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Michael Bayne edited this page Nov 20, 2018 · 6 revisions

Building platform-specific installers

Because Java is not installed by default on most operating systems and it is no longer possible to launch Java applications via a web browser, you must create separate installers for each platform you wish to support.

Ultimately your installer should do the following things:

  • Install a JRE on the user's machine, if needed.
  • Create an application directory that contains a copy of getdown-launcher.jar and a stub getdown.txt that links to the URL at which your real getdown.txt is hosted.
  • Create the platform-specific artifact that results in an icon being shown to the user, which when double clicked, results in {jrehome}/java -jar {appdir}/getdown-launcher.jar {appdir} being run.

The installer does not contain your app, just the necessary metadata to allow your app to be downloaded and launched by Getdown. This allows you to create your installers once and you do not need to update them as your app is updated.

Because each platform has its own unique mechanisms for installing applications, and those evolve over time, we don't have detailed documentation on how to create installers for each platform. But we try to link to both examples of working Getdown apps and other "installer maker" projects which help with the building of these installers.




  • The makeself installer can be used to create an installer for Linux.

Cross-platform tools

  • The packr project can be used to create distributions for Windows, macOS and Linux.
  • This project shows an example of building an NSIS installer for Windows, a .app for macOS and a makeself installer for Linux: Coreen
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