Tomcat/Eclipse Integration Problem

I’m throwing this one open to the floor. Does anyone have any suggestions that might help? Here is the situation – I have a laptop and a desktop with seemingly identical software setups. Both are running W2K, Eclipse 2.1, Tomcat 4.1, Sysdeo TomcatPlugin 2.1 and are running the identical Struts project out of the same source repository. On the laptop, everything is fine. Hitting the Tomcat start button in Eclipse fires it up and everything runs just fine. On the desktop, hitting the Tomcat button almost immediately causes a fatal halt with a NoClassDefFoundError on the class On the desktop, Tomcat will start just fine if you start if from the startup.bat file but not from within Eclipse.

I have set the two computers side by side and walked through every option I can think of in Eclipse, in the Tomcat plugin settings, in the Tomcat config, in the environment variables. Both computers can run the StrutsUnit test cases successfuly. It is obviously classpath related on the Tomcat startup, but I can’t figure out why this is a problem. On the desktop. the TOMCAT_HOME option in the Sysdeo config is set to the correct directory, and I can open the jars by hand and see that in TOMCAT_HOME/server/lib is the jar mx4-jmx.jar, which contains that class. What I cannot figure out is why the desktop cannot find the class. My guess is that there is a very small delta between what I have and what would work fine, but I can’t find it. The only reference google turns up for a similar problem is a guy trying to use a launcher from within IntelliJ. If you can help, please leave me a comment so that conceivably this can help the next person to google it.

UPDATE – I’ve now installed this same setup on a third Windows 2000 machine, and the third one worked fine. I’m suspecting that maybe I have a bad Tomcat installation on the machine that isn’t working. I think I’ll give it a shot, uninstalling and reinstalling.

FURTHER UPDATE – The problem is solved by a generous passerby named Brian. Look in the writebacks, his suggestion cleared my problem right up. Thank you Brian!

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father.

8 thoughts on “Tomcat/Eclipse Integration Problem”

  1. I’ve got the same problem going on right now. I was wondering if you ever figured out exactly what it was. After reading your UPDATE, I reinstalled tomcat with my fingers crossed…but no luck. Same problem. Any suggestions? You can reply to me at matthew (at) [edited to prevent email-spam-trawlers]..

    I hope you can help!



  2. Hi,

    I’ve been struggling with this same problem for a few days and thought I’d found the solution when I found your site on, only to find that you had the problem but not the answer!

    Anyway, after MUCH research and browsing, I found a solution on an Eclipse newsgroup, so I thought I’d share it with you.

    It seems there’s a problem with the plugin that prevents it from launching Tomcat 4.1.29 (I’m assuming you’re using this version). Apparently it’s being fixed in the 2.2 release of the plugin, but until that’s released you can simply select “Version 5.x” as your Tomcat version in the plugin preferences BUT use your v4.1.x installation as the Tomcat home directory.

    Hope this works for you!


  3. Holy crap, that worked. Thank you Brian! I get a lot of hits on this page, with people presumably looking for this solution, so thank you from me and from all those people. Who knew it was something so simple? The lazy web comes through!

  4. Thanks. I struggled with this for about 3 hours until running into this link. And they say Open source does not work!

  5. I have some other problem. I use eclipse v.3.0, tomcat 5.0.16 and the sysdeo 2.2.1 plugin. the problem i have it that i get a 404 when i try to access the test servlet. the .class files are written into some workspace from eclipse and not into tomcat directory, but in server.xml there is a link to them, so i guess that is how it’s supposed to work right ?

    i could change the output path to just tomcat directory, but i want to do it the proper way.

  6. I am trying to integerate Eclipse and Tomcat on MAC OSX . Is there plugins that available that integrate them ?

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