Stackato has several Java frameworks to choose from:

You can push bytecode built on on your local machine with tools like Apache Ant and Apache Maven, or build the Java bytecode on Stackato itself (using Buildpack - Java).

Java Web Applications

The Java Web framework is the default Java framework in Stackato, and requires little or no modification of application code in most cases. Stackato simply deploys the WAR file.

Hello Java Sample demonstrates a simple Servlet-based Java webapp using the Java Web framework.

Service Configuration

If you have created data services, you can get the service configuration by using the environment variables below:


If your application uses only one data service, use the DATABASE_URL variable. If it uses more than one, use STACKATO_SERVICES or VCAP_SERVICES.

Using JDBC

It is possible to access the database services using the standard JDBC API:

String stackato_services = System.getenv("STACKATO_SERVICES");

String hostname = NULL_STRING;
String dbname = NULL_STRING;
String user = NULL_STRING;
String password = NULL_STRING;
String port = NULL_STRING;

if (stackato_services != null && stackato_services.length() > 0) {
    JsonRootNode root = new JdomParser().parse(stackato_services);

    JsonNode credentials = root.getNode("mysql");

    dbname = credentials.getStringValue("name");
    hostname = credentials.getStringValue("hostname");
    user = credentials.getStringValue("user");
    password = credentials.getStringValue("password");
    port = credentials.getNumberValue("port");

    String dbUrl = "jdbc:mysql://" + hostname + ":" + port + "/" + dbname;

    Connection connection = DriverManager.getConnection(dbUrl, user, password);
    return connection;

  catch (Exception e)
    throw new SQLException(e);


The Java-MySQL (JDBC) sample demonstrates a simple Java application using a MySQL service.

JPDA Debugging

You can debug java_web applications running on Stackato via JPDA by using the -d option with the stackato push command:

$ stackato push -d my-java-app

Stackato creates a port service for debugging and shows the external port number in the command output:

Debugging now enabled on port 30135

Alternatively, request a Harbor port service in stackato.yml in the format: "app-name-debug". For example:

  ${name}-debug: harbor

The java_web framework will recognize the service and activate debugging through the port provided. Connect to this port with the JPDA debugger of your choice.

To show the port number and external hostname for this service, use the stackato service command. For the 'my-java-app' example above, the command would be:

$ stackato service my-java-app-debug

Use the 'hostname' (or 'host' for an IP address) and 'port' values in the 'credentials' section of the output to configure your local debugging client.

The STACKATO_DEBUG_COMMAND environment variable can be used to automatically start a debugger or IDE instance with the appropriate host and port values.


Though the stackato -d option is similar to vmc -d, the internal implementation is different. vmc -d cannot be used to activate debugging in Stackato.


Applications that use the Spring framework are detected and automaticaly configured if there is either a spring-core jar file or an org/springframework folder.

Service Configuration

If there is only one service of a given type (e.g. one MySQL data service), the application is automatically reconfigured to use that service.

Define a datasource bean like the following:

<bean class="org.apache.commons.dbcp.BasicDataSource" id="dataSource">
    <property name="driverClassName" value="com.mysql.jdbc.Driver"/>
    <property name="url" value="jdbc:mysql://localhost:3306/inventory-db"/>
    <property name="username" value="myuser"/>
    <property name="password" value="mypass"/>

The property values are replaced during staging with the values for the provisioned service.

If you have created more than one service of a given type, you will need to use VCAP_SERVICES environment variable to obtain the details for each one (host, port, username, password).

<CLOUD> Namespace Version

If you are using <CLOUD> namespace in your application, make sure the cloudfoundry-runtime version is 0.8.2.


The Hello-Spring-MySQL sample demonstrates a simple Spring application with one MySQL service.

JavaEE 6

Stackato's 'java_ee' framework has two application servers available:

  • TomEE - used for WAR files
  • JBoss - used for EAR files

The Java EE framework is detected if there is a persistence.xml file located in src/main/resources/META-INF/persistence.xml.

Service Configuration

For JavaEE applications, you must create a persistence-unit in your persistence.xml file with the name of your database service.

For example in stackato.yml:

    type: mysql
    type: mysql

To use service-1 in your persistence.xml:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<persistence version="2.0"
    <persistence-unit name="persistence-service-1" transaction-type="JTA">

And in your JavaEE code:

@PersistenceContext(unitName = "persistence-service-1")
private EntityManager em;


The hello-jee-mysql sample demonstrates a JavaEE 6 application with a MySQL service running with Apache TomEE.

The kitchensink-ear sample also uses a MySQL service, but uses the JBoss server instead of TomEE.

HOME Directories

Java applications will have different HOME directories on Stackato depending on which Java framework is used:

  • Java Web, Java EE (WAR file), Spring, Lift and Grails: /home/stackato/tomcat/webapps/ROOT
  • Java EE (EAR file): /home/stackato/jboss/standalone/deployments
  • Buildpack - Java, Play: /home/stackato/app


The CATALINA_OPTS environment variable can be set in the env: block of stackato.yml (or set in the Management Console) to override Stackato defaults.


CATALINA_OPTS settings cannot be modified without restaging. Applications must be re-pushed with new settings to apply changes.

Stackato sets the CATALINA_OPTS environment variable for applications using Tomcat automatically, based on the mem: value specified for application instances. Stackato will always leave at least 64MB for the heap, but will otherwise reserves up to 96MB for overhead, that is for the code of the JVM itself, for additional libraries loaded via JNI, for additional processes to run in the background, and for the JVM permanent pool.

This means, for example, a 128MB application will end up with 64MB for the heap and 64MB for overhead, a 160MB application will still have 64MB for the heap but 96MB for overhead, and a 512MB application will get a 416MB heap and allow 96MB for overhead.