Basic FreeBSD Java/Tomcat questions

inonit at inonit.com inonit at inonit.com
Thu Jul 28 13:47:41 GMT 2005


Hello, all.  I'm an old hand with Java but relatively inexperienced with
FreeBSD, and I've never run Java there until the last few days.  I had a
few things I was wondering about.  I can't find these things in the
archives, and don't know where else to look.  Some of my questions might
betray my lack of FreeBSD knowledge ...

My preferences:

1.  Avoid customization to the extent possible -- I don't really want to
spend much energy being an admin -- even if my configuration is not
optimally flexible, or whatever.  This means I'd prefer to use packages
from 5.4-RELEASE as opposed to ports, etc.

2.  Not to have to build full JDK (with web start, plugins, etc.) --
building minimal took days as it was.

3.  Simplest system possible, fewest installs possible, ease of
administration/use.

Here's what I've done so far:

1.  Installed FreeBSD 5.4-RELEASE (minimal distribution set only)

2.  Built jdk-minimal-1.4.2p7 from source on test machine.  Seemed to go
fine.  Created package using pkg_create -b ...

3.  Installed jdk-minimal-1.4.2p7 as package.  java -version works; haven't
tried much else, except ...

4.  jakarta-tomcat-5.0.30 as package WITHOUT its dependencies (i.e.,
pkg_add -r from my own server, which does not have the fonts stuff on it). 
Besides emitting the predicatable complaints about missing dependencies,
the pkg_add command emits a warning saying the jdk package is required and
I have jdk-minimal.

5.  Tomcat post-install
cp conf/server-minimal.xml.sample to conf/server.xml
cp conf/web.xml.sample to conf/web.xml
chown www conf/*.xml
/usr/local/etc/rc.d/020* start

What happens:

It works, so far as I can tell.  This means that I've gone to the home
page, not tested extensively.  The 'balancer' webapp doesn't initialize
correctly (fails with NoClassDefFoundError on
org.apache.commons.digester.Digester) but I'm not too worried about that
since I don't know exactly what it's for and I haven't read any docs yet.

Questions:

1.  Why does Tomcat depend on all the font stuff?  Can I safely run without
it?

2.  Same question with the jdk vs. jdk-minimal issue.

3.  What are the limitations of tomcat50ctl?  I've seen some messages in
the archives saying I'll need to change my /usr/local/etc/rc.d script if I
want to do things like command-line arguments to Tomcat, etc.

Comments:

I'm really pleased (as I've worked through these issues) about how smart 
the packaging system is (e.g., not deleting files if they've been changed).
Not sure to what extent credit is due FreeBSD developers and to what extent
credit is due to people on this list, but take whatever you're entitled to.
:)

Special praise for the jdk14 port -- for such a complex build, I'm shocked
how well it worked for me, particularly since I know very little about make.

Cheers,

-- David.



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