Thanks to contributions from Ben Chapman and Jason Knight at Emory University, instructions for installing Tomcat 5 on CentOS 4 with JDK 1.5 are available here. Using packages from Jpackage.org combined with two non-redistributable Java binaries, gives you the benefits of simpler installation, removal, upgrading, and file verification that RPM packages provide.
Sun finally saw the light and recently changed the licensing of certain parts of Java to the GPL which allows for free redistribution, but the OpenJDK project has yet to release a full open-source JDK. This is a boon for the open-source community, but even with the license change, the license on the database connection API (in JTA) may prevent free redistribution of some of the packages required by Tomcat.
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