Tomcat startup fails java.lang.UnsupportedClassVersionError: JVMCFRE003 bad major version

  • 7021252
  • 29-Aug-2017
  • 18-Sep-2017


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 Service Pack 2 (SLES 12 SP2)


After starting tomcat 8:
systemctr start tomcat.service
within journalctr:
Aug 29 13:23:01 sles12sp2 server[16296]: Exception in thread "main" java.lang.UnsupportedClassVersionError: JVMCFRE003 bad major version; class=org/apache/catalina/startup/Bootst


Install correct java version for tomcat.

To see what versions are available:
zypper se -s java

For tomcat 8 install java 7 from repositories

e.g.: zypper in java-1_7_1-ibm

if already installed change of alternatives:

update-alternatives --config java
There are 2 choices for the alternative java (providing /usr/bin/java).

Selection Path Priority Status
* 0 /usr/lib64/jvm/jre-1.7.1-ibm/bin/java 1710 auto mode
1 /usr/lib64/jvm/jre-1.6.0-ibm/bin/java 1610 manual mode
2 /usr/lib64/jvm/jre-1.7.1-ibm/bin/java 1710 manual mode


Tomcat 8 needs java 7

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