OpenBSD Journal

State of Java/Tomcat on OpenBSD

Contributed by jose on from the write-once-run-everywhere dept.

Kevin writes: "Hey, After a long look at info on setting up a JSP server on OpenBSD 3.4, I've come up with nothing. Could anyone fill me in on the state of Java/Tomcat on OpenBSD 3.4? Is it possible to run both natively on OpenBSD, because everything I've read (old) seems to recomend linux emulation.

Any and all help is very appreciated,

It's been quite a while since we've looked at Java on OpenBSD. Anyone have it working on 3.4?

(Comments are closed)

  1. By Dave Terrell () on

    I'm running it out of pkgs. It's a little bit fragile, in that I try not to hit it with too many requests that compile a JSP at once, and I'd like to actually work out the scripts to precompile all of the JSPs to class files, but for now it's been fairly stable.

    My day job is java development, and I am still running RH9 for that. Pout.

  2. By jens () on

    Hi, Im running jdk1.3 and tomcat installed from ports without probs.
    I work as a n00b java developer and i installed this stuff to learn more. Im yet to mess about with it but the default stuff is up and running at.
    And yes its all under linux emu.

  3. By RW () on


    I would like to "expand" the qustion to mod_jk (Connector Tomcat Apache).
    Does anybody run mod_jk sucessfully ?
    I still have problems with the configuration of mod_jk-1.2.2

    1. By Kurt Miller () on

      I have a current mod_jk-1.2.5 port. I'm planning on posting it to ports@ in a few days. Contact me directly if you can't wait. I also have updates to other ports like apache-ant and tomcat about to be posted.

      1. By Anonymous Coward () on

        Thank you for your answer and again "Thanks" for the port :) I will wait for your post to ports@


      2. By Anonymous Coward () on

        Soo good hear that. I had my own ports for almost two years, because of my employer.
        I mostly dropped it after begin put on the street. (;
        Unfortunally Sun have a such crap relation to open source groups and by side effect we have a shitty support.
        If possible support open languages like perl, python(zope), ruby and others.

    2. By Joe Price () on

      I've been running mod_jk at least since obsd 2.8/2.9... Just installed java and tomcat from ports.. The I built from source however.

  4. By Anonymous Coward () on

    AFAIK, anyone who's running Java applications under OpenBSD is doing so with Linux emulation. My experiences (which date back a year or so) are that it's still not stable enough for production use. Similar to MySQL at the time, throw enough at it and it will crash all over your nice clean floor.

    I hear FreeBSD is doing very well in this area.

    1. By Anonymous Coward () on

      It might seem that way ...until you get the same version running on Windows and find out that it doesn't crash that way, nor does the plugin fail to work.

  5. By j0rd () on

    i fooled my boss into buying me a unix server. I was going to install OBSD on it but couldn't because of the state of java. We do a lot of java/jsp work. Settled for *cringe* redhat. Still beats win2k/IIS though ^_^. I'm interested in doing some work in the java arena if anyone else is interested.

    1. By orion () on

      Just an FYI, RH is EOL'ing update / security
      patch support for 9 in april of 2004. (dec 31st
      is EOL for, uh, everything else they support currently). You'd be better off switching to
      debian (run stable, use the raw tarballs for
      java / tomcat / etc. because although debian
      is a dream all around to admin, their java policies
      and thus packages pretty much blow goat dong, IMHO). Or if you care more for BSD-familiarity,
      run Slackware. It's just about the most BSD-ish
      linux distribution out there, and is *very* stable. Pat Volkerding doesn't screw around,
      though he is a bit more civil than Theo deR. ;)

      1. By j0rd () on

        thanks for the troll. I wasn't aware that RH will be discontinuing support for RH9, but since this is the only distrobution which my hosting company garauntees full 24 hour support on, i thought it was my best choice. Personnally i hate RH for lack of a package manager. i'm using apt-get with rpm's right now to keep up to date. If i had my choice id be running gentoo.

  6. By Anonymous Coward () on

    Install Redhat. Sun's Java environment works great on Linux. I think there is an official JDK 1.3 port to FreeBSD, but I'm not sure what is the status of 1.4 (which is a huge step up) and I'm not sure what's the status of an OpenBSD port.

    The other thing to try is Kaffe (, although I don't think Kaffe itself is production ready and I'm not sure if Tomcat works on it. Kaffe seems like a great project with a lot of potential. Sometime when I have more time I'm going to work on that. It would be a great platform to develop other open source stuff, and is much more secure than trying to code safely in C. Also, this Mono/C# thing is a trap. MS is going to spring some patents on that. Open source developers should stay far away from it.

    1. By dbr () on

      I can testify to java working really great and with the arrival of gcj (a gnu java compiler) java just got fairly optimised and fast on the platform. Take a look at it here .

      What patents is MS going to try on getting in regards to .NET? What's your source? I'm in a situation where I'm trying to find argumets against .NET to convince local companies not to switch to .NET. There is a local cunsultat business pushing this crap up on just about anyone, and I feel the need to be able to argument for another alternative.

      1. By Anonymous Coward () on

        I can't point to any specific patent, and that is exactly the problem. Here's the deal: patent protection begins the moment the patent is _filed_, not when it is _published_. There are many legal tricks which can delay the publication of a patent. MS could have patents that are pending (filed) but not published. They could have had them there for years already. THERE IS NO WAY OF KNOWING! They have not made any commitment to royalty-free BSD-compatible license terms for any patents they might hold that might affect .NET. The ONLY way that .NET will be safe to use is if MS makes some kind of legally binding statement that they grant an irrevokable royalty-free license to anyone who needs such a license as part of using or implementing any aspect of the .NET framework. MS has made no such statement.

        I cannot help but think that MS has a sneaky plan that looks like this: Get .NET implemented everywhere. Allow open source implementors to use it and deploy it widely. Maybe have some major OS applications like Evolution or browser components written in .NET. Then announce that there is a patent issue, and they are happy to license it for $10/user/year. That's not burdensome, is it? But it means that it can't be distributed as a part of free software.

        .NET is a trap. Just because there are no published patents (that we know of) that might affect it does not mean we are safe.

        As a side note, even among MS' published patents, there might be some that MS would claim do cover some key aspect of .NET. Maybe these claims are ridiculous, but does the OpenBSD team have the legal resources to fight a patent fight with MS? I doubt it.

        Stay away from .NET until this patent minefield is cleared up in the form of a bullet-proof binding statement from MS that clarifies that they grant an irrevokable royalty-free patent license. I'm guessing that that won't happen until Elvis joins the Board of Directors of MS and the skies are full of flying pigs.

    2. By Justin Smith () on

      JDK 1.4 works fine under FreeBSD and I use it with Tomcat without any problems. Of course, you have to compile JDK 1.4 from source ;).

  7. By Bill Albertson () on

    I hear that IBM's java is a fairly faithful interpretation of Sun's, but easier to install. The whole java-on-openbsd-problem has been really bugging a friend of mine, who tried to get Sun's version to compile on OpenBSD. He states he is going to try IBM's next, but that probably won't be for a couple of weeks. If anyone has experience with running IBM Java under OpenBSD, then it would be helpful to know about that.

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