Cannot start JIRA, Catalina class not found

When I try to start JIRA 6.2.1 standalone (via the bin/ script) I get this in the catalina.out log (and nothing else) and it dies:

java.lang.ClassNotFoundException: org.apache.catalina.startup.Catalina
        at$ Source)
        at$ Source)
        at Method)
        at Source)
        at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(Unknown Source)
        at sun.misc.Launcher$AppClassLoader.loadClass(Unknown Source)
        at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(Unknown Source)
        at org.apache.catalina.startup.Bootstrap.init(
        at org.apache.catalina.startup.Bootstrap.main(

Does anyone have any ideas?

4 answers

1 accepted

0 votes
Accepted answer

I opened a support case for this, and this turned out to be my fault. I was, during my upgrade procedure, overwriting, thus wiping out all the config that was already there.

I run the following command, and get the below output, but then it drops back to a prompt, and there are no JIRA processes running.

# /bin/su -m jira -c ../bin/
          .... .NMMMD.  ...
        .8MMM.  $MMN,..~MMMO.
        .?MMM.         .MMM?.

     OMMMMZ.           .,NMMMN~
        =NMMMMMM,. .,MMMMMMD.
         .8MMMMM:  :NMMMMN.
         .MMMMMM.   .MMMMM~.
         .MMMMMN    .MMMMM?.

      Atlassian JIRA
      Version : 6.2.1
Detecting JVM PermGen support...
IBM J9 VM (build 2.4, JRE 1.6.0 IBM J9 2.4 Linux amd64-64 jvmxa6460sr9-20110203_74623 (JIT enabled, AOT enabled)
PermGen switch is NOT supported and will NOT be set automatically.

If you encounter issues starting or stopping JIRA, please see the Troubleshooting guide at

Server startup logs are located in /data/opt/local/jira/current/logs/catalina.out
Using CATALINA_BASE:   /data/opt/local/jira/current
Using CATALINA_HOME:   /data/opt/local/jira/current
Using CATALINA_TMPDIR: /data/opt/local/jira/current/temp
Using JRE_HOME:        /usr/lib64/jvm/jre
Using CLASSPATH:       /data/opt/local/jira/current/bin/bootstrap.jar:/data/opt/local/jira/current/bin/tomcat-juli.jar
Using CATALINA_PID:    /data/opt/local/jira/current/work/

As I see you are using IBM J9 Java Virtual Machine with JRE 1.6.0 compatibility. Probably that is causing the issues that you see.

JIRA supports just Oracle JDK 1.7 (see as well as typically there are no problems with using OpenJDK 1.7 as well.

0 votes

Raimonds's suggestion is a valid one, Joshua. Given that, can you confirm if the change of JDK would change this behaviour?

Otherwise, since this could be caused by different factors such connection between the instance and the database or a corrupted data, would you mind to provide us the output from the timestamp of the startup in your atlassian-jira.log, so we can track other possible causes?



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