tutorial from the beginning, fill the information as shown.
Select Version 5.x
for Tomcation version.
Enter C:\Program Files\Apache Software Foundation\Tomcat 5.5
for Tomcat home.
Do not modify the Configuration file
location. It is chosen automatically when you selected Tomcat home.Advanced:
in the left column, the following snapshot shows. You may set the Tomcat base
to the same as tomcat home, which is default setting. If you are not familiar with Java Secuity, make sure Launch Tomcat using Security Manager
deselected as shown below.
Select Java Settings
in the left column, the following snapshot shows. The JRE entry should match what you have on your system.
Select Source Path
in the left column.
Tomcat Manager App:
Select Tomcat Manager App
in the left column. Enter a user name and password then click Add user to tomcat-users.xml
button to add the manager to Tomcat permanently. You will use this pair of user name and password for application deployment later. tomcat-users.xml
is a Tomcat configuration file in XML stored in the conf
directory in the Tomcat home. The file defines different roles such as admin
etc and then specifies each user's name and password and roles the user may play. In this step, by adding the manager's user name and password to this file, one will be able to log in to Tomcat from a Web browser as a manager to remotely start, stop, restart, deploy any application under the Tomcat Web server.
4. Click OK
. Now the Tomcat plugin configuration is completed.
5. Create a Tomcat project. Select File->New->Project
and then select Tomcat Project
as shown below.
6. Click Next
and then enter "MyTomcat" as Project Name
as shown below. You may use whatever a name that is meaningful for your project.
7. Click Next
and then enter "/MyTomcat" as Context Name
then click Finish
. The context name by default is the project name prefixed with a "/". After you click Next
from previous screen, it should display the default context name, then just click Finish
Tomcat uses server.xml
file stored in the $TOMCAT_HOME/conf directory for various configurations and one of them is to locate projects that are not placed in Tomcat's webapps
folder. By selecting "Can update server.xml file
" you allow Eclipse to add a line to the server.xml
file such that your project is accessed by the Tomcat server from your project location directly without having a copy in Tomcat's webapps
folder. This feature is very useful when you use your local machine only for development (the production server is a different machine.) since there is no duplicate copy needed in the webapps directory for testing.
After clicking Finish
, go to $TOMCAT_HOME/conf/server.xml file and you will find the following line added at the end of the file:
<Context path="/MyTomcat" Path
specifies the name you use in the URL to address the application in web browsers. DocBase
tells Tomcat where to find the application, and workDir
is a location for servlets to use. The reloadable
attribute allows dynamic reloading of the application when it is true. Dynamic reloading means that whenever a changed file in WEB-INF/classes
is found, Tomcat will reload the application.
By default Tomcat plugin assigns true
to the reloadable
attribute since it assumes the Tomcat used with Eclipse is NOT a production server. Determining whether files have been changed or not takes time aways from the Tomcat web server, thus it should only be employed in development environment. It should be turned off (reloadable="false")
on a production server.
8. After clicking Finish
from the previous screen, you should find MyTomcat
project appear in the Package Explorer
display as shown in the snapshot below.