Java Web App with Maven



Maven, Java 1.8 or newer, These VS Code extensions:

Java Extension Pack

Create Maven Project

In the Command Palette, go directly to the commands Ctrl+Shift+P

Maven: Create Maven Project

Select the

Or in the explorer sidebar, expand Maven Projects, Select the + sign to create a Maven Project.

VS Code Create Maven Project webapp archetype select
Create Maven Project | Select an archetype

Select maven-archetype-webapp org.apache.maven.archetypes

Answer the prompts to setup the project.

The artifactId will be used for the maven project folder name. for example,

Property Value
groupId com.example
artifactId webapp
version 0.0.1-SNAPSHOT
package com.example.webapp

Typically, the groupId and artifactId combine to make the base package.

Update POM

Update the pom.xml for the version of Java being used. e.g.,


Docker Tomcat Container

Setup a Tomcat Docker container and develop the Maven Project within it.


System has Docker installed. For Linux, it’s setup to run as a non-root user.

Required VS Code Extensions

In the Command Palette, go directly to the commands Ctrl+Shift+P OR F1

Remote-Containers: Open Folder in Container 

Select the folder that contains the Maven project, for example webapp.

In the Add Development Container Configuration Files dropdown, enter tomcat to filter the list. Then select a Java Tomcat server, for example, Java 8 & Tomcat 8.5 Server.

VS Code - Command Palette - Add Development Container Configuration Files dropdown

The remote VS Code instance will open, the Docker image will be created along with the dev container. Expand .devcontainer in the Explorer panel and inspect devcontainer.json and the Dockerfile for more info.

To see the dev container that was created, in a terminal, enter docker ps -a.

Terminal using docker CLI to list containers - vsc-webapp
Docker CLI - vsc-webapp container

After the container is built, VS Code automatically connects to it and maps the webapp Maven Project from the local file system into the container.

Add Tomcat Server

In the Command Palette, go directly to the commands Ctrl+Shift+P

Tomcat: Add Tomcat Server

Or in the explorer sidebar, expand Tomcat Servers, Select the + sign to add a Tomcat Server.

Enter the path for the server. e.g.,


Generate war

Given the current terminal session is Dev Containers, open a new terminal session, Ctrl+Shift+`

The new terminal session should have you in the /workspaces/webapp directory as root within the dev container. e.g.,


Run this mvn command to generate the war file.

mvn clean package

Run on server

In the explorer sidebar, right click on the war file and select Run on Tomcat Server. e.g., target/webapp.war

In the explorer sidebar, expand Tomcat Servers, tomcat and right click on the webapp to open in a browser.

VS Code Dev Container Workspace with Java 8 & Tomcat 8.5 Server - webapp, Open in Browser context menu

The browser should open to localhost:8080 with “Hello World” rendered from the index.jsp.

Additional Resources

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