Home » Java » Get source JARs from Maven repository

Get source JARs from Maven repository

Posted by: admin November 2, 2017 Leave a comment


Does anyone have any idea if you can find source JARs on Maven repositories?


Maven Micro-Tip: Get sources and Javadocs

When you’re using Maven in an IDE you often find the need for your IDE to resolve source code and Javadocs for your library dependencies. There’s an easy way to accomplish that goal.

mvn dependency:sources
mvn dependency:resolve -Dclassifier=javadoc

The first command will attempt to download source code for each of the dependencies in your pom file.

The second command will attempt to download the Javadocs.

Maven is at the mercy of the library packagers here. So some of them won’t have source code packaged and many of them won’t have Javadocs.

In case you have a lot of dependencies it might also be a good idea to use
inclusions/exclusions to get specific artifacts, the following command
will for example only download the sources for the dependency with
a specific artifactId:

mvn dependency:sources -DincludeArtifactIds=guava

Source: http://tedwise.com/2010/01/27/maven-micro-tip-get-sources-and-javadocs/

Documentation: https://maven.apache.org/plugins/maven-dependency-plugin/sources-mojo.html


When running Eclipse from the command line ( mvn eclipse:eclipse )



If a project creates a jar of the project sources and deploys it to a maven repository , then you’ll find it 🙂

Just FYI, sources artifacts are generally created by the maven-source-plugin. This plugin can bundle the main or test sources of a project into a jar archive and, as explained in Configuring Source Plugin:

(…) The generated jar file will be named by the value of the finalName plus “-sources” if it is the main sources. Otherwise, it would be finalName plus “-test-sources” if it is the test sources.

The additional text given to describe an artifact (“-sources” or “-test-sources” here) is called a classifier.

To declare a dependency on an artifact that uses a classifier, simply add the <classifier> element. For example:


Note that you generally don’t do this, most IDEs provide support to download sources (and/or JavaDoc) from the main artifact without declaring explicitly a dependency on them.

Finally, also note that some repository search engines allow to search for artifacts using the classifier (at least Nexus does with the advanced search). See this search for example.


To download some specific source or javadoc we need to include the GroupIds – Its a comma separated value as shown below

mvn dependency:sources -DincludeGroupIds=com.jcraft,org.testng -Dclassifier=sources

Note that the classifier are not comma separated, to download the javadoc we need to run the above command one more time with the classifier as javadoc

mvn dependency:sources -DincludeGroupIds=com.jcraft,org.testng -Dclassifier=javadoc


The maven idea plugin for IntelliJ Idea allows you to specify whether or not sources and java doc should be resolved and downloaded

mvn idea:idea -DdownloadSources=true -DdownloadJavadocs=true


you can find info in this related question: Get source jar files attached to Eclipse for Maven-managed dependencies

if you use the eclipse maven plugin then use ‘mvn eclipse:eclipse -DdownloadSources=true’


if you’re using eclipse you could also open Preferences > Maven and select Download Artifact Sources, this would let the pom.xml intact and keep your sources or java docs (if selected) just for development right at your machine location ~/.m2


To download any artifact use

mvn dependency:get -Dartifact=groupId:artifactId:version:packaging:classifier

For Groovy sources this would be

mvn dependency:get -Dartifact=org.codehaus.groovy:groovy-all:2.4.6:jar:sources

For Groovy’s javadoc you would use

mvn dependency:get -Dartifact=org.codehaus.groovy:groovy-all:2.4.6:jar:javadoc

This puts the given artifact into your local Maven repository, i.e. usually $HOME/.m2/repository.

dependency:sources just downloads the project dependencies’ sources, not the plugins sources nor the sources of dependencies defined inside plugins.


In Eclipse

  1. Right click on the pom.xml
  2. Select Run As -> Maven generate-sources
    it will generate the source by default in .m2 folder


Maven should be configured with Eclipse.


You can, if they are uploaded. Generally they are called “frameworkname-version-source(s)”


In eclipse – click on the project then:

enter image description here.


Based on watching the Maven console in Eclipse (Kepler), sources will be automatically downloaded for a Maven dependency if you attempt to open a class from said Maven dependency in the editor for which you do not have the sources downloaded already. This is handy when you don’t want to grab source for all of your dependencies, but you don’t know which ones you want ahead of time (and you’re using Eclipse).

I ended up using @GabrielRamierez’s approach, but will employ @PascalThivent’s approach going forward.


NetBeans, Context-Click

In NetBeans 8 with a Maven-driven project, merely context-click on the jar file list item of the dependency in which you are interested. Choose Download Sources. Wait a moment and NetBeans will automatically download and install the source code, if available.

Similarly you can choose Download Javadoc to get the doc locally installed. Then you can context-click some code in the editor and choose to see the JavaDoc.

screen shot of context-menu item "Download Sources" being chosen in a NetBeans 8 project driven by Maven


I have also used the eclipse plugin to get the project into the eclipse workspace.
Since I’ve worked on a different project I saw that it is possible to work with eclipse but without the maven-eclipse-plugin. That makes it easier to use with different environments and enables the easy use of maven over eclipse. And that without changing the pom.xml-file.

So, I recommend the approach of Gabriel Ramirez.