Virtual Hosting with Tomcat

This is a guide on setting up Tomcat to do virtual hosting and make it behave like a simple webserver with jsp and servlet support, for many different sites all hosted on the same IP address. The aim is to have a single directory for each virtual host, which can be manipulated individually without hassles from managing multiple .war files and other configuration difficulties.

To configure Tomcat for a virtual host, you need a directive in the server.xml file, and a ROOT.xml file in the conf/Catalina/$host directory. Here’s the minimal setup required for a copy of Tomcat serving directly on Port 80, using no connectors or other configuration difficulties.

This was written for Tomcat 5 on linux, with Tomcat installed in /usr/local/tomcat

We start with the simplest configuration, of one website, called ‘localhost’ which keeps it’s files in /usr/local/tomcat/webapps/localhost . We’re not using any .war files here – all the files are placed straight into the directory.

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