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Fix to Invalid byte tag in constant pool: 15 in Tomcat 7+ Java 8

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1. Overview ClassFormatException: Invalid byte tag in constant pool: 15 solution: I was working with java version 1.7 and Apache Tomca...

1. Overview

ClassFormatException: Invalid byte tag in constant pool: 15 solution:
I was working with java version 1.7 and Apache Tomcat/7.0.12.. I have updated java version to 1.8(C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.8.0_51)

I was eagerly waiting to work with java 8 features. I just restarted my tomcat server.. then given stack trace below exception.




Invalid byte tag in constant pool 15

2. Exeception occurred after Tomcat 7 restart:

Aug 22, 2015 10:57:05 AM org.apache.catalina.core.StandardEngine startInternal
INFO: Starting Servlet Engine: Apache Tomcat/7.0.12
org.apache.tomcat.util.bcel.classfile.ClassFormatException: Invalid byte tag in constant pool: 15
    at org.apache.tomcat.util.bcel.classfile.Constant.readConstant(Constant.java:131)
    at org.apache.tomcat.util.bcel.classfile.ConstantPool.(ConstantPool.java:60)
    at org.apache.tomcat.util.bcel.classfile.ClassParser.readConstantPool(ClassParser.java:209)
    at org.apache.tomcat.util.bcel.classfile.ClassParser.parse(ClassParser.java:119)
    at org.apache.catalina.startup.ContextConfig.processAnnotationsStream(ContextConfig.java:1917)
    at org.apache.catalina.startup.ContextConfig.processAnnotationsJar(ContextConfig.java:1806)
    at org.apache.catalina.startup.ContextConfig.processAnnotationsUrl(ContextConfig.java:1765)
    at org.apache.catalina.startup.ContextConfig.processAnnotations(ContextConfig.java:1751)
    at org.apache.catalina.startup.ContextConfig.webConfig(ContextConfig.java:1255)
    at org.apache.catalina.startup.ContextConfig.configureStart(ContextConfig.java:882)
    at org.apache.catalina.startup.ContextConfig.lifecycleEvent(ContextConfig.java:317)
    at org.apache.catalina.util.LifecycleSupport.fireLifecycleEvent(LifecycleSupport.java:119)
    at org.apache.catalina.util.LifecycleBase.fireLifecycleEvent(LifecycleBase.java:89)
    at org.apache.catalina.core.StandardContext.startInternal(StandardContext.java:5081)
    at org.apache.catalina.util.LifecycleBase.start(LifecycleBase.java:145)
    at org.apache.catalina.core.ContainerBase.startInternal(ContainerBase.java:1033)
    at org.apache.catalina.core.StandardHost.startInternal(StandardHost.java:774)
    at org.apache.catalina.util.LifecycleBase.start(LifecycleBase.java:145)
    at org.apache.catalina.core.ContainerBase.startInternal(ContainerBase.java:1033)
    at org.apache.catalina.core.StandardEngine.startInternal(StandardEngine.java:291)
    at org.apache.catalina.util.LifecycleBase.start(LifecycleBase.java:145)
    at org.apache.catalina.core.StandardService.startInternal(StandardService.java:443)
    at org.apache.catalina.util.LifecycleBase.start(LifecycleBase.java:145)
    at org.apache.catalina.core.StandardServer.startInternal(StandardServer.java:727)
    at org.apache.catalina.util.LifecycleBase.start(LifecycleBase.java:145)
    at org.apache.catalina.startup.Catalina.start(Catalina.java:620)
    at sun.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke0(Native Method)
    at sun.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(Unknown Source)
    at sun.reflect.DelegatingMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(Unknown Source)
    at java.lang.reflect.Method.invoke(Unknown Source)
    at org.apache.catalina.startup.Bootstrap.start(Bootstrap.java:303)
    at org.apache.catalina.startup.Bootstrap.main(Bootstrap.java:431)

I have surprised.. what was this new problem never encountered. checked tomcat official website. Stated that "The "offical answer" is that Tomcat 7 runs on Java 8, see http://tomcat.apache.org/whichversion.html("Java version 6 and later")."


3. Solution 1 :

However, if annotation scanning is enabled (metadata-complete="true" in web.xml) there are some issues due to BCEL (not able to process the new Java 8 byte codes). You will get exceptions like (at least with Tomcat 7):

SEVERE: Unable to process Jar entry [jdk/nashorn/internal/objects/NativeString.class] from Jar [jar:file:/usr/lib/jvm/jdk1.8.0_5/jre/lib/ext/nashorn.jar!/] for annotations

org.apache.tomcat.util.bcel.classfile.ClassFormatException: Invalid byte tag in constant pool: 15
    at org.apache.tomcat.util.bcel.classfile.Constant.readConstant(Constant.java:131)
If not using annotation scanning, everything works fine, starting release 7.0.53 (updated compiler with better Java 8 support).

(UPDATE 2014-10-17) If your are using annotation scanning and your own code is not Java 8 based, another solution is to add the following line in /etc/tomcat7/catalina.properties (text added after "ant-launcher.jar" so part of property tomcat.util.scan.DefaultJarScanner.jarsToSkip):


junit.jar,junit-*.jar,ant-launcher.jar,\

jfxrt.jar,nashorn.jar
Tested with Tomcat 7.0.28 and Oracle JDK 8_25 on Debian 7.6.


4. Solution 2 :

Upgrade the tomcat version to Tomcat 7.0.65. Works well.


Solution 2 is simple, definitely works.

There are some more scenarios which causes the same problem which is below case and another case as well. We have provided other alternative solutions based many user experiences. Hope helps.

4.1 Problem: Tomcat 7 - Servlet 3.0: Invalid byte tag in constant pool:

I just switched the web.xml to servlet 3.0 (from a app running 2.4 previously) and now I'm seeing the following error (turned on fine logging for org.apache.tomcat.util):

Following is the problem requirements.


tomcat 7.0.16

Java 1.6.0_22
CentOS 5.6

4.2 Error occurred for ClassFormatException:



mtyson  FINE: Scanning JAR [file:/usr/java/jdk1.6.0_22/jre/lib/ext/jcharset.jar] from classpath
mtyson  Jul 19, 2011 10:04:40 AM org.apache.catalina.startup.HostConfig deployDirectory
mtyson  SEVERE: Error deploying web application directory ROOT
mtyson  org.apache.tomcat.util.bcel.classfile.ClassFormatException: Invalid byte tag in constant pool: 60


5. Solution 3:

It may not be your issue, but mine was the same as this one -- an old version of com.ibm.icu:icu4j. I solved the problem by changing by build configuration to exclude the older transitive dependencies and explicitly depending upon the latest version (4.8).

6. Solution 4:

Adding a attribute in the web application web.xml file to your web.xml should sort the issue (metadata-complete="true")

<web-app version="3.0"
         xmlns="http://java.sun.com/xml/ns/javaee"
         xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
         xsi:schemaLocation="http://java.sun.com/xml/ns/javaee http://java.sun.com/xml/ns/javaee/web-app_3_0.xsd"

         metadata-complete="true">

7. Solution 5:

I was facing the same issue from a week and resolved by simply replacing the icu4j.2.1.jar file with latest version of jar.


8. Conclusion


In this tutorial, We've seen in which scenario's ClassFormatException while working with tomcat + Java 8.

In further in this article, discussed most useful 5 solutions to solve this issue.
That's all.

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