How to configure tomcat 5.5 (or 6.0) that the output of stdout and stderr of each web application / context will go to one logfile?

I only managed to get the stderr to a specific logfile - the stdout of the applications still went to catalina.out.

  • Do you have swallowOutput set to true on your contexts? "If the value of this flag is true, the bytes output to System.out and System.err by the web application will be redirected to the web application logger. If not specified, the default value of the flag is false." Jan 4, 2011 at 19:09

3 Answers 3


I found the following information, guess this should help you.

Try this,

  1. Each application must use its own log4j. You can achieve this by placing log4j.jar in WEB-INF/lib of each application.
  2. In each log4j's configuration file (default location is WEB-INF/classes), specify the log file name, e.g. log4j.appender.AppLog.File=${catalina.home}/logs/app1.log.
  3. Add swallowOutput="true" for each context so stdout, stderr will go to your own log.

We do this on Tomcat 5.5 but I think it should work on 6.0 also.

EDIT: Here is our META-INF/context.xml:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<Context override="true" swallowOutput="true" useNaming="false">
    <Manager pathname=""/>

Further reading:


stdout points to catalina.out in the catalina.sh script, this applies for the Tomcat server as a whole.

"$CATALINA_BASE"/logs/catalina.out 2>&1 &

I know this is not a complete answer - just telling you where to look.


Another method to separate the output would be to run one tomcat instance for each webapp. This way you can not only separate the webapp logs, but also the other log files, the JVM parameters, start and stop of the instances and so on.

You'll find a step by step guide here.

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