RHEL5 init script for tomcat catalina

I have written an init script for Tomcat Catalina running in RHEL version 5. I have tested this script using Oracle Enterprise Linux 5.5 Carthage. The script should comply to the init standards defined for RedHat Enterprise Linux using the INIT Functions lib.

The script also alows the use of chkconfig eventhough you might want to alter the used priorities (56 10)

# "$Id: catalina ,v 1.0 2010/08/10 Chris_g Exp $"
#   Startup/shutdown script for tomcat(Catalina) Application server.
#   Linux chkconfig stuff:
#   chkconfig: 2345 56 10
#   description: Startup/shutdown script for the tomcat application server.

# Source function library.
. /etc/init.d/functions

# Define where the catalina.sh script is located.
CATALINA_BIN='/u01/tomcat/bin/catalina.sh 1> /dev/null';

# Find the catalina process using ps / awk.
# The match function will return 0 when no match is found with the string "java".
# Position $9 should contain the path to the Java executable used by catalina.
PROC=`ps -efc | grep apache.catalina | awk 'BEGIN { FS=" "}; { if( match($9, "java") != 0 ) print $9;}'`

# Replace a potential empty string with a fake process so the RH daemon functions are able to parse
# it properly
if [[ "$PROC" == '' ]]; then

# Define the application name that is listed in the daemonize step.
PROG='Tomcat JVM';


start () {
        echo -n $"Starting $PROG: "

        # start daemon
        daemon $CATALINA_BIN start
        [ $RETVAL = 0 ] && touch $LOCK
        return $RETVAL

stop () {
        # stop daemon
        echo -n $"Stopping $PROG: "
        killproc $PROC
        [ $RETVAL = 0 ] && rm -f $LOCK

restart() {

case $1 in
                status $PROC

        echo $"Usage: $prog {start|stop|restart|status}"
        exit 3

exit $RETVAL

1. Touch a new tomcat file in your init directory.
>touch /etc/init.d/tomcat
2. Copy paste the code above into this file using vi
vi /etc/init.d/tomcat
(putty users)
press the insert button (this should put vi in insert mode)
Alter the tomcat catalina.sh path and copy the altered code to your clipboard and paste it into putty using a richt mouse click.
press esc (this should get you out of insert mode)
next press ” shift + : “, “w”, “enter” (this should save the file)
3. If catalina.sh was able to start tomcat (all vars/java configured) then now the tomcat script should be able to handle the startup.
4. If catalina was allready running, try;

     service tomcat status
     This should allready give a result equal to;
     java (pid 14389) is running…

5. Add tomcat to the chkconfig for automatic startup
     chkconfig –level 2345 tomcat on

Hope this helps 😉


5 thoughts on “RHEL5 init script for tomcat catalina

  1. I am trying to use your script, stop and status works, but when I try start it reports failed. I can run catalina.sh start manually and it works

  2. Hi Frank,

    Thanks for your reply.

    Maybe asking the obvious, but,

    Did you alter the path in rule 19 to match your environment?
    CATALINA_BIN=’/u01/tomcat/bin/catalina.sh 1> /dev/null’;

    If you did, could you then please share the content with me?

    1. Yes, I did alter the path for my installations.

      I had to add the following lines to make it work
      ##My Java installation
      export JAVA_HOME PATH

      after adding the lines the script has been working.

      1. Hi Frank,

        Thats correct, the user environment is not set when daemonizing a process.

        Usually the environment settings are added by the administrator inside the catalina.sh script (open the file and see the Apache team comments for more information)

        I would not recommend adding the settings inside the init.d script. This might cause problems when you decide to use multiple tomcat instances.

        Non the less, i’m happy you fixed your problem 🙂

        Rgrds, Chris

  3. Thanks.

    I modified the catalina.properites and set CATALINA_PID=/var/run/tomcat.pid.

    Once this was set I was able pid file rather the PROC command.

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