/etc/tomcat6/Catalina: symlink or actual directory

I have a Shibboleth IdP running on SLES SP1. Until recently, my /etc/tomcat6/Catalina directory had actual contents. But two tomcat6 updates wouldn’t install (‘can’t rename - is a Directory’). A helpful support person told me that the Catalina directory was supposed to be a symlink, and worked with me so I could get the updates on there.

After the Catalina directory was made a symlink, I had to find a place to put my idp.war file. I put it in the CATALINA_HOME webapps directory, but I’m having trouble with the latest war file not being used. The suggested fix for this is to use a context deployment fragment to point to a single stable location.* This small .xml file is supposed to go in


TOMCAT_HOME points to /usr/share/tomcat6. But under there, the conf directory points back to /etc/tomcat6. OK, that’s where the conf files are. But (stepping down the path), with /etc/tomcat6/Catalina pointing to a /var/cache directory… well, it certainly doesn’t seem like a good idea to put configuration files there.

So… what to do? Do I create a directory under /etc/tomcat6, put the current contents of /etc/tomcat6 in there, and point the conf symlink THERE (so I can create a “real” Catalina directory)? Or change /etc/tomcat6/Catalina back to be a real directory (until the next update)? Either way, I’ve got a non-standard SLES installation. What uses this Catalina symlink? I see an environment variable set for CATALINA_TMPDIR, so… I’m not sure what the point is.

How are other people solving this problem? Is there a different place I could/should put this config file?

Thank you for any insight!

full of questions,
Karla B

*For reference: https://wiki.shibboleth.net/confluence/display/SHIB2/IdPApacheTomcatPrepare


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