There is this project I am working on which is using a BeagleBone and we need a JSP container to run on it. I was thinking of Tomcat but wanted to know if Tomcat is suitable for embedded systems.

Is it too resource-heavy? If yes, are there other lighter JSP containers? I know only of Tomcat and Jetty.

  • $\begingroup$ and why u need the JSP container there. provide more details $\endgroup$ – Neo Feb 4 '14 at 5:51

Could you perhaps elaborate on your performance requirements?

I'm quite confident you will be able to get Tomcat running, here's a video of someone getting Tomcat 5.5 running on a beagleboard c4 (note the video is dated Feb 2011). Also remember that you can run a normal Ubuntu distro on the beaglebone, so installing Tomcat should be as easy as simply going 'sudo apt-get install tomcat7'.

The big issue is performance. If you're planning to use the beaglebone as a server handling thousands of requests a second you're probably going to have a problem.

The following table indicates the performance difference between embedded application processors and a desktop PC (the benchmark calculates pi to 500 digits, see Johannes Ernst's blog for more info).

enter image description here

The above benchmark obviously does not characterize other performance areas important in running a server (e.g. disk or network I/O), but let's assume you're looking at roughly a tenfold increase in processing time.

For instance, if a single Tomcat transaction usually took 10 ms to complete, it could now take 100 ms. If you're only using the beaglebone to serve a small number of consumers (infrequently), and responsiveness isn't as critical, it should work fine.

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  • $\begingroup$ It won't be connected to the Internet but to a local network. So, probably tens of requests a second. That should be fine right? $\endgroup$ – pratnala Feb 4 '14 at 9:01
  • $\begingroup$ I honestly can't say, it depends on what your servlet is up to. Are you planning on running a full blown sql db in the background, or are you just buffering data collected by the beaglebone? Ultimately the only way of knowing is test and see. $\endgroup$ – EDDY74 Feb 4 '14 at 9:10
  • $\begingroup$ We plan to use an SQLite backend $\endgroup$ – pratnala Feb 4 '14 at 10:22

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