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Apache Tomcat Release Process


This is written primarily for Apache Tomcat release managers although it may also be of interest to anyone looking to validate and/or replicate the release process. This page uses Tomcat 9 as an example but the same process applies to later versions as well.


  • A git client installed and on your path
  • Apache Ant installed and on your path (see BUILDING.txt in the root of the code repository for version requirements)
  • The latest release of the minimum Java version that the Tomcat version runs on installed and on your path
  • Operating system
    • Windows just works
    • Linux also requires wine (standard package manager version should be fine)
    • MacOS also requires wine (see below)
  • GnuPG installed
  • A public key that is part of the Apache web of trust
  • A reasonable internet connection (you will need to upload ~100MB)

The above can be accomplished on a Windows 10 Virtual Machine from Microsoft's Edge Development resources. Download + unpack the archive for your VM software and launch the VM. Login, open a PowerShell.exe window as Administrator, and installed Chocolatey:

PS C:\Users\IEUser> Set-ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Scope Process -Force; [System.Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol = [System.Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol -bor 3072; iex ((New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString(''))

Once Chocolatey is installed, you can install all the above prerequisites at once:

PS C:\Users\ISUser> choco install git svn adoptopenjdk11 ant gnupg sed xsltproc

This command will run for a while, and ask you repeatedly if it's okay to run "chocolateyInstall.ps1", which you will have to do to proceed. Once the above command has completed, you have all the software prerequisites installed and on your PATH. Well, once you quick PowerShell and launch a new CMD.EXE or PowerShell window, of course (wink)

wine on MacOS

This is for 11.x.x (Big Sur)

You will need to install homebrew if you haven't already.

Then install wine-crossover from

Configure a 32-bit wine environment using:

WINEARCH=win32 WINEPREFIX=~/.wine32 winecfg

Then before you start the release ensure the following environment variables are set:

export WINEARCH=win32
export WINEPREFIX=~/.wine32

Preliminary checks

Create the tag

The aim is to create a copy of the current trunk but without the "-dev" appended to the end of the version number.

  • Perform an git clone and switch to the correct branch
  • Edit "" and change the lines after "# ----- Reproducible builds -----" to a new value.

    • Note that the value of property is in seconds (unlike the value returned by System.currentTimeMillis() method which is milliseconds, see bug 65527 for how this happened for Tomcat 8.5.70).
      The value can be printed in a Bash shell with the following command:
      date +%s
      To print seconds since epoch, and date and time in human-readable format in UTC time zone:
      date -u '+%s %Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S %Z'
  • Edit "" and change the line version.suffix=-dev to version.suffix=

    • This can be done with sed -i.bak "s/^version.suffix=.*/version.suffix=/"
  • Edit "webapps/docs/changelog.xml" and remove rtext="in development" from the latest version
    • Remember that notepad.exe will remove UTF-8 Byte-Order Marks (BOMs). Use write.exe or Notepad++ instead.
  • Commit these changes
    • git commit -a -m "Tag 9.0.94"
    • git tag 9.0.94
    • git push origin 9.0.94
  • Check the diff mailed to the dev list
  • Reset to the 9.0.x branch (git reset HEAD~ && git checkout && git checkout webapps/docs/changelog.xml)

I found it simplest to keep this clone for tagging to ensure no other edits found their way into the tag.

Build the release

  • Set JVM to Java 7 (Tomcat 8.5.x) or 8 (Tomcat 9.0, 10.0) or 11 (Tomcat 10.1)
  • mkdir /c/releases/TOMCAT_9_0_94
  • git archive 9.0.94 | tar -x -C /c/releases/TOMCAT_9_0_94/

I'm using Git Bash for the above. Adjust as necessary for you choice of tools.

  • Add a file with the following configuration (adjust paths for your environment)


gpg.exec=C:/Program Files (x86)/GNU/GnuPG/gpg2.exe

# Enable the following if the DigiCert ONE magic is all set up, including ~/.digicertone/pkcs11properties.cfg
  • ant release


  • GPG should be configured to use your Apache code signing key by default
  • I always ensured c:/temp/libs was empty so that the build had to download all the dependencies
  • This does not include the signing of the Windows installer, which must be done using and which is automated during the build process once the Tomcat PMC key is accessible by using jsign. (Working? Try setting do.codesigning=true in
  • The logs for the Windows signing are in ~/.signingmanager/logs on Linux
  • If you get an error signing the installer/uninstaller "Cannot load keystore ~/.digicertone/pkcs11properties.cfg" then you probably don't have your environment variables set properly.

Upload the release

Upload the contents of TOMCAT_9_0_XX/output/release to

Generate the Maven artifacts

See steps 1 to 3 for the release (not step 4 until the vote passes !)

Call a vote

If the vote passes

If the vote does not pass

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