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Maven Central Excelsior JET Gradle Plugin

Excelsior JET Gradle Plugin provides Gradle users with an easy way to compile their applications down to optimized native Windows, OS X, or Linux executables with Excelsior JET. Such precompiled applications start and often work faster, do not depend on the JRE, and are as difficult to reverse engineer as if they were written in C++.

Basic Usage

Notice: The Excelsior JET Gradle plugin requires the Java plugin be applied beforehand: apply plugin: 'java'

The current version of the plugin supports four types of applications:

  • Plain Java SE applications, defined as applications that (a) can be run with all dependencies explicitly listed on the command-line of the conventional java launcher: java [-cp dependencies-list ] main-class and (b) load classes mostly from the listed jars,

  • Spring Boot applications, packaged into Spring Boot executable jar or war files (since Excelsior JET 15.3),

  • Tomcat Web applications.war files that can be deployed to the Apache Tomcat application server,

  • Invocation dynamic libraries (e.g. Windows DLLs) callable from non-JVM languages, and

  • Java applications disguised as Windows services using the Excelsior JET WinService API

Assuming that a copy of Excelsior JET is accessible via the operating system PATH, here is what you need to do to use it in your Gradle project:


First, add the plugin dependency in the buildscript{} configuration of the build.gradle file and apply the excelsiorJet plugin:

buildscript {
    ext.jetPluginVersion = '1.3.1'
    repositories {
    dependencies {
        classpath "com.excelsiorjet:excelsior-jet-gradle-plugin:$jetPluginVersion"

apply plugin: 'excelsiorJet'

then proceed depending on the type of your application:

Plain Java SE Application

  1. Configure the excelsiorJet{} section as follows:

    excelsiorJet {
        mainClass = ''
  2. Set the value of the mainClass parameter to the name of the main class of your application.

  3. Optionally, conduct a Test Run:

    gradlew jetTestRun
  4. Optionally, collect an execution profile (not available for 32-bit Intel x86 targets yet):

    gradlew jetProfile
  5. Build the project

Spring Boot Application

  1. Configure the excelsiorJet{} section as follows:

    excelsiorJet {
        appType = "spring-boot"
  2. Optionally, conduct a Test Run:

    gradlew jetTestRun
  3. Optionally, collect an execution profile (not available for 32-bit Intel x86 targets yet):

    gradlew jetProfile
  4. Build the project

Tomcat Web Application

  1. Configure the excelsiorJet{} section as follows:

    excelsiorJet {
        tomcat {
            tomcatHome = ""
  2. Set the tomcatHome parameter to point to the master Tomcat installation — basically, a clean Tomcat instance that was never launched.

  3. Optionally, conduct a Test Run:

    gradlew jetTestRun
  4. Optionally, collect an execution profile (not available for 32-bit Intel x86 targets yet):

    gradlew jetProfile
  5. Build the project

Invocation Library

  1. Configure the excelsiorJet{} section as follows:

    excelsiorJet {
        appType = "dynamic-library"

    Warning: Testing and using dynamic libraries that expose Java APIs is tricky. Make sure to read the respective section of the plugin documentation.

  2. Optionally, create a profiling image (not available for 32-bit Intel x86 targets yet):

    gradlew jetProfile

    and collect an execution profile by running a test application that loads your library from the created image.

  3. Build the project

Windows Service

  1. Implement a class extending com.excelsior.service.WinService, as described in the Excelsior JET WinService API documentation.

  2. Add a dependency on the Excelsior JET WinService API to your Gradle project. Copy and paste the following snippet to the dependencies{} section of your build.gradle file:

    <pre>dependencies {
        compileOnly "com.excelsiorjet:excelsior-jet-winservice-api:1.0.0"
  3. Configure the excelsiorJet{} section as follows:

    excelsiorJet {
        appType = "windows-service"
        mainClass = "" // <--- Your WinService implementation
            name = ""
            displayName = ""
            description = ""
            arguments  = []
            logOnType = ""
            allowDesktopInteraction = false
            startupType = ""
            startServiceAfterInstall = true
            dependencies = []
  4. Set mainClass to the name of the class implemented on Step 1. For descriptions of all other parameters, refer to plugin documentation.

    You may find complete information on Windows services support in Excelsior JET in the "Windows Services" Chapter of the Excelsior JET for Windows User's Guide.

