You can obtain the session attributes by implementing SessionAware or getting them from the ActionContext.

Implementing SessionAware

(star) This is the preferred mechanism: it makes unit testing easier by allowing simple injection of session attributes instead of having to mock the action context or go through an entire request process.

  • Ensure that the action's stack includes the servletConfig interceptor.
    • (info) The default stack includes servletConfig.
  • Ensure the action implements the SessionAware interface.
    • (info) The SessionAware interface defines a setSession method that sets the session attributes into the action.
  • Changes to the action's session map are reflected in the underlying HttpSession. You may query, insert, and remove session attributes as needed.


The servletConfig interceptor looks for actions implementing SessionAware during request processing. When it finds them it passes the map of session attributes using the action's setSession method.

To unit test a SessionAware Action, create your own Map with the pertinent session attributes and call setSession as part of the test's setup method.

Ask the ActionContext

Session attributes are available from the ActionContext instance, a ThreadLocal.

Map attibutes = ActionContext.getContext().getSession();

@see struts-default.xml

@see org.apache.struts.acton2.interceptor.SessionAware

@see org.apache.struts.acton2.interceptor.ServletConfigInterceptor

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