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The welcome-file-list element of web-app, is used to define a list of welcome files. Its sub element is welcome-file that is used to define the welcome file.

A welcome file is the file that is invoked automatically by the server, if you don’t specify any file name.

By default server looks for the welcome file in following order:

  1. welcome-file-list in web.xml
  2. index.html
  3. index.htm
  4. index.jsp

If none of these files are found, server renders 404 error.

If you have specified welcome-file in web.xml, and all the files index.html, index.htm and index.jsp exists, priority goes to welcome-file.

If welcome-file-list entry doesn’t exist in web.xml file, priority goes to index.html file then index.htm and at last index.jsp file.

Let’s see the web.xml file that defines the welcome files.

  1. <web-app>
  2.  ….
  3.   <welcome-file-list>
  4.    <welcome-file>home.html</welcome-file>
  5.    <welcome-file>default.html</welcome-file>
  6.   </welcome-file-list>
  7. </web-app>

Now, home.html and default.html will be the welcome files.

If you have the welcome file, you can directory invoke the project as given below:

  1. http://localhost:8888/myproject

As you can see, we have not specified any file name after the project.