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Server Applications


Home Page Release Notes License:
Open source; $0

Current Version: 4.1.40 (June 26, 2009) / 5.5.30 (July 9, 2010) / 6.0.29 (July 23, 2010)

Tomcat is well-known in Unix circles as a preferred Web server (often used in conjunction with Apache) that supports JSP (Java Server Pages) and the running of Java Servlets. Tomcat is actually a Java application itself (and a free one at that), and it runs quite well on the Macintosh.

Tomcat 6.0.x (for Servlet/JSP Spec 2.5/2.1) is the latest major release. Tomcat 6.0 is designed to run on J2SE 5.0 and later. In addition, Tomcat 6.0 uses the Eclipse JDT Java compiler for compiling JSP pages. This means you no longer need to have the complete Java Development Kit (JDK) to run Tomcat, but a Java Runtime Environment (JRE) is sufficient. The Eclipse JDT Java compiler is bundled with the binary Tomcat distributions. Tomcat can also be configured to use the compiler from the JDK to compile JSPs, or any other Java compiler supported by Apache Ant.

Tomcat 5.5.x remains available for Servlet/JSP Spec 2.4/2.0, and it, too, is designed to run on J2SE 5.0 and later. See the online release notes for more details.

Version 4.1.40 (for Servlet/JSP Spec 2.3/1.2) makes a number of changes, which are completely detailed in the online release notes.

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Also See . . .

Can't find what you're looking for? Try a search:

Also, if you have an older Mac, be sure to check out the "Classic" applications page for more options.

Finally, take a look at ALEMIA if you think you know that name of an application, but aren't quite sure.

Built Into Mac OS X

Mac OS X has a huge amount of TCP/IP-based server software built into it that I don't specifically cover here. Your "Sharing" Preference Pane allows you to enable and disable these services with a click of the mouse. The software running behind the scenes to provide many of these services is generally of the open source variety. The standard release of Mac OS X includes, among many others:

  • Apache httpd (web server; enabled via the Sharing Preference Pane).
  • Postfix (mail server; see Mac OS X Hints for more information).
  • tnftpd (FTP server; enabled via the Sharing Preference Pane).
  • OpenSSH (Secure Shell server; enabled via the Sharing Preference Pane via "Remote Login" but additionally configurable via selected applications listed on this page).
  • BIND (Domain Name System server; see Mac OS X Hints for more information).
  • Samba (Windows file sharing; enabled via the Sharing Preference Pane).
  • XFree86 (X Window server; enabled via the "X11" application in your "Utilities" folder, if you elected to install it with Mac OS X).

Of course, Mac OS X Server includes many more, in addition to offering more recent versions of many of the above servers.

Related Links

Graham Orndorff has written a superb collection of articles on setting up email servers and secure email clients on Mac OS X.

Also Consider . . .

These are applications that are newer and of potential interest, but which I haven't yet selected for permanent inclusion. Have a look, and let me know if you think they deserve to be part of the permanent collection!