Tomcat 7 released, installer updated

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Tomcat is one the most popular Java servlet/JSP containers.

Tomcat 6 has been out since 2006 and the Tomcat team has just announced the first stable release of Tomcat 7. At the time of writing version 7.06 is the latest stable release.

Tomcat 7 implements the Servlet 3.0, JSP 2.2 and EL 2.2 specifications.

Along with the version bump Tomcat 7 offers a number of enhancements over older versions which are detailed in the changelog. There are a few things to keep in mind when installing or upgrading, some discussed in the release notes. Perhaps most importantly is that support for Java versions older that 6.0 have been dropped. But along with that developers should see better performance overall, and more consistent cookie and session handling.

For those interested in updating the hard way there is a detailed migration guide available.

Fortunately we have been working to update our installer script also described on our howto page. With that script we aim to take care of all the installation and upgrade hassle for you.

$ wget -q
$ bash --help (v3.1 : 49 2011-01-29 02:45:41Z root $)

 Usage: [--version (6 or 7)] [(setup type)] [--noprompt]
      [--installtarget (folder)] [----skip-migrate-webapps]
      [--remexample (y or n) --disableunpackwars (y or n)
      --reducesparethreads (y or n) --installadmin (y or n)
      --runonstartup (y or n) --uriutf8 (y or n)]

  Option notes:
  --noprompt      makes safe assumptions and runs without user interaction
  --installtarget optional install location (default is /usr/local/tomcat)
                  dont port customer webapps from existing install

  Setting the y/n options forces a custom setup.

  Setup types currently available
  * custom - customised installation, will prompt for options
  * standard - rimuhosting recomended setup (default)
  * hs - restrictive, used for administrative purposes

By default that still installs version 6, which most of you will prefer so that you can retain a stable development platform. However the option to install version 7 is now there. And we no longer provide support for version 5 from the script. New features in that script include an option to use an alternate install folder (default is /usr/local/tomcat), and when upgrading the script attempts to copy across webapps from your old install to ease any migration.

Some features of the installer script:

  • Our installer will set ‘sane’ memory options for VPSs with smallish amounts of memory.  And just tweak what you need in /usr/local/tomcat/bin/ afterwards.
  • It will install an /etc/init.d/tomcat stop/start/status script that is a great improvement on the simple script provided by the tomcat developers.
  • It handles version updates (installs the new version and migrates over your existing webapps, where it can).
  • Works on Redhat-like and Debian-like distros.
  • It adds an appropriate tomcat user/group.
  • Integrates with logrotate

PS: If you need an updated java version you can use our java installer. More about that is described on our Howto page.

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