Debugging Tomcat in IDEA

I am familiar with debugging Tomcat in Eclipse, it's a breeze - drop in the plugin, configure and run.

With IDEA, I've tried this howto ( and I get the strangest thing.

I can start Tomcat but it says "Apache Tomcat/5.0" and I don't even have 5.0 installed on my system?! None of my apps run but the default Manager and Admin apps. It's probably because I'm running 4.1.27, but I'm not about to revert to Tomcat 4.0.x just so I can debug in IDEA. I've heard that Tomcat 4.1.x is not supported, but since Eclipse's Tomcat plugin works with all version of Tomcat, I figured it'd be simple to do something similar in IDEA. I'm also willing to explore debugging in Resin (3.0.3) or Orion (2.0.2) if they're easier.



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There is no plug-in for tomcat 4.1.x that i'm aware of, and idea out of the box only supports 4.0.x, if you are unwilling to revert your gonna have to use eclipse or write the plug-in yourself i'm afraid. Intellij has stated a few times they have no plans whatsoever of supporting a new version of tomcat until after JSR45 is implemented.

Alternatively you can always remote debug to any app server, the caveat, no JSP debugging. If you want to explore resin and orion debugging as usual the best place to check is the plugins page on

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I got tomcat 4.1.25 working with Idea, with no problem. You're right to assume that just because it's not supported doesn't mean it won't work. I'm not sure why you're getting the error you're getting though, I haven't come across it and I finished my Tomcat project 6 weeks ago and have since upgraded to the latest Idea build (957) and I lost my configuration file in the process. Sorry I can't be of more help.

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Thinking back further, I do recall I had some issues. I ended up getting information from a couple of different sources and integrating them (and playing around a bit) to make it work.

Here's some of the entries I used...

VM Parameters...
-Djava.endorsed.dirs="C:\tomcat41\bin;C:\tomcat41\common\endorsed" -Dcatalina.base="C:\tomcat41" -Dcatalina.home="C:\tomcat41""C:\tomcat41\temp"

Working Directory...

Main Class

Program Parameters

not sure why I have that last one! Probably app specific but the memory escapes me.

Try that and let me know if it works. I think the magic is in the VM parameter for the endorsed directories.


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