I recently installed tomcat via an installation script from the apache solr typo3 community and spent the last 3 days trying to figure out why it won't work until by chance I noticed that when I queried the process listening on the port via "lsof -i", it was bound to the ipv6 protocol.

I have googled everywhere and most say that setting address to in the tomcat connector resolves this issue, others say setting JAVA_OPTS="-Djava.net.preferIPv4Stack=true".

I have tried the former which doesn't work but the latter I am unsure of where to put it. One solution I read somewhere suggested to put it in setenv.sh but I can't find this file in my tomcat installation. I would appreciate any help at the moment regarding this.

The tomcat version is 6.x and the OS is ubuntu 11.10.


  • 1
    What ips/ports is it listening on, via lsof -i? May 20, 2012 at 19:01
  • @becomingwisest 8080.
    – Dark Star1
    May 20, 2012 at 22:50
  • You are correct - setenv.sh file does not exist out of box. You need to create setenv.sh file in your CATALINA_BASE or CATALINA_HOME bin directory. The startup scripts check if you created the file, if you did create customization (setenv.sh) file - startup script calls it, otherwise just ignores, and moves on.
    – nevenc
    Aug 14, 2015 at 12:03

7 Answers 7


Many suggested updating catalina.sh startup script. Yes, that solution would work, but catalina.sh script is not meant to be customized/updated. All changes should go into the customization script instead, i.e. setenv.sh.

NOTE: TOMCAT_HOME/bin/setenv.sh doesn't exist by default, you need to create it. Check the catalina.sh script and you will see the startup script checks if setenv.sh exists, and executes if it does.

So, I suggest you create new TOMCAT_HOME/bin/setenv.sh script with a single line:

JAVA_OPTS="$JAVA_OPTS -Djava.net.preferIPv4Stack=true -Djava.net.preferIPv4Addresses=true "
  • 3
    I would also use CATALINA_OPTS instead of JAVA_OPTS, especially if you have other JVM options you want to pass into JVM on Tomcat startup. If you use JAVA_OPTS, the same options will be passed into Tomcat shutdown, probably not what you would want/expect. Use CATALINA_OPTS instead :)
    – nevenc
    Aug 14, 2015 at 12:01
  • I'm choosing this as the answer now since most people having this issue today would most likely be using a newer version of tomcat.
    – Dark Star1
    Apr 6, 2018 at 8:46

Ok I finally solved it. I was directed to try this and Henk's solution. Neither of which seemed to work with the remote virtual server. I'm guessing the fact that because I'm on a shared kernel space so the provider prevents this. In any case I added: JAVA_OPTS= $JAVA_OPTS -Djava.net.preferIPv4Stack=true -Djava.net.preferIPv4Addresses to the catalina.sh startup script and that seemed to have fixed the issue of binding tomcat to ipv6.

  • 3
    So you're on a VPS with a shared kernel... D'oh!
    – Henk
    May 21, 2012 at 12:58
  • This seems not to work anymore with tomcat 8. Jun 22, 2015 at 9:42
  • 1
    With tomcat 8, this option didn't work for me, but nevenc's answer did work.
    – Edenshaw
    Feb 1, 2016 at 20:56

The correct syntax for modifying catalina.sh would be:

JAVA_OPTS=" $JAVA_OPTS -Djava.net.preferIPv4Stack=true -Djava.net.preferIPv4Addresses=true "

If you used this installer: "Apache Solr for TYPO3", you can change the address in the file server.xml. The default points to localhost, so look for and change it into the IPv4-address you want. Don't forget to restart Tomcat6 for the changes to take effect.

UPDATE, 20120521

See my comment below on how to disable IPv6 on Ubuntu 11.10.

I have successfully tested this on a Virtualbox-VM on my Mac. The address for the connector port 8080 has been changed from to in server.xml.

Then disabling IPv6 makes the "tcp6" to go away, so it's binded to an IPv4-only address.

Before / with IPv6 enabled:

# netstat -anp | grep 8080   
tcp6       0      0 :::8080                 :::*                    LISTEN      1972/java

After / IPv6 disabled:

# netstat -anp | grep 8080   
tcp        0      0  *               LISTEN      2045/java
  • 1
    Tried this also and that didn't work netstat shows that despite the process being bound to an ipv4 address it's still looking for an ipv6 a la this return: tcp6 0 0 X.X.X.X:8080 :::* LISTEN. which I think is odd but the problem has also been replicated on my friend's vm which is hosted on a mac.
    – Dark Star1
    May 20, 2012 at 22:46
  • And when IPv6 is disabled? Here is a howto for Ubuntu 11.10: pario.no/2011/12/09/disable-ipv6-on-ubuntu-11-10
    – Henk
    May 21, 2012 at 7:29

While probably not the preferred method, I have observed that disabling IPv6 at the kernel level will convince Tomcat to open an IPv4 bind.


Along with the other answer using setenv.sh and CATALINA_OPTS...

Using Tomcat SSL with APR, the only way I could get Tomcat to bind to ipv4 was to add this to the connector config:


server.xml looks like this:

<Connector port="8443" protocol="org.apache.coyote.http11.Http11AprProtocol"

Debian 8 navigate to using your favorite editor on /etc/default/grub ; look for the section GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet"** with then add ipv6.disable=1, as seen below

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="ipv6.disable=1 quiet"

Save and exit. In the same directory use your favorite editor on /etc/default/tomcat8 then look for the section with JAVA_OPTS= which will be commented out, add the following below that line. JAVA_OPTS=" $JAVA_OPTS -Djava.net.preferIPv4Stack=true -Djava.net.preferIPv4Addresses=true"

Save and exit

At the command prompt type update-grub , if you have sudo use with sudo, then restart tomcat8 service tomcat8 restart

You should be on IPv4 now.

Please in future posts include complete paths and file names. Thank You

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