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Customize 404 errors in Apache Tomcat

John Bruso
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 16, 2005
Posts: 1
One would think the answer to this question is all over the web. But honestly, I can't find any good answers.

I want to customize (or redirect) the 400-500 errors running on my apache tomcat server.

Oddly, the current 404 message is blank.. doesn't even say 404??

The source of the page is:
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
<HTML><HEAD>
<META http-equiv=Content-Type content="text/html; charset=windows-1252"></HEAD>
<BODY></BODY></HTML>


I've edited the web.xml file here at the very bottom and restarted the server:
C:\Program Files\Apache Software Foundation\Tomcat 5.5\conf\web.xml

<welcome-file-list>
<welcome-file>index.html</welcome-file>
<welcome-file>index.htm</welcome-file>
<welcome-file>index.jsp</welcome-file>
</welcome-file-list>

<error-page>
<error-code>404</error-code>
<location>/error404.jsp</location>
</error-page>

</web-app>

Do I need to move this file to somewhere else, like under the webapps directory?

Also, I placed the error404.jsp page isnide this directory:
C:\Program Files\Apache Software Foundation\Tomcat 5.5\conf\Catalina\localhost

So, I'm lost... thank you for your help.

John
Ben Souther
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 11, 2004
Posts: 13410

Each application running under Tomcat will have it's own web.xml file (located under the WEB-INF directory.

The location entry will list the location of the JSP relative to the root of the application.

Example (assuming your app is named "MyApp"):
tomcat/webapps/MyApp
tomcat/webapps/MyApp/error404.jsp
tomcat/webapps/MyApp/WEB-INF/web.xml

When Tomcat starts up, it scans the webapps directory for war files or properly constructed directory structures and deploys them as web applications.


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Kat Rollo
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 30, 2014
Posts: 53

Ben Souther's answer worked for me. +1


Help first. Criticize second.
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 16305
    
  21

Welcome to the JavaRanch, Kat!

Tomcat has, in effect, a "shadow" webapp that lies underneath the actual webapps. It's where requests that cannot be processed using the logic that's in the webapp go.

The most obvious case is when you submit a URL that doesn't map to any of the servlets defined in a webapp's web.xml file. For example, a JSP or image request.

When the URL doesn't fit the app's URL pattern list, it gets sent to this "shadow" app's default servlet, which provides the default action - locating a compiled JSP (and, if necessary compiling it) and invoking its generated servlet code, or for non-code files and directories, copying/listing the contents of the file or directory whose resource location corresponds to the path provided in the URL.

If I tried, I could probably find a way to do what you're asking, but I don't recommend it. The default actions for Tomcat really shouldn't be customized, or the essential portability of web applications becomes compromised. Ideally, a J2EE/JEE web app is self-contained and will operate the same way on any copy of Tomcat in the world. And will require minimal changes to run on any other brand of J2EE/JEE-compliant web application server, such as JBoss.


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