Online documentation

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Installing Java Linux Windows MacOSX


The main source of documentation is JabRef's built-in help pages, accessible from the Help menu.

There is an online copy of these help documents (English version, French version, German version, Japanese, Indonesian). Note that the online copy may not always be in sync with the latest JabRef version.

For German readers, a more comprehensive user manual (PDF) written by Dominik Waßenhoven is also available. We hope to offer the user manual in other languages in the future.

Finally, we have a Wiki up and running.


Installing Java

Go to the Sun Java download page, download the "jre" version for your operating system and install it.


You must have Java 1.6 or newer installed. Most current Linux distributions offer both Java 1.6 and 1.7 from their repositories. For instance, in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, if you have enabled the universe repository, you can install Java by typing the command

sudo apt-get install default-jre

and entering your password, or by installing the package default-jre in Synaptic.

Your Linux distro might offer JabRef through its repositories - e.g. Ubuntu offers JabRef in its universe repositories, and Debian offers JabRef in its unstable version. After installing the application through the package manager, you can typically run it from the standard application menu (for instance, Ubuntu places it in the Office category).

If this is not the case for your distro, you need to download the file JabRef-X.X.jar (where X.X is the JabRef version you want) from our download page. To run it, open a terminal and type:

java -jar $DIR/JabRef-X.X.jar

where $DIR is the directory where you placed the jar file, and JabRef-X.X.jar is the name of the jar file.


The simplest way of installing JabRef on Windows is by downloading the .exe installer. Simply run the installer, and it will install JabRef and add it to the start menu.
Running the jar file
It is also possible to run JabRef using the .jar files available from our download page. Normally you can run it by simply double-clicking the .jar file. Alternatively you can open a CMD shell and run it in the same way as running a .jar file under Linux.


Mac users should download the OSX zip file available from our download page. This zip file unzips into an application directory which is run similarly to other applications. Mac OS X 10.6 and 10.7 come with Java 1.6 preinstalled. For Mac OS X 10.8, Java 7 can be downloaded at Oracle.