The best Jar file opener app

Why you might open a JAR file

To open a JAR file means different things depending on the content in which the JAR file is being used.

For example, when you say you want to open a JAR file, you might:

  • Want to extract the contents of the JAR file to the local file system
  • Want to run the JAR file as an application
  • Want to simply view the files inside the JAR without extracting anything

Your reasons for opening a JAR file will determine the right JAR file opener for you to choose. Let’s take a look at some of your options.

Best JAR file opener tools

Here are the top 5 JAR file opener apps available today:

  1. The Java Development Kit (JDK)
  2. The built-in Windows extraction tool
  3. Gzip
  4. 7-Zip
  5. WinZip or WinRAR

Java’s JAR file opener

When you install Java with the JDK, you get both a Java Runtime Environment that allows you to run Java JAR files, and you also get a special utility that allows you to both create and open JAR files.

The following command allows you to run any Java JAR file on the command line:

java -jar jarfilename.jar

When you install Java you also get a JAR utility that allows you to open a JAR file. To use the JAR file opener that comes  with the JDK, just issue the following command:

jar xf jar-file-name.jar [files-to-open]

JAR file opener on Windows 10

Many Java users prefer a more visual experience, as opposed to using a command-line based JAR file opener.

Java JAR file openers

Any ZIP utility can be used as a Java JAR opener.

For Windows users, a the built in Windows extraction tool can be used as a JAR file opener.

Simply change the extension of any JAR file to .zip, and you can use the built-in Windows extraction tool to open a JAR file.

Java JAR Zip File

A Java JAR file uses a standard compression algorithm used by all Zip utilities.

Linux and Ubuntu Java JAR openers

The Windows extraction tool is obviously not an option for Linux or Ubuntu users.

For Linux, the best JAR file opener to use is the GNU Zip utility called gzip.

To open a Java JAR file at the command line with gzip, just issue the following command:

gzip -d

This will open the JAR file and extract its contents to the filesystem.

Open-source JAR file openers

If you need an open-source JAR file opener that has a friendly user-interface and can work with a variety of compression formats, I recommend Z-Zip.

7-Zip provides the ability to view the files inside a JAR file without having to extract the contents to the filesystem.

Furthermore, it is easy to extract individual files, as opposed to extracting every file contained in the JAR.

For these reasons, 7-Zip is common choice for Agile developers who need a well-rounded JAR file opener.

7zip JAR file opener

7-Zip is a popular, open-source, JAR file opener.

Other Popular Zip utilities

A JAR file uses a standard ZIP algorithm to compress files. As such, any Zip or decompression utility can be used as a JAR file opener.

Other ZIP utilities that can be used to open a JAR file that have not been mentioned yet include:

  • WinZip
  • WinRAR
  • PeaZip
  • Bandzip
  • Ashampoo Zip

How to choose a Java JAR opener

Java has always been a standards-based development environment, and the creation of Java JAR files is no different.

Best JAR File Openers
JAR Tool JAR Opener Benefits
JDK Can both run and open Java JAR files
Windows Extractor It’s built into every Windows OS and is easy to use
Gzip A free and universally available option for Linux users
7-Zip A free JAR file opener that allows you to view files before extraction
Paid utilities Utilities like WinZip or WinRAR come with paid support contracts for those who need additional help

Java uses a standard compression algorithm that is known to just about every decompression tool in existence today.

As such, it’s not hard to find a JAR file opener to use. The biggest problem is just finding the one you like the most.