How to make an executable jar file?

I have a program which consists of two simple java swing files.

How do I make an executable jar file for my program?


A jar file is simply a file containing a collection of java files. To make a jar file executable, you need to specify where the main Class is in the jar file. Example code would be as follows.

public class JarExample {

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        javax.swing.SwingUtilities.invokeLater(new Runnable() {
            public void run() {
                // your logic here

Compile your classes. To make a jar, you also need to create a Manifest File (MANIFEST.MF). For example,

Manifest-Version: 1.0
Main-Class: JarExample

Place the compiled output class files (JarExample.class,JarExample$1.class) and the manifest file in the same folder. In the command prompt, go to the folder where your files placed, and create the jar using jar command. For example (if you name your manifest file as

jar cfm jarexample.jar *.class

It will create executable jarexample.jar.

In Eclipse you can do it simply as follows :

Right click on your Java Project and select Export.

Select Java -> Runnable JAR file -> Next.

Select the Launch Configuration and choose project file as your Main class

Select the Destination folder where you would like to save it and click Finish.

Here it is in one line:
jar cvfe myjar.jar package.MainClass *.class

where MainClass is the class with your main method, and package is MainClass's package.

Note you have to compile your .java files to .class files before doing this.

c  create new archive
v  generate verbose output on standard output
f  specify archive file name
e  specify application entry point for stand-alone application bundled into an executable jar file

This answer inspired by Powerslave's comment on another answer.

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