Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To Run a .jar File with Double-Click on Ubuntu

Ubuntu 11

Running a Java Archive (JAR) file on Ubuntu with a simple double-click can be a bit tricky if you’re not familiar with the process. This guide will walk you through the steps to associate .jar files with the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) on your system, allowing you to run these files with ease.

Prerequisites

Before proceeding, make sure you have Java installed on your system. You can check this by opening a terminal and typing the following command:

java -version

If Java is installed, the command will output the version of Java currently installed on your system. If Java is not installed, you can download and install it from the official Oracle website.

Method 1: Install JRE using apt-get

This method is specifically for Ubuntu-based systems.

  1. Install JRE: Open a terminal and run the following command to install the JRE:
sudo apt-get install openjdk-7-jre

The sudo command allows you to run commands with the security privileges of the superuser. apt-get is the package handling utility in Ubuntu. install is the command to install a new package, in this case, openjdk-7-jre which is the Open Java Development Kit.

  1. Associate .jar files with JRE: After installation, right-click on the .jar file and select “Properties”. In the “Open With” tab, choose the Java runtime environment you have installed. Click “Close” and you should be able to double-click the .jar file to run it.

Method 2: Install Oracle JRE using PPA

This method is also for Ubuntu-based systems.

  1. Add PPA and Install JRE: Open a terminal and run the following commands to add the PPA and install the JRE:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ferramroberto/java
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jre sun-java6-plugin sun-java6-fonts

The add-apt-repository command is used to add a Personal Package Archive (PPA) to your system. ppa:ferramroberto/java is the PPA for the Oracle JRE. The update command is used to resynchronize the package index files from their sources. The install command is used to install the Oracle JRE and related packages.

  1. Associate .jar files with JRE: After installation, follow the same steps as in Method 1 to associate the .jar file with the Java runtime environment.

Method 3: Create a .desktop file

This method works for any Linux distribution.

  1. Create a .desktop file: Open a text editor and create a new file called java.desktop. Copy and paste the following content into the file:
[Desktop Entry]
Name=Java
Comment=Java
GenericName=Java
Keywords=java
Exec=java -jar %f
Terminal=false
X-MultipleArgs=false
Type=Application
MimeType=application/x-java-archive
StartupNotify=true

A .desktop file is a shortcut that is used to launch applications in Linux. The Exec line specifies the command to run the application, in this case, java -jar %f which runs the .jar file.

  1. Move the .desktop file: Save the file and move it to the directory /usr/share/applications using the command:
sudo mv java.desktop /usr/share/applications
  1. Associate .jar files with JRE: After moving the file, you should be able to find an entry called “Java” in the “Open file with…” dialog when you right-click on a .jar file.

Method 4: Create a .desktop file and set it as default

This method also works for any Linux distribution.

  1. Create and move a .desktop file: Follow the steps in Method 3 to create and move the java.desktop file.
  2. Set the .desktop file as the default application: Open a terminal and run the following command to set the .desktop file as the default application for .jar files:
xdg-mime default java.desktop application/x-java-archive

The xdg-mime command is used to set MIME type associations. default sets the default application, java.desktop is the application, and application/x-java-archive is the MIME type for .jar files.

After setting the default application, double-clicking on a .jar file should automatically run it with Java.

Conclusion

Running .jar files with a double-click on Ubuntu is a simple process once you understand how to associate these files with the Java Runtime Environment. Whether you’re using the OpenJDK or Oracle’s JRE, the methods outlined in this guide should help you get up and running in no time. If you encounter any issues, feel free to ask for help in the comments section below. Happy coding!

How can I check if Java is installed on my Ubuntu system?

To check if Java is installed on your Ubuntu system, open a terminal and type java -version. If Java is installed, the command will output the version of Java currently installed on your system.

Can I use these methods to run .jar files on other Linux distributions?

Yes, Method 3 and Method 4 can be used to run .jar files on any Linux distribution. These methods involve creating a .desktop file and associating it with the Java runtime environment, which is a universal process on Linux.

How can I uninstall the JRE on Ubuntu?

To uninstall the JRE on Ubuntu, open a terminal and run the following command: sudo apt-get purge openjdk-7-jre. This command will remove the JRE and any related packages from your system.

Can I use these methods to run .jar files with a specific version of Java?

Yes, you can use these methods to run .jar files with a specific version of Java. Make sure that you have the desired version of Java installed on your system before associating the .jar files with the Java runtime environment.

What should I do if I encounter any issues while running .jar files on Ubuntu?

If you encounter any issues while running .jar files on Ubuntu, make sure that you have Java installed correctly and that the .jar file is not corrupted. You can also try running the .jar file from the terminal to see if any error messages are displayed. If you are still having trouble, feel free to ask for help in the comments section or seek assistance from online forums or communities.

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