I have Tomcat installed as service.


-Dcatalina.base=/usr/share/tomcat7 -Dcatalina.home=/usr/share/tomcat7

I added setenv.sh script to /usr/share/tomcat7/bin with next lines:

$ cat /usr/share/tomcat7/bin/setenv.sh
#!/usr/bin/env bash

export JAVA_OPTS="-Dcom.sun.management.jmxremote=true \
                  -Dcom.sun.management.jmxremote.port=9090 \
                  -Dcom.sun.management.jmxremote.ssl=false \
                  -Dcom.sun.management.jmxremote.authenticate=false \

But still haven't changes in Tomcat's behavior - no new port opened, no new options is ps aux | grep java:

# netstat -anp | grep 9090 | wc -l

# ps aux | grep java
tomcat   32063 96.6 23.5 1904000 399872 ?      Sl   09:04   3:07 /usr/lib/jvm/jre/bin/java -Xms512M -Xmx1024M -javaagent:/usr/share/tomcat7/newrelic/newrelic.jar -classpath :/usr/share/tomcat7/bin/bootstrap.jar:/usr/share/tomcat7/bin/tomcat-juli.jar:/usr/share/java/commons-daemon.jar -Dcatalina.base=/usr/share/tomcat7 -Dcatalina.home=/usr/share/tomcat7 -Djava.endorsed.dirs= -Djava.io.tmpdir=/var/cache/tomcat7/temp -Djava.util.logging.config.file=/usr/share/tomcat7/conf/logging.properties -Djava.util.logging.manager=org.apache.juli.ClassLoaderLogManager org.apache.catalina.startup.Bootstrap start

File owned by tomcat user and have exec bit:

# ls -l /usr/share/tomcat7/bin/setenv.sh
-rwxr-xr-x 1 tomcat tomcat 329 Jun 15 08:52 /usr/share/tomcat7/bin/setenv.sh
  • Did you find a solution to this problem? If so, please post your answer here, as I am facing a similar issue - setenv.sh is just not being picked up by tomcat7.
    – nonbeing
    Nov 19, 2015 at 10:43
  • @noumenon Hi. Thanks fore reminder. My solution added as answer.
    – setevoy
    Nov 19, 2015 at 19:57

3 Answers 3


The environment variable you should set is called 'CATALINA_OPTS'. Here is an example in the tomcat documentation, which is also related to monitoring: Apache Tomcat 7 - Monitoring and Managing Tomcat


According to my blog my solution was set JAVA_OPTS with $CATALINA_HOME/conf/tomcat7.conf, e.g.:

# You can pass some parameters to java here if you wish to
#JAVA_OPTS="-Xminf0.1 -Xmaxf0.3"
JAVA_OPTS="-Xms512M -Xmx1024M -Dcom.sun.management.jmxremote=true -Dcom.sun.management.jmxremote.port=9090 -Dcom.sun.management.jmxremote.ssl=false -Dcom.sun.management.jmxremote.authenticate=false -Djava.rmi.server.hostname=54.***.***.65"

And result after Tomcat's restart was:

# ps aux | grep java
tomcat    1359 96.6 13.0 1887508 220732 ?      Sl   09:19   0:44 /usr/lib/jvm/jre/bin/java -Xms512M -Xmx1024M -Dcom.sun.management.jmxremote=true -Dcom.sun.management.jmxremote.port=9090 -[...]

P.S. Don't forget create copy of you default configuration files. Then grep -r JAVA_OPTS etc/* to find it in # documentation will be more helpful :-)

  • 1
    Nah, CATALINA_OPTS works better, without bogus errors on shutdown. And my tomcat7 picks up bin/setenv.sh without a problem.
    – kubanczyk
    Nov 19, 2015 at 21:06
  • 3
    Thanks! The key part of the solution is to use $CATALINA_HOME/conf/tomcat7.conf instead of /usr/share/tomcat7/bin/setenv.sh. I can finally set any command-line args (or env variables) for Tomcat7. I am using tomcat7 installed from the yum repo on Amazon-Linux, not the tomcat zip from tomcat.apache.org - and apparently this is why setenv.sh is not being picked up.
    – nonbeing
    Nov 21, 2015 at 2:35
  • @noumenon Glad can help you. Btw - I faced with thus issue also with Tomcat from yum repo for Amazon Linux.
    – setevoy
    Nov 21, 2015 at 15:47
  • @kubanczyk Are you ready to claim - every "equal" software installations on "equal" operation systems will work in proper way?
    – setevoy
    Nov 21, 2015 at 15:50

Just for reference, but in Tomcat 8.5.38 (didn't check 7 though), my custom setenv.sh was still picked up fine. I like to use this e.g. for setting the $CLASSPATH, which I find more maintenance-friendly and I don't have to adapt Tomcat's own startup files, and it makes my custom changes more visible.

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