Installing Apache Archiva as a Web Application

Archiva can be deployed as a web application into any Java EE application server. This document will show an example of doing so with Tomcat 5.5 and Tomcat 6.0.x.

Note: When you first start Archiva, you will see an Exception that schema SA does not exist - however it doesn't cause a problem. If you use a username other than 'sa', such as 'archiva', then you seem to get the same error but Tomcat fails to start the context and you have to shutdown and restart again.

To deploy Archiva on Tomcat 5.5 and Tomcat 6.0

  • Create a directory in tomcat called archiva, at the same level as bin, conf, logs and the others.
  • Copy the war file into the new directory
  • Create a <tomcat home>/conf/Catalina/localhost/archiva.xml file with the following data (replace the database paths with a suitable location). When using Tomcat 6.0+, do not include the first line (XML encoding) in the archiva.xml configuration specified below to avoid parsing errors during startup:
     <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
     <Context path="/archiva"
     <Resource name="jdbc/users" auth="Container" type="javax.sql.DataSource"
               url="jdbc:derby:/path/to/database/users;create=true" />
     <Resource name="jdbc/archiva" auth="Container" type="javax.sql.DataSource"
               url="jdbc:derby:/path/to/database/archiva;create=true" />
     <Resource name="mail/Session" auth="Container"
  • Install derby- (or later), activation-1.1.jar and mail-1.4.jar into the Tomcat 5.5 common/lib or Tomcat 6.0 lib directory. This is required since the data sources are instantiated before the web application.

    Note: Tomcat 5.5.20 and 5.5.23 are missing MailSessionFactory and a few other classes. JNDI mail sessions will not work. Use Tomcat 5.5.25 instead, or see Bug 40668 for a workaround.

  • The $appserver.base java property is used by the Archiva internal logging configuration to determine where to output its logs to. It is important to define this property either in the $CATALINA_OPTS system environment variable if Tomcat is being launched via the command line) or the service properties (if being launched as a service or daemon). The format typically expected is -Dappserver.base=SOMEWHERE. In this example, we'll put the logs in Tomcat's logs directory so we need to set appserver.base property to where Tomcat is installed:
    export CATALINA_OPTS="-Dappserver.home=$CATALINA_HOME -Dappserver.base=$CATALINA_HOME" (for UNIX)
    set CATALINA_OPTS="-Dappserver.home=%CATALINA_HOME% -Dappserver.base=%CATALINA_HOME%" (for Windows)
  • If setting the $appserver.base and $appserver.home using the previous step does not work, you can set it in the unpacked Archiva web application's WEB-INF/classes/ as follows:
    # for Windows:
    # or, for UNIX:
  • When running Tomcat as a Windows service, you need to edit regedit and then, in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Apache Software Foundation > Procrun 2.0 > TomcatX > Parameters > Java, modify the Options variable. Set the $appserver.base property by adding the following parameters at the end:
    -Dappserver.base=%CATALINA_HOME% -Dappserver.home=%CATALINA_HOME%

For more information, see Archiva on Tomcat in the wiki.

Archiva Configuration

Archiva is configured using the ~/.m2/archiva.xml configuration file by default when using a Java EE application server.

Upgrading Archiva

To upgrade the Archiva web application, simply replace the web application with an alternative. Since the database and configuration files are stored externally to the application, no further maintainance is needed.

For general information about upgrading Archiva, see the relevant section in the Installing standalone guide.

Configuring and Running Archiva

Once Archiva is running, it is configured in the same way as the standalone instance. See the quick start guide for more information.


Error During Startup

There are cases when the Tomcat logs only shows the following error during startup:

Aug 17, 2009 11:04:02 AM org.apache.catalina.core.StandardContext start
SEVERE: Error listenerStart
Aug 17, 2009 11:04:02 AM org.apache.catalina.core.StandardContext start
SEVERE: Context [/archiva] startup failed due to previous errors
Aug 17, 2009 11:04:04 AM org.apache.coyote.http11.Http11BaseProtocol start

One of the common causes for this listenerStart Error is a failure during Spring's initialization. One way to diagnose or confirm the exact cause of the error is by adding the following configuration to the unpacked Archiva webapp's WEB-INF/classes/log4j.xml:

<appender name="console" class="org.apache.log4j.ConsoleAppender">
  <layout class="org.apache.log4j.PatternLayout">
    <param name="ConversionPattern" value="%d [%t] %-5p %c %x - %m%n"/>

<logger name="org.springframework.web">
  <level value="debug"/>
  <appender-ref ref="console"/>

The above configuration directs Spring's output logs to the Tomcat console and be recorded in Tomcat's log files.

Diagnosing Errors

One of the least decipherable errors you can get from Tomcat is a 404 when the deployment fails. In <tomcat home>/logs/catalina.out you will only find that it fails, but not why. Also Archiva's logs will not tell you.

The log messages and stack traces in case of a 404 can be found in <tomcat home>/logs/localhost.<date>.