Java Web Start

Table of Contents

Java Web Start Example

The Java Web Start (JWS) examples main purpose is to show how to build a deploy a JWS project. The example uses a NetBeans build script to produce the necessary artifacts for a JWS deployment. JWS is inherently more secure the Applets but this comes at the cost of complicating the build process.

The source-code for this example is located at:

A primer on using Maven or Gradle build commands can be found here (Maven) and here (Gradle)

Signing the Jar files

All the jars files in a JWS project must be signed using the same code signer certificate to be deployed successfully.
The build.xml contains a signjar target for signing all the jars in the projects. The signjar target should be updated
to reflect the properties of a specified keystore. More information on the jar signing process can be found at

Manifest and Jar Contents

One of the new security features of JWS projects is that the main jar must contain a copy of the external JNLP file so
that it can be checked against the signed jar copy for potential modification. The Manifest also plays an important
part in the security model allowing for the specification of the main class, code base and permissions.

Codebase vs No Codebase

Two launch scenarios are provided with this demo, the first *_no_codebase.jnlp contains an JNLP file that that does not
specify the codebase or href attributes on the JNLP tag. The *_no_codebase.jnlp configuration is designed to aid
development on a local machine not running a web server. The codebase JNLP file is what should be configured for a
production environment and it's very important that the codebase value in the matches that of the JNLP file.
For local development the _no_codebase.jnlp file can have a codebase of * but this should be avoided for any none
development project.

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