Programming language: Java
License: GNU General Public License v3.0 only
Tags: Distribution     Projects    
Latest version: v1.4.2

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Maven Central GPL-3.0

JavaPackager is a hybrid plugin for Maven and Gradle which provides an easy way to package Java applications in native Windows, Mac OS X or GNU/Linux executables, and generate installers for them.

SNAPSHOT version is not released to Maven Central, so you have to install it manually.

:eyes: See JavaPackager changes and fixes.


It was born while teaching to my students how to build and distribute their Java apps, and after seeing that a chain of several plugins was needed to achieve this task, I decided to develop a plugin :ring: to govern them all.

Apps packaged with JavaPackager

How to use this plugin

Package your app with Maven

Add the following plugin tag to your pom.xml:

                <!-- mandatory -->
                <!-- optional -->
                    <additionalResource>file path</additionalResource>
                    <additionalResource>folder path</additionalResource>

See [Maven plugin configuration samples](docs/maven/plugin-configuration-samples.md) to know more.

And execute the next command in project's root folder:

mvn package

Package your app with Gradle

Apply JavaPackager plugin in build.gradle using legacy mode (because at the moment it's only available in Maven Central repository):

buildscript {
    repositories {
    dependencies {
        classpath 'io.github.fvarrui:javapackager:1.6.7'

apply plugin: 'io.github.fvarrui.javapackager.plugin'

Create your packaging task:

task packageMyApp(type: io.github.fvarrui.javapackager.gradle.PackageTask, dependsOn: build) {
    // mandatory
    mainClass = 'path.to.your.mainClass'
    // optional
    bundleJre = true|false
    generateInstaller = true|false
    administratorRequired = true|false
    platform = auto|linux|mac|windows
    additionalResources = [ file('file path'), file('folder path'), ... ]
    linuxConfig {
    macConfig {
    winConfig {

See [Gradle plugin configuration samples](docs/gradle/plugin-configuration-samples.md) to know more.

And execute the next command in project's root folder:

gradle packageMyApp

Generated artifacts

By default it will generate next artifacts in ${outputDirectory} folder:

Artifact Description Platform Requires
${name} Directory with native application and other assets. All
${name}-${version}-runnable.jar Runnable JAR file. All
${name}_${version}.AppImage AppImage package file. GNU/Linux FUSE 2 to run the app.
${name}_${version}.deb DEB package file. All
${name}_${version}.rpm RPM package file. All
${name}_${version}.exe Setup file. Windows Inno Setup
${name}_${version}.msi MSI installer file. Windows WiX Toolset
${name}_${version}.msm MSI merge module file. Windows WiX Toolset
${name}_${version}.dmg Disk image file (uses hdiutil). Mac OS
${name}_${version}.pkg PKG installer file (uses pkgbuild). Mac OS
${name}-${version}-${platform}.zip Zipball containing generated directory ${name}. All
${name}-${version}-${platform}.tar.gz Compressed tarball containing generated directory ${name}. All
assets Directory with all intermediate files generated by JavaPackager. All

Inno Setup and WiX Toolset installation [guide](docs/windows-tools-guide.md).

Plugin configuration properties

Property Mandatory Default value Description
additionalModulePaths :x: [] Additional module paths for jdeps.
additionalModules :x: [] Additional modules to the ones identified by jdeps or the specified with modules property.
additionalResources :x: [] Additional files and folders to include in the bundled app.
administratorRequired :x: false App will run as administrator (with elevated privileges).
assetsDir :x: ${basedir}/assets or ${projectdir}/assets Assets location (icons and custom Velocity templates).
bundleJre :x: false Embeds a customized JRE with the app.
classpath :x: List of additional paths to JVM classpath, separated with ; (recommended) or :.
copyDependencies :x: true Bundles all dependencies (JAR files) with the app.
createTarball :x: false Bundles app folder in tarball.
createZipball :x: false Bundles app folder in zipball.
customizedJre :x: true Generates a customized JRE, including only identified or specified modules. Otherwise, all modules will be included.
description :x: ${project.description} or ${displayName} Project description.
displayName :x: ${project.name} or ${name} App name to show.
envPath :x: Defines PATH environment variable in GNU/Linux and Mac OS X startup scripts.
extra :x: Map with extra properties to be used in customized Velocity templates, accesible through $info.extra variable.
fileAssociations :x: FileAssociation[] Associate file extensions or MIME types to the app.
forceInstaller :x: false If true, skips operating system check when generating installers.
generateInstaller :x: true Generates an installer for the app.
jdkPath :x: ${java.home} JDK used to generate a customized JRE. It allows to bundle customized JREs for different platforms.
jreDirectoryName :x: "jre" Bundled JRE directory name.
jreMinVersion :x: JRE minimum version. If an appropriate version cannot be found display error message. Disabled if a JRE is bundled.
jrePath :x: "" Path to JRE folder. If specified, it will bundle this JRE with the app, and won't generate a customized JRE. For Java 8 version or least.
licenseFile :x: ${project.licenses[0].url} or ${basedir}/LICENSE or ${projectdir}/LICENSE Path to project license file.
mainClass :heavy_check_mark: ${exec.mainClass} Full path to your app main class.
manifest :x: [Allows adding additional entries to MANIFEST.MF file.](docs/manifest.md)
modules :x: [] Modules to customize the bundled JRE. Don't use jdeps to get module dependencies.
name :x: ${project.name} or ${project.artifactId} App name.
organizationName :x: ${project.organization.name} or "ACME" Organization name.
organizationUrl :x: ${project.organization.url} Organization website URL.
organizationEmail :x: Organization email.
outputDirectory :x: ${project.build.directory} or ${project.builddir} Output directory (where the artifacts will be generated).
packagingJdk :x: ${java.home} JDK used in the execution of jlink and other JDK tools.
platform :x: auto Defines the target platform, which could be different to the execution platform. Possible values: auto, mac, linux, windows. Use auto for using execution platform as target.
runnableJar :x: Defines your own JAR file to be bundled. If it's ommited, the plugin packages your code in a runnable JAR and bundle it with the app.
scripts :x: Specify bootstrap script. Pre and post-install scripts comming soon!
url :x: App website URL.
useResourcesAsWorkingDir :x: true Uses app resources folder as default working directory (always true on Mac OS).
version :x: ${project.version} App version.
vmArgs :x: [] VM arguments.

