Startup problems with tomcat5.5

Ghodmode ghodmode at
Tue May 1 15:11:02 UTC 2007

On 5/2/07, Andreas Schildbach <andreas at> wrote:
> Hello everyone,
> I've got a strange problem with the tomcat5.5 package.
> After installing tomcat5.5 and sun-java5-jdk on Feisty, I can run
> sudo /etc/init.d/tomcat5.5 start
> However, Tomcat actually does not really start and does not open a port,
> although it can be seen in the process list.
> I need to do
> sudo less /var/log/tomcat5.5/catalina.out
> The second I do that, Tomcat starts up.
> Note that catalina.out it not a "regular file"; it has got the "p" flag.
> What does it mean?
> Is this strange behaviour expected? Is it a bug?
> Regards,
> Andreas
Hi Andreas,
    Something weird is happening.  catalina.out is supposed to be a normal
file, not a named pipe (that's what the 'p' means).  Try deleting the
catalina.out pipe and replacing it with a regular file:

sudo /etc/init.d/tomcat5.5 stop
sudo rm /var/log/tomcat5.5/catalina.out
sudo touch /var/log/tomcat5.5/catalina.out

    The tomcat server hanging until you try to look at the contents of
catalina.out is a feature of a named pipe, though.  Look at
this<>discussion of named
pipes from the Linux Journal (

    I've never installed Tomcat using the package as it's really easy to do
using the regular binary distribution.  I understand the benefits of using
the package, but if you continue to have problems, try just downloading the
binary distribution and using that.

-- Vince
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