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<!DOCTYPE document [
<!ENTITY project SYSTEM "project.xml">
<document url="loader.html">
<author email="">Craig R. McClanahan</author>
<title>The Loader Component</title>
<section name="Table of Contents">
<section name="Introduction">
<p>The <strong>Loader</strong> element represents the <em>web
application class loader</em> that will be used to load Java
classes and resources for your web application. Such
a class loader must follow the requirements of the Servlet
Specification, and load classes from the following locations:</p>
<li>From the <code>/WEB-INF/classes</code> directory inside your
web application.</li>
<li>From JAR files in the <code>/WEB-INF/lib</code> directory
inside your web application.</li>
<li>From resources made available by Catalina to all web
applications globally.</li>
<p>A Loader element MAY be nested inside a <a href="context.html">Context</a>
component. If it is not included, a default Loader configuration will be
created automatically, which is sufficient for most requirements.</p>
<p>For a more in-depth description of the class loader hierarchy
that is implemented by Catalina, see <a href="../class-loader-howto.html">the ClassLoader HowTo</a>.</p>
<p><em>The description below uses the variable name $CATALINA_BASE to refer the
base directory against which most relative paths are resolved. If you have
not configured Tomcat for multiple instances by setting a CATALINA_BASE
directory, then $CATALINA_BASE will be set to the value of $CATALINA_HOME,
the directory into which you have installed Tomcat.</em></p>
<section name="Attributes">
<subsection name="Common Attributes">
<p>All implementations of <strong>Loader</strong>
support the following attributes:</p>
<attribute name="className" required="false">
<p>Java class name of the implementation to use. This class must
implement the <code>org.apache.catalina.Loader</code> interface.
If not specified, the standard value (defined below) will be used.</p>
<attribute name="delegate" required="false">
<p>Set to <code>true</code> if you want the class loader to follow
the standard Java2 delegation model, and attempt to load classes from
parent class loaders <strong>before</strong> looking inside the web
application. Set to <code>false</code> (the default) to have the
class loader look inside the web application first, before asking
parent class loaders to find requested classes or resources.</p>
<attribute name="reloadable" required="false">
<p>Set to <code>true</code> if you want Catalina to monitor classes in
<code>/WEB-INF/classes/</code> and <code>/WEB-INF/lib</code> for
changes, and automatically reload the web application if a change
is detected. This feature is very useful during application
development, but it requires significant runtime overhead and is
not recommended for use on deployed production applications. You
can use the <a href="../manager-howto.html">Manager</a> web
application, however, to trigger reloads of deployed applications
on demand.</p>
<p><strong>NOTE</strong> - The value for this property will be
inherited from the <code>reloadable</code> attribute you set on
the surrounding <a href="context.html">Context</a> component,
and any value you explicitly set here will be replaced.</p>
<subsection name="Standard Implementation">
<p>The standard implementation of <strong>Loader</strong> is
It supports the following additional attributes (in addition to the
common attributes listed above):</p>
<attribute name="loaderClass" required="false">
<p>Java class name of the <code>java.lang.ClassLoader</code>
implementation class to use. Custom implementations must extend
<p>If not specified, the default value is
<code>org.apache.catalina.loader.WebappClassLoader</code>. The
default <strong>loaderClass</strong> is not parallel capable, which
means that loading a class from this classloader is performed by one
thread at a time. A parallel capable <strong>loaderClass</strong> is
available and can be used by specifying
<section name="Nested Components">
<p>No components may be nested inside a <strong>Loader</strong> element.</p>
<section name="Special Features">
<subsection name="Logging">
<p>A loader is associated with the log category based on its classname.</p>