On Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 11:22:26AM +0100, Dominic Hargreaves wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 12:13:56PM +0200, Emmanuel Bourg wrote:
> > The web.xml file of the manager application is packaged as is, there is
> > no difference with the file distributed upstream.
> > 
> > I suggest that you raise this question on the Tomcat user list, someone
> > should be able to help you with this configuration issue there.
> I'll ask, but the impression I get from reading around is that web.xml
> should simply be edited.
> > I don't think we can do much at the packaging level to help you though.
> If it turns out that the above is correct, then I think that the Debian
> package should be able to enable this (eg by making web.xml a symlink to
> somewhere where it can be a conffile).
> I'll report back here either way!


Here's a useful response from someone on the tomcat-users list, who seems
to agree that this is something that should be changed at the Debian side.

--- Begin Message ---
On 15/04/2015 05:28, Dominic Hargreaves wrote:
> Hello,
> This is reposted from [1] and [2]; the Debian maintainers of the package
> suggested I ask for advice here.
> I am running the Tomcat manager application via a Debian package
> (tomcat8-admin), which deploys the webapp from
> /usr/share/tomcat8-admin/manager. We ran into a problem hitting th 
> maximum upload size (configured as the multipart-config element in the
> HTMLManager servlet block). This is easy to fix if you're willing to
> edit Debian-packaged files, but this is incorrect: files in /usr/share
> are owned exclusively by dpkg. Is there a way to override this element
> from somewhere in tomcat's conf directory (which is symlinked to
> /etc/tomcat8 in Debian)?

No. The web application setting would take priority.

> Searching for this problem on the web only results in suggestions about
> editing web.xml directly (eg http://www.giantgeek.com/blog/?p=1000) or
> about different programming approaches using context parameters (if I
> understand correctly; I'm not especially familiar with the jargon).
> If it's not possible to override this at the moment, then is this a bug
> in Tomcat, or the Debian packaging?

I'd say the bug is in the Debian packaging (but I would say that
wouldn't I).

Without know how Tomcat is packaged in Debian, I would expect the following:
- the Manager web application to be a separate, optional package
- the web.xml to be placed in an appropriate location for users to be
able to edit it.

I took a quick look through the web.xml for the Manager app. There are
plenty of settings I wouldn't expect to change but there are a handful
of things that users might want to tweak.

In theory, it should be possible to move those settings to context.xml
but that would require code changes and would mean do things that were
contrary to the spirit of the servlet spec so there would likely be
resistance to such changes from the Tomcat community.

One option would be for Debian to use external entities for the
configurable elements and place the file that defines those entities
somewhere where users can edit it.

> Of course I could maintain a local version of the Debian package with
> this overriden, but for such an apparently-obvious piece of configuration
> that seems wrong too.



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