Simple Gradle Web Application

Gradle easily supports Java web applications through the “war” and “jetty” plugins. This tutorial will show you how to quickly make a simple Java Servlet web application.

Our basic project structure will be:


First, create a folder called basic-web, and then let’s create the Gradle build file inside the folder:

apply plugin: 'java' 
apply plugin: 'war' 
apply plugin: 'jetty' 
apply plugin: 'eclipse-wtp'

repositories {

dependencies {
  providedCompile 'javax.servlet:servlet-api:2.5'
  runtime 'javax.servlet:jstl:1.1.2'

The eclipse-wtp plugin allows us to import the project into Eclipse as a Dynamic Web Project to be run from Eclipse if desired. The war plugin extends the java plugin and adds support for packaging the WAR file. The jetty plugin adds tasks to support running our Gradle project in an embedded Jetty instance from our build-file. Notice that we are including the servlet-api as a “providedCompile” dependency. This means we do not want it to be packaged in the WAR, because it will be included in the application server in which it will run.

Now, let’s create the web.xml descriptor file in src/main/webapp/WEB-INF


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<web-app version="2.5" xmlns=""




We set up a simple servlet backed by com.codetutr.HelloWorldServlet and mapped to “/”.

Finally, let’s create the servlet in src/main/java package com.codetutr:

package com.codetutr;


import javax.servlet.ServletException;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletResponse;

public class HelloWorldServlet extends HttpServlet {

    private static final long serialVersionUID = 1L;

    protected void doGet(HttpServletRequest req, HttpServletResponse resp)  
            throws ServletException, IOException {
        resp.getOutputStream().write("Hello World.".getBytes());

That’s all. We can now launch the jetty server and see our web application in action:

$ gradle jettyRunWar
:compileJava UP-TO-DATE
:processResources UP-TO-DATE
:classes UP-TO-DATE

Now go to http://localhost:8080/basic-web to access your servlet. You should see “Hello, World.” on the screen.

Full source:
Unpack the archive. Open command prompt at unarchived root. Type gradle jettyRunWar. Go to http://localhost:8080/basic-web.

Posted in Gradle, Java Tagged with: , , ,
  • sermyro

    How to stop jetty?

    I got the following:

    “gradle jettyStop
    :jettyStop FAILED

    FAILURE: Build failed with an exception.

    * What went wrong:
    Execution failed for task ‘:jettyStop’.
    > Please specify a valid port”


    • Nhonya Bysnas

      You need to use a valid port at the bottom of the file such as `httpPort = 8888 `. You should also include `stopPort = 9090

      stopKey = “stopKey”`.

  • Himanshu Singh

    -> Now go to http://localhost:8080/basic-web
    Incorrectly the above hyperlink points to http://localhost:8080/web-basic
    Just after finishing the tutorial and clicked the link given in your tutorial and realized that.

  • Jaehyun Kim

    thanks for tutoring about gradle & servlet ^^


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