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Stackoverflow in Tomcat 8.5.49 and 9.0.29

This week we set up a developoment environment on a new PC for a JavaEE project using Tomcat 8.5 (we downloaded the recently released version 8.5.49 to be specific).

We started up the IDE, deployed the WAR on a Tomcat server and ran into the following error:

javax.faces.view.facelets.TagAttributeException: [...] Could not Resolve Variable [Overflow]: ...

After some research using our favorite search engine we came across: and

So… sounds like there is a recursive file include?
Strangely some weeks ago the project ran on our old developoment environment that had a Tomcat 8.5.14…
Also these posts were relatively old… Well, we started to try to resolve the error.

As a test we removed the includes and the error disappeared. When we added one of the includes it showed up again.
Next I changed the relative paths like (<ui:include src="../test.xhtml" />) to absolute paths like (<ui:include src="/app/testfolder/test.xhtml" />) and the error disappeared again.

Weird… so relative paths don’t work in the latest Tomcat version? Such a major change in a minor version update?
We searched for patch notes but could not find any that were related to our problem.

In a small test project I set up I could reproduce the error, so it was not related to a configuration.

As a next step I tried to start the testproject in an older Tomcat version (8.5.47) and could not reproduce the stackoverflow.
I also tried it with the latest Tomcat release (9.0.29) which resulted in the same error and the previous version (9.0.27) which also turned out to be fine.

Is this a Bug and not a feature? Searching the Tomcat Bugzilla resulted in

A bug in the Tomcat versions 8.5.49 and 9.0.29.

So if you come across a Stackoverflow in VariableMapperWrapper like


And you are using Tomcat 8.5.49 or 9.0.29 You have the following options:

  • Change all relative include paths to absolute paths starting with '/'
  •  Switch to an older / newer Tomcat version (The bug is already resolved in 8.5.50-dev and 9.0.30-dev, I don’t think they will wait very long with the release of these two)


I Hope this helped you not waste as much time on this problem as me…
Thank you for reading!

5 Replies to “Stackoverflow in Tomcat 8.5.49 and 9.0.29”

  1. Markus Brüderl

    Thank you very much, Michael, that saved my weekend. It appears our new customer-environment had just this Tomcat-Version and the very same problem. The effort and detail you put into the resolution is just awesome!

  2. Leandro Ramalho

    Thanks a lot for sharing.
    The stack overflow was happening here too. Funny enough, I found it the same way you did I started taking out all the and voila, no more stack overflow. Now I know how can I fix it!

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