Sophie Net: Vamp HQ - Luxor XUL - Rachel - Apollo - The Saturn Times - The Richmond Post Logo
All the tools to deliver rich, cross-plattform, zero-admin desktop apps built on open standards today
OverviewFront Page
What's NewHistory As It Happens
Upcoming EventsWhere Do I Go Tommorrow?
ScreenshotsPictures, Pictures, Pictures
TestimonialsWhat Users Say About Vamp
CreditsThanks, Thanks, Thanks
ContactAre You Real? - Ich Spreche Deutsch
Site MapFind It Quick
Vamp StudioPackage, Sign and Publish Your App
Package ManagerCreate and Share Your Own CD App Collections
App CentralFind the Best Apps On The Web
JNLP ValidatorDTD, XML Schema, Relax
jnlp2htmlCreate Your Own App Catalog
Web Start Cache ExplorerUnder the Hood: Web Start's Cache Revealed
Web Start Cache UtilityInject Your App Into Web Start's Cache
Ant Task SuiteAutomate, Automate, Automate
vampgetGrab Apps for Offline Consumption
CD App InstallerCreate Your Own Single-Jar, Offline Installer
CD App Installer IICreate Your Onw Self-Executing, Single-Jar Installer
CD Installer MissionGreat Things Are Coming
BinariesGet It Now
DocumentationPDF Booklets, Presentations
DiscussionAsk Questions
FAQAnswer, Answers, Answers
Professional Services
InfoHire Me - Yes, I'm Available
Web Start
Web Start LinksEverything to Get Started
Unofficial FAQAnswers, Answers, Answers
JNLP Tag Quick ReferenceQuick Reference to Tags and Attributes
JNLP Tag ReferenceAll Tags Explained, Real-World Examples
Configuration ReferenceHand-tune Web Start's configuration (jawaws.cfg); all config settings explained
Offline Installer TutorialCreate Offline, No-Java, High-Speed Installer for Web Start under Windows
Installation ResourcesCreate Your Own Java Runtime Plus Web Start Installer
os and arch CollectionLinux, Windows, Mac, Solaris
Java 2 Runtime DirectoryLinux, Windows, Mac, Solaris
Web Start 2.0If I Were King
Print Version Print Version

Jess - Vamp's Self-Executing Jar CD App Installer for Web Start

Download Jess Now download link

What is Jess?

Jess is Vamp's Self-Executing, Single-Jar CD App Installer for Web Start. Your Jess offline installer

  • installs as many apps as you want at once
  • preserves your codebase for follow-up online upgrades
  • skips Web Start's certificate confirmation popup
  • and more

Jess is designed as a small self-contained Java app with no third-party library dependencies such as SAX 1 or 2 compliant XML parsers. Jess uses Java's standard Zip library to extract your app into Web Start's cache and adds less than 100 k to your Jar.

First Impression

To start a Jess offline installer click on it or type

java -jar jdiskreport-installer.jar 

The welcome screen below will pop up that lets you choose your Web Start cache directory.

Jess First Impression

Once you hit install. Jess will add all your apps to Web Start's cache.

Jess Completed

Roll Your Own

To create your own offline single-jar self-executing Jess installer

  1. add all jars plus jnlp files and icons in a single jar (aka client archive)
  2. use Vamp Celia to create Web Start cache entries
  3. add Web Start cache entries to Jess jar
  4. add

The following real-world example squeezes Karsten Lentzsch's jDiskReport Web Start app into a single, self-executing Jar.

Step 1: Add all jars plus jnlp files and icons in a single jar

Create a client archive (.car), that is, add all your app's jars plus jnlp startup files and icons to a single jar. Use WinZip or whatever zip tool you prefer. Example:

jDiskReport car

Note, that all your hrefs in your jnlp startup file must be relative to your codebase.

Step 2: Use Vamp Celia to create Web Start cache entries

Celia reads client archives (.car) and creates Web Start compatible cache entries that you can pack-up in your Jess installer. Celia allows you to use whatever cache root directory you want. The command line below tells Celia to store all cache entries for jDiskReport in c:/temp/jdiskreport/cache.

java -cp vamp.jar vamp -d c:/temp/jdiskreport/cache -i

Celia will create the Web Start compatible directory structure and cache entries below:

Cache Directory Structure Cache Entries

Step 3: Add all cache entries to Jess installer

Make a copy of jess.jar and name it jpath-installer.jar to let it reflect its new purpose. Add all cache entries to jpath-installer.jar using WinZip or whatever zip tool you prefer.

Step 4: Add

Jess needs an extra file in addition to your app's Web Start cache entries. You can adjust the following properties in to your liking:

Key Description Required
name The application's name such as 'jDiskReport'. Required
caption Sets what the titlebar of the installer will display. By default, it's '<name> Installer'. Optional
dirtext Specifies a string that is above the directory selection area. By default, it's 'This will install <name> into your Web Start cache.'. Optional
dirsubtext Overrides the string that is above the path entry box. By default, it's 'Select Web Start cache directory:'. Optional
subcaption.0 Overrides the subcaption for the Web Start cache directory selection page. By default, it's ': Web Start Cache Directory'. Optional
subcaption.1 Overrides the subcaption for the progress page. By default, it's ': Completed'. Optional


; The name of the installer
caption=jDiskReport Installer

; The text to prompt the user to enter a directory
dirtext=This will install jDiskReport 1.0 into your Web Start cache.

; dirsubtext=Select Web Start Cache directory:
; subcaption.0=: Web Start Cache Directory
; subcaption.1=: Completed

Note, that must always be in the root directory.

That's it. Now you can test drive your own self-executing, single-jar Jess installer. Click on it or type java -jar jpath-installer.jar.


Jess is a 100 % Java self-executing installer and, therefore, requires a Java runtime. If you want to add Windows shortcuts or startup menu entries or if you don't want to rely on a proper setup Java runtime, you can use Nullsoft's Installer and Vamp Celia to create single .exe, 100 % no Java, offline installers for Web Start. See How To Create Free, High-Speed, No-Java, Offline Installers for Web Start under Windows for details.

Jess relies on Celia to create Web Start compatible cache entries. See Celia - Venus Application Publisher Cache Utitility for Java Web Start for Celia's limitations.

All the tools to deliver rich, cross-plattform, zero-admin desktop apps built on open standards today Logo
Send your comments, suggestions or praise to Copyright © 2001, 2002 Gerald Bauer