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Choose the right Tomcat version

Compare Tomcat Versions

2020Media has been supporting Tomcat since 2003 and Java since 1999. There are several current versions of Tomcat availabe from the Apache Tomcat project. This article helps you decide what is best for you.

This table shows the mapping between the respective Apache Tomcat version and the specifications.


Servlet/JSP Spec Apache Tomcat version Actual release revision Minimum Java Version
3.1/2.3 8.0.x 8.0.x 1.7 (Java EE 7)
3.0/2.2 7.0.x 7.0.53 1.6 (Java EE 6+)
2.5/2.1 6.0.x 6.0.39 1.5
2.4/2.0 5.5.x 5.5.36 (archived)
2.3/1.2 4.1.x (archived) 4.1.40 (archived) 1.3
2.2/1.1 3.3.x (archived) 3.3.2 (archived) 1.1

Complete up to date information can be found on the Apache Tomcat website

Apache Tomcat 8.x

Tomcat 8 is aligned with Java EE 7. In addition to supporting updated versions of the Java EE specifications, Tomcat 8 includes a number of improvements compared to Tomcat 7. The notable changes include:

  • Support for Java Servlet 3.1, JavaServer Pages 2.3, Java Unified Expression Language 3.0 and Java WebSocket 1.0.
  • The default connector implementation is now the Java non-blocking implementation (NIO) for both HTTP and AJP.
  • A new resources implementation that replaces Aliases, VirtualLoader, VirtualDirContext, JAR resources and external repositories with a single, consistent approach for configuring additional web application resources. The new resources implementation can also be used to implement overlays (using a master WAR as the basis for multiple web applications).

Apache Tomcat 7.x

Apache Tomcat 7.x is the current focus of development. It builds upon the improvements made in Tomcat 6.0.x and implements the Servlet 3.0, JSP 2.2 and EL 2.2 specifications. In addition to that, it includes the following improvements:

  • Web application memory leak detection and prevention
  • Improved security for the Manager and Host Manager applications
  • Generic CSRF protection
  • Support for including external content directly in a web application
  • Refactoring (connectors, lifecycle) and lots of internal code clean-up

Apache Tomcat 6.x

Apache Tomcat 6.x builds upon the improvements made in Tomcat 5.5.x and implements the Servlet 2.5 and JSP 2.1 specifications. In addition to that, it includes the following improvements:

  • Memory usage optimizations
  • Advanced IO capabilities
  • Refactored clustering

Apache Tomcat 5.x

Apache Tomcat 5.5.x supports the same Servlet and JSP Specification versions as Apache Tomcat 5.0.x. There are significant changes in many areas under the hood, resulting in improved performance, stability, and total cost of ownership. Since October 2012, Tomcat 5.5 has been end of life.

The 2020Media Difference

Java Tomcat hosting from 2020Media offers you the option of choosing the exact version of Tomcat that you want - at no extra cost. So if you've been developing on a particular version, or want to migrate an existing website to 2020media, you can be sure it will work exactly as required.

When you contact us about any of our Tomcat hosting plans, our Jave experts will speak to you about your requirements and ask if you want a specific Tomcat version, or if you are happy with the latest stable version.

You can also select a JDK (Java Development Kit) that matches your Java site, again at zero extra cost.

Java Tomcat hosting from 2020Media is different - try us for 30 days at no risk and we're sure you'll agree.

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