If I have a Java source file (*.java) or a class file (*.class), how can I convert it to a .exe file?
I also need an installer for my program.
Is there an open source program that can do that?
See also Distributing your Application as an executable JAR file and the Oracle docs on how to create a jar file that can be executed with a double-click on Windows.
(EDIT: Last release was in 2007)
JSmooth is a Java Executable Wrapper. It creates native Windows launchers (standard .exe) for your java applications. It makes java deployment much smoother and user-friendly, as it is able to find any installed Java VM by itself.
(EDIT: Shareware: Last updated in 08/29/2013 version-8.4)
JexePack is a command line tool (great for automated scripting) that allows you to package your Java application (class files), optionally along with its resources (like GIF/JPG/TXT/etc), into a single compressed 32-bit Windows EXE, which runs using Sun’s Java Runtime Environment. Both console and windowed applications are supported.
(EDIT: Commercial with Free Trial, Last version is from 2012)
A LAX Executable is an executable file that is used to launch a Java application on any LaunchAnywhere-compatible platform. Currently, InstallAnywhere creates LaunchAnywheres on Windows 95/98/NT/2000/Me, Solaris, Linux, and Mac OS X. LaunchAnywhere enables end-users to double-click on an icon (Windows or Mac OS X) or type a single command (UNIX) to start a Java application.
See also for reference Convert Java to EXE: Why, When, When Not and How
Launch4j is a cross-platform tool for wrapping Java applications distributed as jars in lightweight Windows native executables. The executable can be configured to search for a certain JRE version or use a bundled one, and it’s possible to set runtime options, like the initial/max heap size. The wrapper also provides better user experience through an application icon, a native pre-JRE splash screen, a custom process name, and a Java download page in case the appropriate JRE cannot be found.
GCJ: The GNU Compiler for Java can compile Java source code into native machine code, including Windows executables.
Although not everything in Java is supported under GCJ, especially the GUI components (see
What Java API’s are supported? How complete is the support? question from the FAQ). I haven’t used GCJ much, but from the limited testing I’ve done with console applications, it seems fine.
One downside of using GCJ to create an standalone executable is that the size of the resulting EXE can be quite large. One time I compiled a trivial console application in GCJ and the result was an executable about 1 MB. (There may be ways around this that I am not aware of. Another option would be executable compression programs.)
In terms of open-source installers, the Nullsoft Scriptable Install System is a scriptable installer. If you’re curious, there are user contributed examples on how to detect the presence of a JRE and install it automatically if the required JRE is not installed. (Just to let you know, I haven’t used NSIS before.)
For more information on using NSIS for installing Java applications, please take a look at my response for the question “What’s the best way to distribute Java applications?“
You can try many of the java wrappers out there like JSmooth, JWrapper, and other utilities but you can also make a .bat with the following code:
start javaw -jar JarFile.jar
and convert the bat to an exe using any .bat to .exe converter.
The latest Java Web Start has been enhanced to allow good offline operation as well as allowing “local installation”. It is worth looking into.
We’re using Install4J to build installers for windows or unix environments.
It’s easily customizable up to the point where you want to write scripts for special actions that cannot be done with standard dialogues. But even though we’re setting up windows services with it, we’re only using standard components.
- installer + launcher
- windows or unix
- scriptable in Java
- ant task
- lots of customizable standard panels and actions
- optionally includes or downloads a JRE
- can also launch windows services
- multiple languages
I think Launch4J is from the same company (just the launcher – no installer).
PS: sadly i’m not getting paid for this endorsement. I just like that tool.
IMHO JSmooth seems to do a pretty good job.
If you need to convert your entire application to native code, i.e. an EXE plus DLLs, there is ExcelsiorJET. I found it works well and provided an alternative to bundling a JRE.
Alternatively, you can use some java-to-c translator (e.g., JCGO) and compile the generated C files to a native binary (.exe) file for the target platform.
I would say launch4j is the best tool for converting a java source code(.java) to .exe file
You can even bundle a jre with it for distribution and the exe can even be iconified.
Although the size of application increases, it makes sure that the application will work perfectly even if the user does not have a jre installed. It also makes sure that you are able to provide the specific jre required for your app without the user having to install it separately.
But unfortunately, java loses its importance. Its multi platform support is totally ignored and the final app is only supported for windows. But that is not a big deal, if you are catering only to windows users.
You can use Janel. This last works as an application launcher or service launcher (available from 4.x).
I can be forgiven for being against converting a java program to a .exe Application and I have My reasons. the Major one being that a java program can be compiled to a jar file from A lot of IDE’s. When the program is in .jar format, it can run in Multiple Platforms as opposed to .exe which would run Only in very limited Environment. I am for the Idea that Java Programs shoudl not be converted to Exe unless it is very neccesary. One can always write .bat files that runs the Java program while it is a jar file.
if it is really neccesary to convert it to exe, Jar2Exe converter silently does that and one can also attach Libraries that are compiled together with the Main Application.