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Web Start and Java Runtime Installation Resources

Note, this page has moved and now lives at Please click on the new address and update any bookmarks you might have.


Web Start is a gigantic step forward because once installed all Java apps share all installed Java runtimes as well as standard libraries having the same URL. In addition, Web Start can automatically download new Java runtimes and can also update itself. However, most computers lack an up-to-date pre-installed Java runtime plus Web Start and, therefore, require that you bundle a Java runtime plus Web Start with your app.

To help you build your own professional Java runtime and Web Start installer in case Sun's big blue screen installer fails to impress your customers, I collect all information you need to get rolling.
Your Contributions Are Welcome

This is a living, growing, list of resources, not a publish-and-forget-it static dead-tree document. Help to improve it. Your contributions are welcome. Send your comments and contributions to or post them at Sun's Java Web Start and JNLP forum where I will pick them up.

Resources - Overview

The initial Java runtime plus Web Start installation depends on your operating system and varies considerably between AIX, Linux, Solaris or Windows. However, all installations need to answer basic questions such as:

  • How can I detect if Java runtimes are installed?
  • How can I detect if Web Start is installed?

I will use these questions to press all information into a common format.

Check out the operating system that interests you. Here is the line-up:

Apple OS X

OS X 10.1+ ships with a Java 1.3 runtime plus Web Start.

Microsoft Windows

Q: How can I detect if Java runtimes are installed?

Check for Java runtime registry entries.

Q: How can I detect if Web Start is installed?

Check for Web Start registry entries.

Registry Entries

Java Runtime Registry Entries

Web Start Registry Entries

Java Runtime Registry Entries

Java Runtime

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SOFTWARE\JavaSoft\Java Runtime Environment
CurrentVersion 1.4
Entries per Version
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SOFTWARE\JavaSoft\Java Runtime Environment\1.3
JavaHome c:\java\jre\v13
MicroVersion 0
RuntimeLib c:\java\jre\v13\bin\classic\jvm.dll
UpdateVersion 000
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SOFTWARE\JavaSoft\Java Runtime Environment\1.4
JavaHome c:\java\jre\v14
MicroVersion 0
RuntimeLib c:\java\jre\v14\bin\client\jvm.dll

Shell Integration

(Standard) jarfile
(Standard) Executable Jar File
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT jarfile\Shell\open
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT jarfile\Shell\open\command
(Standard) c:\java\jre\v14\bin\javaw.exe -jar %1


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\java.exe
(Standard) c:\java\jre\v14\bin\java.exe
Path c:\java\jre\v14\bin

Web Start Registry Entries

Web Start

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE Software\JavaSoft\Java Web Start
Entries per Version
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE Software\JavaSoft\Java Web Start\1.0.1
Home c:\java\jws\v101b

Shell Integration

(Standard) JNLPFile
Content Type application/x-java-jnlp-file
(Standard) JNLP File
EditFlags (Binary) 00 00 01 00
(Standard) &Launch
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT JNLPFile\Shell\open\command
(Standard) c:\java\jws\v101b\javaws.exe %1

Browser Integration

Mime Type Registration
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT MIME\Database\Content Type\application/x-java-jnlp-file
Extension .jnlp
HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software\Netscape\Netscape Navigator\User Trusted External Applications
c:\java\jws\v101b\javaws.exe Yes


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\javaws.exe
(Standard) c:\java\jws\v101b\javaws.exe
Path c:\java\jws\v101b

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