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Re: a bug with tomcat5.5 on debian

On Wed, Jan 03, 2007 at 01:49:52AM +0200, Martin Paraskevov wrote:
> I installed tomcat5.5 on my Debian box (using apt-get)
> but when I tried starting tomcat by running
> /etc/init.d/tomcat5.5 start
> it would just print:
> Starting Tomcat servlet engine: tomcat5.5.
> but Tomcat won't start. After reading tons of documentation
> I was able to start Tomcat in the most weird (and lucky)
> way. I was examining /var/lib/tomcat5.5/logs/catalina.out
> which is where the standard output goes.
> I wasn't actually able to open catalina.out by just running
> less catalina.out
> I had to run
> less -f catalina.out
> When I listed catalina.out I got:
> prw------- 1 tomcat55 nogroup 0 2007-01-03 01:18 catalina.out
> I really don't know what the first p in the permissions means,
> please explain.
> After I forced reading catalina.out with less -f the terminal
> would just hang at which point I had to Ctrl-C it after which
> the normal less interface would resume and after exiting,
> surprise, Tomcat is running.
> I am able to reproduce this every time and it looks to me
> it is a bug in the Tomcat logging. Is it related to the fact
> that catalina.out does not rotate? I just read somewhere
> that catalina.out does not rotate, but I don't know what it
> means. Could you please explain rotation?
> Regards,
> Martin

I don't know anything about tomcat but I'll get the ball rolling by
pointing out that the p means that catalina.out is a named pipe.  A pipe
is a FIFO of no lenght, the process that puts output to it hangs until
something reads the other end of the pipe, similarily a process trying
to read the pipe (like your less process) hangs untill another process
puts data to it.  It follows then that a named pipe will not be rotated
like a log file.

In any event, it sounds like there's a problem.

Good luck,


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