Some default values depends on the used building tool.

Platform specific properties

Property Mandatory Description
linuxConfig :x: [GNU/Linux specific properties](docs/linux-specific-properties.md).
macConfig :x: [Mac OS X specific properties](docs/macosx-specific-properties.md).
winConfig :x: [Windows specific properties](docs/windows-specific-properties.md).

:warning: Be careful when using the platform property if your project uses platform dependent libraries, so the libraries of the current platform will be copied, not those required for the target platform. You can solve this problem using classifiers.

Plugin assets

Any asset used by JavaPackager, such as application icons or templates, can be replaced just by placing a file with the same name in ${assetsDir} folder organized by platform.

├── linux/
├── mac/
└── windows/


If icons are located in ${assetsDir} folder, it would not be necessary to use icon properties:

├── linux/
│   └── ${name}.png     # on GNU/Linux it has to be a PNG file
├── mac/
│   └── ${name}.icns    # on Mac OS X it has to be a ICNS file
└── windows/
    └── ${name}.ico     # on Windows it has to be a ICO file

:warning: If icon is not specified , it will use an icon by default for all platforms.


Velocity templates (.vtl files) are used to generate some artifacts which have to be bundled with the app or needed to generate other artifacts.

It is possible to use your own customized templates. You just have to put one of the following templates in the ${assetsDir} folder organized by platform, and the plugin will use these templates instead of default ones:

├── linux/
|   ├── assembly.xml.vtl               # maven-assembly-plugin template to generate ZIP/TGZ bundles for GNU/Linux
|   ├── control.vtl                    # DEB control template
|   ├── desktop.vtl                    # Desktop template
|   ├── desktop-appimage.vtl           # AppImage format Desktop template
|   ├── mime.xml.vtl                   # MIME.XML template
│   └── startup.sh.vtl                 # Startup script template
├── mac/
|   ├── assembly.xml.vtl               # maven-assembly-plugin template to generate ZIP/TGZ bundles for Mac OS X
|   ├── customize-dmg.applescript.vtl  # DMG customization Applescript template
|   ├── Info.plist.vtl                 # Info.plist template
│   └── startup.vtl                    # Startup script template
└── windows/
    ├── assembly.xml.vtl               # maven-assembly-plugin template to generate ZIP/TGZ bundles for Windows
    ├── exe.manifest.vtl               # exe.manifest template
    ├── ini.vtl                        # WinRun4J INI template
    ├── iss.vtl                        # Inno Setup Script template
    ├── msm.wxs.vtl                    # WiX Toolset WXS template to generate Merge Module
    ├── startup.vbs.vtl                # Startup script template (VB Script)
    ├── why-ini.vtl                    # WHY INI template
    └── wxs.vtl                        # WiX Toolset WXS template to generate MSI

An object called info of type PackagerSettings is passed to all templates with all plugin properties.

You can use default templates as examples to create your own templates, and use the extra map property to add your own properties in the plugin settings to use in your custom templates (e.g. ${info.extra["myProperty"]}).

Additional JVM options at runtime

When you build your app, all configuration details are hardcoded into the executable and cannot be changed without recreating it or hacking with a resource editor. JavaPackager introduces a feature that allows to pass additional JVM options at runtime from an .l4j.ini file (like Launch4j does, but available for all platforms in the same way). So, you can specify these options in the packager's configuration (packaging time), in INI file (runtime) or in both.

The INI file's name must correspond to ${name}.l4j.ini and it has to be located next to the executable on Windows and GNU/Linux, and in Resources folder on Mac OS X.

The options should be separated with spaces or new lines:

# Additional JVM options

An VM argument per line.

And then bundle this file with your app:


Last property copies ${name}.l4j.ini file next to the EXE/binary on Windows/Linux, and in Resources folder on MacOS.

How to build and install the plugin

Useful to try SNAPSHOT versions.

Execute next commands in BASH (GNU/Linux or macOS) or CMD (Windows):

  1. Download source code and change to the project directory:
git clone https://github.com/fvarrui/JavaPackager.git [--branch x]
cd JavaPackager

where x is branch name (e.g. devel)

  1. Compile, package and install the plugin in your local repository (ommit ./ on Windows):
./gradlew publishToMavenLocal

How to release the plugin to Maven Central

Run next command (ommit ./ on Windows):

./gradlew -Prelease uploadArchives closeAndReleaseRepository

Related guide.

Future features

Check the TO-DO list to know the features we plan to add to JavaPackager.

*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the JavaPackager README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.