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.

4/18/2018 11:50:28 AM

That should have been java -jar app.jar instead of java -jar "app".

The -jar option only works if the JAR file is an executable JAR file, which means it must have a manifest file with a Main-Class attribute in it. See Packaging Programs in JAR Files to learn how to create an executable JAR.

If it's not an executable JAR, then you'll need to run the program with something like:

java -cp app.jar com.somepackage.SomeClass

where com.somepackage.SomeClass is the class that contains the main method to run the program. (What that class is depends on the program, it's impossible to tell from the information you've supplied).


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


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.

enter image description here


I had the same issue. by adding following lines to pom file made it work. The plugin will make sure the build process of your application with all necessary steps.


The Gradle answer is to add a jar/manifest/attributes setting like this:

apply plugin: 'java'

jar {
    manifest {
        attributes 'Main-Class': ''