Can’t execute jar- file: “no main manifest attribute”

Can’t execute jar- file: “no main manifest attribute” :


First, it’s kind of weird, to see you run java -jar "app" and not java -jar app.jar

Second, to make a jar executable… you need to jar a file called META-INF/MANIFEST.MF

the file itself should have (at least) this one liner:

Main-Class: com.mypackage.MyClass

Where com.mypackage.MyClass is the class holding the public static void main(String[] args) entry point.

Note that there are several ways to get this done either with the CLI, Maven, Ant or Gradle:

For CLI, the following command will do: (tks @dvvrt)

jar cmvf META-INF/MANIFEST.MF <new-jar-filename>.jar  <files to include>

For Maven, something like the following snippet should do the trick. Note that this is only the plugin definition, not the full pom.xml:

Latest doc on this plugin: see https://maven.apache.org/plugins/maven-jar-plugin/

<build>
  <plugins>
    <plugin>
      <!-- Build an executable JAR -->
      <groupId>org.apache.maven.plugins</groupId>
      <artifactId>maven-jar-plugin</artifactId>
      <version>3.1.0</version>
      <configuration>
        <archive>
          <manifest>
            <addClasspath>true</addClasspath>
            <classpathPrefix>lib/</classpathPrefix>
            <mainClass>com.mypackage.MyClass</mainClass>
          </manifest>
        </archive>
      </configuration>
    </plugin>
  </plugins>
</build>

(Pick a <version> appropriate to your project.)

For Ant, the snippet below should help:

<jar destfile="build/main/checksites.jar">
  <fileset dir="build/main/classes"/>
  <zipfileset includes="**/*.class" src="lib/main/some.jar"/>
  <manifest>
    <attribute name="Main-Class" value="com.acme.checksites.Main"/>
  </manifest>
</jar>

Credits Michael Niemand –

For Gradle:

plugins {
    id 'java'
}

jar {
    manifest {
        attributes(
                'Main-Class': 'com.mypackage.MyClass'
        )
    }
}

Alternatively, you can use maven-assembly-plugin, as shown in the below example:

<plugin>
    <artifactId>maven-assembly-plugin</artifactId>
    <executions>
      <execution>
        <phase>package</phase>
        <goals>
          <goal>single</goal>
        </goals>
      </execution>
    </executions>
    <configuration>
      <archive>
        <manifest>
          <addClasspath>true</addClasspath>
          <mainClass>com.package.MainClass</mainClass>
        </manifest>
      </archive>
      <descriptorRefs>
        <descriptorRef>jar-with-dependencies</descriptorRef>
      </descriptorRefs>
    </configuration>
  </plugin> 

In this example all the dependency jars as specified in section will be automatically included in your single jar. Note that jar-with-dependencies should be literally put as, not to be replaced with the jar file names you want to include.


That is because Java cannot find the Main attribute in the MANIFEST.MF file. The Main attribute is necessary to tell java which class it should use as the application’s entry point. Inside the jar file, the MANIFEST.MF file is located in META-INF folder. Wondering how you could look at what’s inside a jar file? Open the jar file with WinRAR.

The main attribute inside the MANIFEST.MF looks like this:

Main-Class: <packagename>.<classname>

You get this “no main manifest attribute” error when this line is missing from the MANIFEST.MF file.

It’s really a huge mess to specify this attribute inside the MANIFEST.MF file.

Update: I just found a really neat way to specify the Application’s entry point in eclipse. When you say Export,

Select Jar and next 

[ give it a name in the next window ] and next

and next again

and you'll see " Select the class of the application entry point".

Just pick a class and Eclipse will automatically build a cool MANIFEST.MF for you.
Can't execute jar- file: "no main manifest attribute"

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