Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How can I convert my Java program to an .exe file?

If I have a Java source file or class file (*.class). How can I convert it to an .exe file?

I also need an installer for my program.

Is there is an open source program that can do that?

Source: Tips4all


  1. Some options:

    Executable Jar File

    See also Distributing your Application as an executable JAR file and the Sun docs on how to create a jar file that can be executed with a double-click on Windows.


    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.


    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.


    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

  2. Launch4j

    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.

  3. 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?"

  4. IMHO JSmooth seems to do a pretty good job: http://jsmooth.sourceforge.net/

  5. 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.

  6. The latest Java Web Start has been enhanced to allow good offline operation as well as allowing "local installation". It is worth looking into.

  7. BuildDesk by http://www.productiveme.com/ - some of the IntelliJ guys built this.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. For converting jar to exe, you can have following options

    Convert Jar To EXE, Executable File