I wanted tomcat to start as a service, so I used a script I found (forget whose) and tweaked it a bit. I have tomcat run as a user, and in order to do so I had to set environment variables as that user. If you set the user to nologin then I think it uses /etc/profile for it's env settings, so you have to set JAVA_HOME and CATALINA_HOME and export them from there. Anyway, once you've made user tomcat, you can pop into init.d (as root) and make a small executable file called tomcat:
# chkconfig: - 85 15
# description: Tomcat is a servlet container
if [ -f $PROGRAM ]; then
echo "$1ing" `basename $0`
su - tomcat -c "$PROGRAM $1"
now tomcat is a "service" that will start with your computer and can be started and stopped with "service tomcat start" or "service tomcat stop", this also lets you control it from kde/gnome with redhat-config-services.
I hope that will work for you as well. I honestly don't know what most of the file means, but it does work, and it looks very much like the other files in init.d, so I assume it belongs there.
I used this for both fedora core 2 and 3, and whitebox linux 3 (which is better known as RHEL3).