OS X, Apache, Tomcat, and mod_jk

I spent some time with a colleague from South Africa yesterday. He’s a long-time Windows user that writes in Java. He has a new MacBook Pro, and we scratched our head why Apache+mod_jk+Tomcat was blowing up on him.


The first thing we had to get right was the JAVA_HOME variable. If it’s not set right when compiling mod_jk, you’re out of luck. On OS X there is a program that spits out the right value. We put the following in his ~/.profile. Please note the back ticks (accents graves) to run the java_home program.

export JAVA_HOME=`/usr/libexec/java_home`


With $JAVA_HOME set correctly, compiling mod_jk was straightforward. Download the mod_mod_jk tarball, unpack it, and change directories to the native subdirectory. The following should work cleanly.

$ ./configure --with-apxs=/usr/sbin/apxs
$ make clean ; make
$ sudo make install

Apache Configuration File

Be aware that OS X Lion has some lines (commented out) for support for mod_jk. Be sure to uncomment those lines. Previous versions of OS X don’t have these lines, so you’ll just add the load module directive and Jk* commands in the usual places.

That’s it, really. Once JAVA_HOME and the Apache configuration file were straightened out, things worked.

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