  5. Optionally, create a profiling image (not available for 32-bit Intel x86 targets yet):

    gradlew jetProfile

    and collect an execution profile by installing and running the service from the created image.

  6. Build the project


Use the following command line to build the project:

gradlew jetBuild

At the end of a successful build, the plugin will place your natively compiled Java application/library and the required pieces of Excelsior JET Runtime:

  • in the build/jet/app subdirectory of your project
  • in a zip archive named <artifactName>.zip.

If your project is a plain Java SE application or Tomcat Web application, you can then run it:

gradlew jetRun

Refer to plugin documentation for further instructions.

Full Documentation

See the Wiki for full documentation on the plugin.

Compilation Settings:

Packaging Settings:

Application Type Specifics:

Refer to the Excelsior JET User's Guide and Knowledge Base for complete usage information.

Sample Project

To demonstrate the process and result of plugin usage, we have forked the Pax Britannica Libgdx demo project on GitHub, added the Excelsior JET plugin to its build.gradle file, and run it through Gradle to build native binaries for three platforms.

You can download the binaries from here:

or clone the project and build it yourself:

    git clone
    cd libgdx-demo-pax-britannica
    gradlew :desktop:jetBuild


To report a bug in the plugin, or suggest an improvement, use GitHub Issues.

To receive alerts on plugin and Excelsior JET updates, subscribe to the Excelsior JET RSS feed, or follow @ExcelsiorJET on Twitter.

Release Notes

Version 1.3.1 (26-Dec-2018)

  • tar-gz packaging type added for creation tar.gz archive as the resulting output artifact (#79 Maven plugin issue).

Version 1.3.0 (31-Oct-2018)

  • Support for Spring Boot applications introduced in Excelsior JET 15.3 via appType = spring-boot plugin configuration

  • Stop task introduced for stopping applications that were run via Test Run, Run, Profile plugin tasks:

        gradlew jetStop
  • testRunTimeout, profileRunTimeout parameters were added to execProfiles{} configuration section to allow automating Test Run and Profile Run tasks for applications that do not terminate by themselves.

Version 1.2.0 (08-May-2018)

pdb{} configuration section introduced to control the location of the Project Database (PDB). PDB is used for incremental compilation: once a full build succeeds, only the changed project dependencies are recompiled during the subsequent builds. The configuration, as well as the incremental compilation feature, are available only for Excelsior JET 15 and above, and only for targets other than 32-bit x86. This release of the plugin places the PDB outside of the build directory by default to enable incremental compilation even for clean builds. In addition, this version of the plugin also introduces the jetClean task for cleaning the PDB.

Version 1.1.3 (25-Dec-2017)

Fix for issue: "Project task path for nested multiprojects generate incorrect path" (#37)

Version 1.1.2 (26-Oct-2017)

Fix for NullPointerException when a shortcut with no icon is used for Excelsior Installer backend (issue (#62)[])

Version 1.1.1 (01-Aug-2017)

jetHome plugin parameter ignoring (issue #31) fix

Version 1.1.0 (07-Jul-2017)

Support for new features of Excelsior JET 12 and other enhancements:

  • Global Optimizer is now enabled for all target platforms

  • Profile task introduced to enable the use of Profile-Guided Optimization (not available for 32-bit Intel x86 targets yet):

        gradlew jetProfile
  • Run task introduced for running the natively compiled application right after the build:

        gradlew jetRun
  • Fix for a file copying issue.

Version 1.0.0 (04-May-2017)

First non-beta release. Here is what we have done:

  • Reworked plugin documentation and moved it to the Wiki
  • Tested the plugin against all platforms/editions that Excelsior JET 11.0 and 11.3 support
  • Fixed a handful of minor bugs reported by users and found during testing
  • Added the somehow overlooked stackAllocation parameter that controls allocation of Java objects on the stack

Backward incompatibile change alert: Windows version-information resource generation is now off by default. To revert to the previous behavior, add addWindowsVersionInfo = true to the plugin configuration.

