Tiles is a templating framework designed to easily allow the creation of web application pages with a consistent look and feel. It can be used for both page decorating and componentization.

The Tiles pluginINLINE

allows actions to return Tiles pages


  • Supports Tiles in Freemarker, JSP, and Velocity
  • Provides annotations to keep tiles.xml short and put definitons into actions


The following steps must be taken in order to enable tiles support within your Struts2 application:

  1. Include the struts-tiles-plugin as a dependency in your web application. If you are using maven2, the dependency configuration will be similar to:

    xml<dependency> <groupId>org.apache.struts</groupId> <artifactId>struts2-tiles-plugin</artifactId> <version>${version.tiles}</version> </dependency>
  2. Register the tiles listener. This listener will typically either be the standard tiles listener (org.apache.tiles.listener.TilesListener) or the Struts2 replacement (org.apache.struts2.tiles.TilesListener). The latter provides tighter integration with Struts features such as freemarker integration.

    xml<listener> <listener-class>org.apache.struts2.tiles.StrutsTilesListener</listener-class> </listener>
  3. All package definitions which require tiles support must either extend the tiles-default package or must register the Tiles Result type definition.

    xml<result-types> <result-type name="tiles" class="org.apache.struts2.views.tiles.TilesResult"/> </result-types>
  4. Configure your actions to utilize a tiles definition:

    xml<action name="sample" class="org.apache.struts2.tiles.example.SampleAction" > <result name="success" type="tiles">tilesWorks</result> </action>
  5. Instead of xml configuration you can use annotations

    java@Result(name = "success", type="tiles") @TilesDefinition(extend = "fooLayout", putAttributes = { @TilesPutAttribute(name = "header", value = "/WEB-INF/tiles/header.jsp"), @TilesPutAttribute(name = "body", value = "/WEB-INF/tiles/body.ftl") }) public class FooAction extends ActionSupport {
  6. You have to define Tiles Definitons in a tiles.xml file. That can be placed in resources or in WEB-INF.

    xml<!DOCTYPE tiles-definitions PUBLIC "-//Apache Software Foundation//DTD Tiles Configuration 3.0//EN" "http://tiles.apache.org/dtds/tiles-config_3_0.dtd"> <tiles-definitions> <definition name="fooLayout" template="/WEB-INF/tiles/layout.jsp"> <put-attribute name="title" value="Tiles Sample"/> <put-attribute name="header" value=".header"/> <put-attribute name="body" value=".bodyp"/> </definition> <definition name="tilesWorks" extends="fooLayout"> <put-attribute name="header" value="/WEB-INF/tiles/header.jsp"/> <put-attribute name="body" value="/WEB-INF/tiles/body.jsp"/> </definition> </tiles-definitions>


As from Struts 2.3.28, the plugin automatically loads all Tiles definitions matching the following pattern tiles*.xml - you don't have to specify them via org.apache.tiles.definition.DefinitionsFactory.DEFINITIONS_CONFIG in web.xml, but you can use this option if your application is going to work in restricted servlet environment e.g. Google AppEngine. In such case, definitions will be read from provided init-param.

Accessing Struts attributes

As from Struts version 2.5.3 it's possible accessing defined values on a ValueStack using S2 prefix when defining an expression in tiles definition, e.g.:

xml<definition name="home" extends="logged-in"> <put-attribute name="title" expression="S2:actionProperty"/> <put-attribute name="body" value="/WEB-INF/tiles/home.jsp"/> </definition>

In such case Tiles will delegate evaluation of the expression to Struts and ValueStack will be examined to evaluate the expression.


Instead of defining new tiles definitions per supported language (i.e.: tiles.xmltiles_de.xmltiles_pl.xml) you can use I18N prefix to evaluate provided expression as a key in Struts resource bundles. 

xml<definition name="home" extends="logged-in"> <put-attribute name="title" expression="I18N:home.title"/> <put-attribute name="body" value="/WEB-INF/tiles/home.jsp"/> </definition>


This example shows a Tiles layout page using Struts tags:{snippet:url=struts2/apps/showcase/src/main/webapp/WEB-INF/tiles/layout.jsp|lang=xml}Please check tiles example in struts-examples project.


This plugin does inherits settings from Tiles configuration.


This plugin can be installed by copying the plugin jar into your application's /WEB-INF/lib directory. No other files need to be copied or created.

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  1. When can we expect the tiles plugin to be stable? and more documentation being added to this WIKI ? Or could you please provide some code for tiles usuage?

    1. Since Tiles 2.0.5 is GA, I removed the experimental tag.

      If anyone has been able to test Jose's instructions, please let us knnow.

  2. The way I've managed to make Tiles work with Struts 2 was:

    1. Adding the tiles listener to web.xml


    2. Adding the following jar files to the classpath (WEB-INF/lib):

    struts2-tiles-plugin.jar (from Struts 2 distribution)
    commons-logging-1.0.4.jar (from Struts 2 distribution)
    tiles-api.jar (from Tiles distribution)
    tiles-core.jar (from Tiles distribution)
    tiles-jsp.jar (from Tiles distribution)
    commons-beanutils.jar (from Tiles distribution)
    commons-digester.jar (from Tiles distribution)

    3. Adding tiles.xml (star) to WEB-INF:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <!DOCTYPE tiles-definitions PUBLIC
    "-//Apache Software Foundation//DTD Tiles Configuration 2.0//EN"

    <definition name="footer" template="/footer.jsp" />

    For the above definition, using Tiles can be achieved by including the following in a JSP

    <%@ taglib prefix="tiles" uri="http://tiles.apache.org/tags-tiles" %>

    <tiles:insertDefinition name="footer" />

    For this example no action is being configured with a result of type tiles, so no need to add the following to struts.xml:

    <result-type name="tiles" class="org.apache.struts2.views.tiles.TilesResult"/>

    as no action is configured such as

    <action ...>
    <result type="tiles">...</result>

    (star) If Tiles definitions go in a file with a name different from tiles.xml, for example mytilesdefs.xml, then the following constant needs to be added to struts.xml in order for the definitions to be loaded:

    <constant name="org.apache.tiles.impl.BasicTilesContainer.DEFINITIONS_CONFIG" value="/WEB-INF/mytilesdefs.xml" />

    1. If possible, please remove the parts of your comment that are already covered in the documentation on this page.