Error 503 returned by applications that use Tomcat (e.g. NetStorage, iManager)

  • 3377845
  • 20-Jul-2007
  • 26-Apr-2012


Novell NetWare 6.5
Novell NetStorage
Novell iManager


Error 503 when attempting to upload files on NetStorage
Error 503 when attempting to start iManager

The NetStorage page is accessible and users can authenticate and view files. However, some functions such as uploading files, downloading files, and rights control (under properties) do not work.


The NetStorage application and iManager use both Apache and Tomcat to handle client requests. The "503 error" usually indicates that Tomcat is not running or that it experienced a class error.

First, check if Tomcat is runningby typing "java -show" at the console. This command will return the applications using Java. If Tomcat is running, an entry with the word "catalina" (i.e., org.apache.catalina.startup.Bootstrap) will be visible in the results. There should be two entries if the admin interface is running as well.

If Tomcat is not started type "tomcat4" at the console, or "tomcat5" if you are running iManager 2.7; then view the logger screen. The logger screen should show the reason for Tomcat not starting successfully if there are problems. If there are no errors, watch for a line that indicates that Tomcat is listening on a port (e.g.

Now that Tomcat is up, open a browser and access NetStorage or iManager again. Test the functions that weren't working before to ensure that they work now.

Additional Information

A common reason for Tomcat to not load properly is due to invalid certificates. If the server has recently had its certificates changed, these new certificates have to be imported to the Tomcat keystore. This is accomplished by doing the following:
  1. Reload nldap.nlm by entering "unload nldap" at the console followed by "nldap".
  2. Type "java -exit" at the console. This will exit all java applications. Once the console prompt returns, type "java -exit" again to bring Java back up.
  3. When Java is back up, type "tckeygen" and hit enter. This will import the certificates into the keystore.
  4. Switch to the logger screen and make sure that the certificates were imported successfully. If they weren't, resolve the problem before continuing.
  5. At the console, start Tomcat by typing "tomcat4" and then hitting enter.
  6. Switch back to the logger screen and watch for a line that indicates that Tomcat is listening on port 9010 (