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Creating Windows desktop shortcut to jar

Colin McTaggart
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Joined: Feb 01, 2011
Posts: 46
Hi all,
I am writing a generic installer for a bunch of small apps I have made in Java. They are all executable jar files and the installer writes them and any other required files to a default directory that varies depending on operating system. The only thing I am having trouble with is figuring out how to create a desktop shortcut to these apps. I need to create the shortcut and set its icon to a file I install with my software. Does anyone know how to go about doing this? For now I am focusing on windows only (I know it is different for every os .
Peter Johnson
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Joined: May 14, 2008
Posts: 5835
    
    7

I did some googling (hey, even you can google for windows command line create shortcut) and there are some Windows Scripting Host scripts available to do this.


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Colin McTaggart
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Joined: Feb 01, 2011
Posts: 46
I did spend a lot of time googling this problem before I posted actually. What I was searching for is a native java way to do this, in part this was so that I could get some practice using output streams as this is a weakness of mine. This would also mean I could use the same basic code for linux and mac but with a different kind of file being written. I know windows shortcuts are not going to be natively supported in a cross platform language but if you know how a file is constructed you can create it. I guess I'll just use native code if no-one knows a pure java way.

Thanks for your time guys.
Paul Clapham
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Joined: Oct 14, 2005
Posts: 18570
    
    8

Colin McTaggart wrote:but if you know how a file is constructed you can create it.


That's exactly right. So you need to find the specifications for a Windows shortcut. I would expect to find that on Microsoft's developer site, although I have heard that Microsoft hasn't actually made those specs public. But that could be just a rumour, or out of date, or just wrong.

Or you could reverse-engineer a shortcut file which looks like one which you would like to generate. Don't know how easy that would be.
 
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