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I have a Centos5 box running tomcat5 (a version before 5.5, there's no bin/ script).

When attempting to start tomcat, whether through init.d or service, I get the FAILED message with no other information provided. The date on catalina.out changes but it has no contents and is 0 bytes. logging.conf has not been edited and everything is marked as FINE detail.

Has anyone experienced this and know of a solution? Or, failing that, how can I get some log/error info from tomcat to try to pinpoint the issue?

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can you start it using $TOMCAT_HOME/bin/ or $TOMCAT_HOME/bin/ (it's been a while i forget which one starts tomcat in the 5.x line – Zypher Feb 29 '12 at 19:52
Look it up in the start-section of the init-script. There the startup-command-output is normally being piped to /dev/null. Was that tomcat installed from the CentOS-repository, or has it been installed "by hand"? – Nils Feb 29 '12 at 20:52
I completely forgot about this question. My particular problem ended up being the disk ran out of space; talk about something you just don't think of! – Alex Kuhl Aug 21 '12 at 18:54

I once had a similar issue on Ubuntu, tomcat did not start because of problems with the java security manager. In the sysconfig settings file there is a TOMCAT_SECURITY setting, if that is available, set it to 'no'. Usually the file lives in /etc/sysconfig on CentOS, not sure if it is named tomcat5, though, could be j2ee or similar.

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