I'm just about finished developing a small Java/Lwjgl-based game. For Windows users, I intend to use Launch4J to package the game into a nice .exe. For Mac users, I'll be using JarBundler to produce a nice .app.

What do I do for Linux users? So far I've been distributing beta versions as a .jar file, a lib folder and a shell script for invoking the jar with the right virtual machine parameters. But this is less than pretty. Is there a cross-distro way of providing a single clear way to start the game?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Java Webstart works in Linux and PC, I haven't tried on Mac. There are occasional compatibility issues with the default Linux open source IcedTea compared to Oracle Java Webstart though. A lot of java programs come as an executable jar and a .bat and .sh script to start it on windows/linux. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nick
    Commented Feb 20, 2013 at 13:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sure, but I'd like to give the prospective players a nicer experience than a naked .sh file they have to run. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zarkonnen
    Commented Feb 21, 2013 at 8:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zarkonen Is a .sh any worse than a .exe on windows? \$\endgroup\$
    – Nick
    Commented Feb 21, 2013 at 11:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Starting from the shell is stanard on GNU/Linux. File extensions don't matter a single bit either. \$\endgroup\$
    – jcora
    Commented Feb 21, 2013 at 12:45

1 Answer 1


Making a script and putting it somewhere like /usr/bin is the standard way of doing this. Look into .deb packages if you want to package it nicely.

  • \$\begingroup\$ oh the horror of deb packaging. \$\endgroup\$
    – dennmat
    Commented Feb 21, 2013 at 18:42

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