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


I have installed an application, when I try to run it (it's an executable jar) nothing happens. When I run it from the commandline with:

java -jar "app.jar"

I get the following message:

no main manifest attribute, in "app.jar"

Normally, if I had created the program myself, I would have added a main class attribute to the manifest file. But in this case, since the file is from an application, i cannot do that. I also tried extracting the jar to see if I could find the main class, but there are to many classes and none of them has the word "main" in it's name. There must be a way to fix this because the program runs fine on other systems.

Best Solution

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

      <!-- Build an executable JAR -->

(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"/>
    <attribute name="Main-Class" value="com.acme.checksites.Main"/>

Credits Michael Niemand -

For Gradle:

plugins {
    id 'java'

jar {
    manifest {
                'Main-Class': 'com.mypackage.MyClass'