For administrators and web developers alike, there are some important bits of information you should familiarize yourself with before starting out. This document serves as a brief introduction to some of the concepts and terminology behind the Tomcat container. As well, where to go when you need help.
In the course of reading these documents, you will run across a number of terms; some specific to Tomcat, and others defined by the Servlet and JSP specifications.
That is it. If you find any more terms we need to add to this section, please do let us know.
Throughout the docs, you'll notice there are numerous references to $CATALINA_HOME. This represents the root of your Tomcat installation. When we say, "This information can be found in your $CATALINA_HOME/README.txt file" we mean to look at the README.txt file at the root of your Tomcat install. Optionally, Tomcat may be configured for multiple instances by defining $CATALINA_BASE for each instance. If multiple instances are not configured, $CATALINA_BASE is the same as $CATALINA_HOME.
These are some of the key tomcat directories:
*.shfiles (for Unix systems) are functional duplicates of the
*.batfiles (for Windows systems). Since the Win32 command-line lacks certain functionality, there are some additional files in here.
This section will acquaint you with the basic information used during the configuration of the container.
All of the information in the configuration files is read at startup, meaning that any change to the files necessitates a restart of the container.
While we've done our best to ensure that these documents are clearly written and easy to understand, we may have missed something. Provided below are various web sites and mailing lists in case you get stuck.
Keep in mind that some of the issues and solutions vary between the major versions of Tomcat. As you search around the web, there will be some documentation that is not relevant to Tomcat 8, but only to earlier versions.
And, if you think something should be in the docs, by all means let us know on the TOMCAT-DEV list.