5. Replacing Tomcat's default JSP compiler Jasper with IBM's Jikes compiler

Since IBM's Java compiler Jikes is performing better than Tomcat's own JSP compiler Jasper, it's recommended to install Jikes instead.

Download the sources of Jikes from IBM's Research website:


Extract and compile Jikes:

  ./configure --prefix=/usr/local/jikes
  make check
  make install

Check support for the -encoding option:

  /usr/local/jikes/bin/jikes -help

To have Jikes output its error messages in a Jasper compatible way, add this $CATALINA_OPTS environment variable to /etc/rc.d/init.d/tomcat:

  export CATALINA_OPTS="-Dbuild.compiler.emacs=true"


If you get an error message saying Jikes can not use UTF8 encoding, add the following option as well:


Make Jikes your JSP compiler for Tomcat by adding to /usr/local/tomcat/conf/web.xml:


Since entering the full path to Jikes in /usr/local/tomcat/conf/web.xml doesn't seem to work (version 4.1.27), make the jikes program available in your path:

  ln -s /usr/local/jikes/bin/jikes /usr/local/bin/jikes