Version 0.9.5 aka 1.0 Release Candidate (15-Feb-2017)

This release covers all Excelsior JET features accessible through the JET Control Panel GUI, and all options of the xpack utility as of Excelsior JET 11.3 release, except for three things that we do not plan to implement in the near future, for different reasons: creation of update packages, Eclipse RCP applications support, and internationalization of Excelsior Installer messages. If you are using any other Excelsior JET functionality that the plugin does not support, please create a feature request here. Otherwise, think of this version as of 1.0 Release Candidate 1.

Compared with the previous releases, the following functionality was added to the plugin:

  • packageFiles parameter introduced to add separate files/folders to the package
  • excelsiorInstaller{} configuration section extended with the following parameters:
    • language - to set installation wizard language
    • cleanupAfterUninstall - to remove all files on uninstall
    • afterInstallRunnable - to run an executable after installation
    • compressionLevel - to control installation package compression
    • installationDirectory - to change installation directory defaults
    • registryKey - to customize the registry key used for installation on Windows
    • shortcuts - to add shortcuts to the Windows Start menu, desktop, etc.
    • noDefaultPostInstallActions - to not add the default post-install actions
    • postInstallCheckboxes - to configure post-install actions
    • fileAssociations - to create file associations
    • installCallback - to set install callback dynamic library
    • uninstallCallback - to set uninstall callback dynamic library
    • welcomeImage, installerImage, uninstallerImage - to customize (un)installer appearance
  • allowUserToChangeTomcatPort parameter added to the tomcat{} configuration section to allow the user to change the Tomcat port at install time

Version 0.9.4 (24-Jan-2017)

  • typical and smart optimization presets introduced.

Version 0.9.3 (19-Jan-2017)

  • runtime{} configuration section introduced and related parameters moved to it: locales, profile, optRtFiles (renamed to components), javaRuntimeSlimDown (renamed to slimDown). Old configuration parameters are now deprecated and will be removed in a future release. New parameters added to the runtime{} section:

    • flavor to select a runtime flavor
    • location to change runtime location in the resulting package
    • diskFootprintReduction to reduce application disk footprint
  • Windows version-info resource configuration changed to meet other enclosed configurations style. Old way to configure Windows version info is deprecated and will be removed in a future release.

Version 0.9.1 (02-Dec-2016)

  • Support for Compact Profiles
  • Not working Test Run for 7+ Tomcat versions fixed

Version 0.9.0 (23-Nov-2016)

Invocation dynamic libraries and Windows services support.

Version 0.8.1 (28-Oct-2016)

The release supports Excelsior JET Embedded 11.3 for Linux/ARM.

Version 0.8.0 (20-Oct-2016)

The release adds the capability to set Excelsior JET-specific properties for project dependencies, such as code protection, selective optimization, and resource packing.

Version 0.7.2 (19-Aug-2016)

This release adds the capability to pass command-line arguments to the application during startup profiling and the test run.

Version 0.7.1 (10-Aug-2016)

This release covers most of the compiler options that are available in the JET Control Panel UI, and all options of the xpack utility as of Excelsior JET 11.0 release:

  • splash parameter introduced to control the appearance of your application on startup
  • inlineExpansion parameter introduced to control aggressiveness of methods inlining
  • stackTraceSupport parameter introduced to set stack trace support level
  • compilerOptions parameter introduced to set advanced compiler options and equations
  • locales parameter introduced to add additional locales and charsets to the resulting package

Version 0.7.0 (12-Jul-2016)

  • Compilation of Tomcat Web applications is supported

Version 0.3.0 (06-Jul-2016)

  • Support of Excelsior Installer setup generation
  • Windows Version Information generation
  • Support of multi-app executables
  • Startup Accelerator supported and enabled by default
  • Test Run Task implemented that enables:
    • running an application on the Excelsior JET JVM before pre-compiling it to native code
    • gathering application execution profiles to enable the Startup Optimizer
  • optRtFiles parameter introduced to add optional JET runtime components
  • Reduced the download size and disk footprint of resulting packages by means of supporting:
    • Global Optimizer
    • Java Runtime Slim-Down
  • packageFilesDir parameter introduced to add extra files to the final package
  • Trial version generation is supported
  • jvmArgs parameter introduced to define system properties and JVM arguments
  • protectData parameter added to enable data protection
  • Mac OS X application bundles and installers support

Version 0.1.0 (24-Jun-2016)

  • Initial release supporting compilation of the Gradle Project with all dependencies into native executable and placing it into a separate directory with required Excelsior JET runtime files.