for3st for3st - 14 days ago 5x
reST (reStructuredText) Question

Prevent Tomcat from interfering with Jersey/JAX-RS 2 Response Body on HTTP Error Status 4xx or 5xx

I have the following stack for a REST API

  • Jersey 2/JAX RS 2.0

  • Tomcat 7.0.47

  • Jackson 2

My goal is to have a custom response body when an error occurs. I want to be able to send the client an explanation what exactly went wrong for easier debugging.

First I tried to use
@Context HttpServletResponse
and set the http status code there, but it was ignored by jersey (which is the normal behaviour but this is beyond my understanding)

Then I tryed to use
like this:

public BaseResponse getSomething() {
BaseResponse b = new BaseResponse();
if(error) {
b.setStatusDescription("reason for error");
throw new WebApplicationException(Response.status(Response.Status.CONFLICT).entity(b).build());
//add content to BaseReponse
return b

But Tomcat returns me somthing like this:

<title>Apache Tomcat/7.0.47 - Error report</title>
<!--H1 {font-family:Tahoma,Arial,sans-serif;color:white;background-color:#525D76;font-size:22p

Which is the standard Tomcat html output capped by the contet-length of response body I wanted to return (
- the length of
). So it is recognized but Tomcat just overwrites it with its own error page.

As a side note I also tried to just return the Response with the same outcome:

return Response.status(Response.Status.CONFLICT).entity(b).build()

So how do I tell Tomcat to leave me alone and let my own responses through?


The problem was that I was using the GzipServlet from ehcache which seems to not work porperly with jersey. During the multiple phases the response wrapper threw exceptions.

This is the dependency of ehcache:


And the problematic servlet definition in web.xml


As an alternative Im using Jetty Servlet now:




As disclaimer: yes I know I can activate gzip in tomcat config, but Im writing a testserver that must be able to have endpoints with and without gzip.