Today I got a chance to play around with building the brand new Tomcat 7.

If you’ve read my book, you know the steps.

To summarize:

1) Get the latest JDK, which right now is at version 6u21. Add {JAVA_HOME}/bin to your path.

2)  Get winmd5sum – those of you who know me are aware of how paranoid i am :)

3) Get Apache Ant, which is currently at 1.8.1. Add your {ANT_HOME}/bin folder to your path.

4) Get the Subversion command line client, which is at 1.6.12.

That’s all you need.

Now, download the latest source to an apporpriate folder on  your workstation:

svn co

Finally, change over to the  TOMCAT_7_0_0 folder that was just created. You should find build.xml in there.

Simply type “ant” and sit back as your shiny new Tomcat installation is built.

To start up your new Tomcat build, change directory to the output/build/bin and run startup.bat.

In your browser, mosey on over to http://localhost to access your Tomcat installation.

Compared to building Tomcat 6, I was pleasantly surprised with the ease with which  Tomcat was built from its source.  So far so good with this new iteration.

Eclipse Helios

To get Tomcat to run within Eclipse Helios, I downloaded the 64-bit version of Eclipse 3.6 (

I set up the Eclipse Classpath Variables ANT_HOME and TOMCAT_LIBS_BASE to point to the Ant install folder and the path to where the Ant build downloaded its JARs (c:\usr\share\java, by default).

A couple of warnings are in order here:
1. run the “ant extras” target to download the webservices JARs that are required to build the project in Helios.
2. Rename the “eclipse.project” and “eclipse.classpath” to drop the “eclipse” part of the file name.

Now, add a Run configuration for the org.apache.catalina.startup.Bootstrap class as a Java Application. Run up the application, and go on over to http://localhost:8080 as before.

That’s it!