This tag is the container for one or more <welcome-file> tags, listed in order of preference.
Welcome files show when no filename is provided in the URL.
Tomcat checks the welcome file list, and tries to find each file listed.
Caution: Using this tag overrides the server's default welcome-file-list from <jakarta>/conf/web.xml. If you use it, make sure you also include all page names you want to use. It is normal practise to copy the default list from the server's web.xml file, and add your own pages to the list, according to your preference.
Your web.xml entry will completely override the default settings. It will not add to the list. Therefore, only the pages you specify will be used.
Tomcat's default welcome-file-list looks like this:
<welcome-file-list> <welcome-file>index.html</welcome-file> <welcome-file>index.htm</welcome-file> <welcome-file>index.jsp</welcome-file> </welcome-file-list>
Copy the above into your own web.xml, so that the Tomcat defaults still apply, then add your new entry at the top or bottom.
The following example will display a Flash page called default.swf if it exists. If it doesn't exist, index.html will be displayed (and so on).
<welcome-file-list> <welcome-file>default.swf</welcome-file> <welcome-file>index.html</welcome-file> <welcome-file>index.htm</welcome-file> <welcome-file>index.jsp</welcome-file> </welcome-file-list>
Since Servlets 2.4, servlets can also be used in the welcome-file-list. See How to use a servlet as your main web page for more information and a full example.
The rules Tomcat uses are as follows: