I have installed tomcat7 (using apt-get install) and whenever I want to start tomcat7 it says :

* no JDK found - please set JAVA_HOME

I have set JAVA_HOME in my bash.bashrc and also in ~/.bashrc and when I issue echo $JAVA_HOME I clearly see that this variable is pointing to my jdk's root folder. Can someone help me with this please?


  • 2
    This helped me to find where I can tell tomcat7 what JDK to use.
    – icedwater
    Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 4:00
  • Same here. Now I know where tomcat looks for JAVA_HOME. Commented Oct 28, 2013 at 5:40

5 Answers 5


You can try this:

Just press Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard to open Terminal. When it opens, run the command below.

gksudo gedit /etc/default/tomcat7

When the file opens, uncomment the line that sets the JAVA_HOME variable.

enter image description here

Save and restart tomcat7 server.

  • Note that upgrading to JDK 7 will break this answer. Using a symbolic link without the version number will allow upgrades without invalidating environment variables. Commented Oct 24, 2014 at 19:14
  • 1
    Also works for tomcat8, just replace tomcat7 strings by tomcat8.
    – nachtigall
    Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 11:04

Tomcat will not actually use your JAVA_HOME environmente variable, but look in some predefined locations and in the JAVA_HOME variable set inside the startup script, as other answers point out. If you don't like messing with the tomcat startup script, you could create a symlink for your preferred java installation, which will be picked up by tomcat.

For example:

ln -s /usr/lib/jvm/java-8-oracle /usr/lib/jvm/default-java
  • 3
    This conflicts with package default-jre-headless
    – Tino
    Commented Feb 6, 2016 at 0:56

Open terminal


Copy the result. Then

sudo -H gedit /etc/default/tomcat7

Replace #JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib/jvm/openjdk-6-jdk with the output you copied from $JAVA_HOME.


Just add following line in /etc/default/tomcat7 at where JAVA_HOME variable is defined


then run command

sudo service tomcat7 restart

Adding to the answer of Mitch (the accepted answer above), check your /usr/lib/jvm/ directory. Usually, java is installed there itself.

You might have oracle java installed or you might have a latest version of java installed. Just checkout the directories at /usr/lib/jvm/ and add the one your java is in.

For me, it was:


So, replace




did the job for me.

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