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How to make window setup of a Java Application.Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Welcome to cbsecsnip tutorial section. In this tutorial I'm going to demonstrate and explain how to make distributable setup file of Java Applications developed in Netbeans IDE. Software which are used for this entire demonstration are listed below- You can use any version as per your project requirement. You can download above software from our web site.
Minimum required software for creating setup fo Java Application -
  • JDK
  • Netbeans
  • install4j (I'm using this software for creating setup, other software are also available for same purpose).
    Here we go
1. Create JAR file (an executable file of Java Application) of your application by using Netbeans. Click on Run-->Clean and Build Project. Now we have .jar file which is an executable java file this file is automatically stored under dist folder. C:\Users\Vishal\Documents\NetBeansProjects\Age Calulator\dist\ Age_Calulator.jar

2. Close Netbeans and check the jar file by double clicking it whether it is executing properly or not. Double click on the .jar file generated by Netbeans.

3. Now start install4j.

4. Click on New Project.

5. Open New Project by clicking on Open a new window button. Setup5

6. Now fill up with following information
      • Full Name –Name of your setup project for your reference. Your choice.
      • Short Name – This name will be used for your SETUP file. Your choice.
      • Version – Version of your setup. Your choice.
      • Publisher – Optional, you can provide your name here.
      • Publisher URL – Optional, if you have website then mention the URL of website.
Click on blue arrow on right top corner for next screen. Setup6

7. In this step, you can specify the version requirements for you application.
      • Minimum version – Enter the minimum JDK version required for executing your application.
      • Maximum version – Enter the maximum JDK version required for executing your application. Leave this field blank it is assumed as latest version. This is an optional field.
After filling these 2 fields click on blue arrow on right top corner for next screen.

8. In this step, leave all the setting default and move to next screen.
9. Select the folder where you want to save the setup file, which will generated by install4j. I stored the setup file in Age Calculator folder on Desktop.

10. In this step, leave all the setting default and move to next screen.
11. In this step, leave all the setting default and move to next screen.
12. In this step, leave all the setting default and move to next screen.
13. Select the 1st option Make all path relative when saving the project file. And click on arrow.

14. This step is very important, here you have to select the files and folders you want to include in your setup project. Follow the steps as shown in figures –
      a.Click on green plus sign--> Add Files and Directories

      b. Now select the Directory option from the Add Files and Directories window and click on Next
      c. Select your main .jar file directory. In our case we have C:\Users\Vishal\Documents\NetBeansProjects\Age Calulator\dist
      d. Then click on Next button and move on 4th frame that is Excluded Files and Directories (see on right side of the pane).
      e. Here select the files and directories which you don’t want to include in your setup project.
      f. And move up to last frame without making any changes and finally click on OK.
      g. Now here I will add additional 3rd party components which I used in my Age Calculator project i.e. jCalendar 1.4.jar file.
         Note: You must include all those extra files and folders which you have used in your Java Application project.
      h. Again Directory option from the Add Files and Directories window and click on Next.
      i. On the first screen select Single File option and move to next window.
      j. Click on the Green PLUS button and then select Browse For File, select your desired file. Here I will my main Application .jar file i.e. Age Calculator.jar and click on Next and move up to the last screen of the step and click OK.
You will get a screen similar to this –

      This shows that you successfully included all files and folders you need for the setup file to install. Move to the next step by clicking on Blue Arrow.
15. This window displays your installation tree structure, How your application will be installed on hard disk.
16. Now simply move to the Configuration Application Launcher window step by clicking on Blue Arrow without making any changes in windows which will appear.
17. Select New Launcher by double clicking on the New Launcher Icon.

18. In Select Launcher Type window ->Select Generate Launcher.
19. In this screen you have fill the detail of your application executable file i.e. .exe file.
      a. Select GUI application from Executable type group.
      b. Give the name of your .exe file, I gave Age Calculator, you may give name as per your choice.
      c. Click on Next

20. Leave blank and click on Next
21. Here you have to add your .jar files. Click on Green Plus button and you will Define class path entry window
22. Select the .jar file you created in Netbeans. And all other .jar files which are used in your Project. Select the Archive option.
23. Then click on browse button to select Archive files.
24. Select the archive files from the list of files.
25. Repeat step 24 for selecting all required archive files.

      I add my both the Archive files Age_calculator.jar (created by me using Netbeans) and jcalendar 1-4.jar (an 3rd party jar file I used for jCalendar control).

26. Now add the main class of your application. Click on the browse button of Main Class
27. And select the main class from the list which you want to start from.


      You will get the name of your main executable class in front of Main class.
      Click on Next button and skip all coming screens and finally click on OK button to complete this step.
      After clicking on OK button you can see your new launcher, just now you created.

28. Move to Next window
29. Click on Media option by skipping Installer option from Left side of the pane. This step will give you the actual setup file which you can distribute to your friends.

30. Double on New media file.
31. In create Media File window, select Windows from Installer type: and click on Next button.
32. Give the name of the setup file and installation directory where you want to install your application by default. And click on Next button.


Now go to Bundle a JRE with your application by selecting 6. Bundle JRE option from left pane of window. This is very important to understand here you can include the JRE on which your application was developed and can run perfectly.
My application is developed on JRE 1.7.0_9 so I should include this, because many may not have this JRE installed in their PC.

33. Select the Bundle the following JRE: option and choose your JRE from the list of JREs.
34. Next Select the option Static Bundle (distribute with media file).
35. Select Install as a shared JRE.
36. Click on Finish button. And finally click on OK button. And move to the next window by clicking on Blue Arrow.

      Note: If you don’t have distributable JRE package then you can download at this time as per your requirement by clicking Download JREs button
37. Finally you reached to the final and last step. Click on Start Build Button. You will get a message if you are using evaluation version of install4j, else it will start building the setup as per your settings.
38. If everything is OK then you may get the output as shown in figure.
After the successful build operation your setup file is store under the folder your selected in step 9. Double click on your setup file. Your installation begins with a message of evaluation version and you can find the installed application on c:\ drive.
Now you can run you java application from start menu.


I tried to explain all minimum requirements for creating a setup file of a Java Application which is developed by using Netbeans IDE, there are more areas which are not included in this tutorial. If you need to know anything more regarding creating setup file, then please feel free to contact us.

Vishal Deb
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