After some investigations, we found out, that there is an issue with the Maven archetype plugin, which ignores your proxy settings, if you specify an archetype catalog (This JIRA-Issue seems to describe that problem). So, if you are sitting behind a web proxy, e.g. the command
might lead to the following error after some time:
$mvn archetype:generate -DarchetypeCatalog=http://maven-instant-ws.googlecode.com/svn/repo/archetype-catalog.xml
[WARNING] Error reading archetype catalog http://maven-instant-ws.googlecode.com/svn/repo/archetype-catalog.xmlFor me, it helped to remove the archetype plugin from my local Maven repository by deleting the folder /home/<username>/.m2/repository/org/apache/maven/plugins/maven-archetype-plugin before issuing the command above.
This forces Maven to download the archetype plugin again, for some reason causing it to find the archetype catalog properly. If I try to create another project from using the catalog – having the archetype plugin in my local repo now – the same error as before occurs.