Create a Windows Executable for Java with Embedded JAR Files

The following is a quick tutorial on how to create a single executable for a java application using WinRun4J. We will also give it a splash screen.

To start download WinRun4J.

Now unzip it into any folder, create a new directory called winrun4j and copy:

  • WinRun4J.exe
  • WinRun4J.jar
  • WinRun4JTest.jar
  • WinRun4J.ini
  • SplashScreen.gif
  • RCEDIT.exe

You should now have a folder that looks like this:

Now create a console window and change directory to your winrun4j folder:

Now its time to use RCEDIT to embed the files into the WinRun4J executable. If you run RCEDIT you should see the following output:

F:\winrun4j>RCEDIT.exe
WinRun4J Resource Editor v1.0 (winrun4j.sf.net)

Edits resources in executables (EXE) and dynamic link-libraries (DLL).

RCEDIT   [resource]

  filename      Specifies the filename of the EXE/DLL.
  resource      Specifies the name of the resource to add to the EXE/DLL.
  /I            Set the icon as the default icon for the executable.
  /A            Adds an icon to the EXE/DLL.
  /N            Sets the INI file.
  /J            Adds a JAR file.
  /E            Extracts a JAR file from the EXE/DLL.
  /S            Sets the splash image.
  /H            Adds an HTML file the EXE/DLL.
  /C            Clears all resources from the EXE/DLL.
  /L            Lists the resources in the EXE/DLL.
  /P            Outputs the contents of the INI file in the EXE.

F:\winrun4j>

So to embed the JAR files we need to run the following command:

F:\winrun4j>RCEDIT.exe /J WinRun4J.exe WinRun4J.jar

And:

F:\winrun4j>RCEDIT.exe /J WinRun4J.exe WinRun4JTest.jar

Now we need to edit the WinRun4J.ini file to contain the necessary instructions (or in this case remove the unnecessary ones). After editing it should look like this:

main.class=org.boris.winrun4j.test.WinRunTest

Now we are ready to embed this file into the executable:

F:\winrun4j>RCEDIT.exe /N WinRun4J.exe WinRun4J.ini

The last thing we want to do is embed the splash screen:

F:\winrun4j>RCEDIT.exe /S WinRun4J.exe SplashScreen.gif

You should see that the WinRun4J.exe file has increased in size:

You should now be able to double click on the WinRun4J.exe and launch the java application:

To check that there are no magic tricks you can delete the other files (i.e. WinRun4J.jar, WinRun4J.ini, SplashScreen.gif, WinRun4JTest.jar and RCEDIT.exe). You only need the executable.

That’s all folks.

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