Welcome to NetBeans IDE version 3.1, a modular, standards-based integrated development environment (IDE), written in Java. It currently has support for Java, but its architecture lends itself to supporting other languages as well.

This README gives you the basic information to help you install and run the IDE.

System Requirements

Intel x86 platforms


Minimum configuration: Microsoft Windows 95, 98, 2000, or NT with a P133 processor, 64 megabytes of RAM, and 40 megabytes of disk space.

Recommended configuration: Microsoft Windows 95, 98, 2000, or NT with a P300 processor and 128 Mbytes of RAM.

Optimal configuration: Microsoft Windows 95, 98, 2000, or NT with a P300 processor and 192 Mbytes of RAM.

Note: If you have 64 Mbytes, you should set the configuration file (ide.cfg) startup flag to -Xmx48m.


NetBeans requires a Java 2-compatible JVM. The JavaTM 2 SDK, Standard Edition, for the Windows environment is available for download from (v. 1.3 Production Release) and (v. 1.2.2_005).

SPARC/Solaris platform


When running on the Solaris platform, you should have at least 40 Mbytes of free disk space.

Minimum configuration: SparcStation 5: 170 MHz, 128 Mbytes of RAM, 16 Mbytes.

Recommended configuration: UltraSPARC 5: 333 MHz, 256 Mbytes of RAM.

Optimal configuration: UltraSPARC 10: 440 MHz, 512 Mbytes of RAM.


NetBeans requires the JavaTM 2 SDK, v. 1.3 for the Solaris environment. The latest SDK is available for download from

Linux platform

The Linux JVM is more resource-intensive, so Linux users may want to have a higher memory configuration.

The latest SDK is available for download from

Other Platforms

Since NetBeans is written in pure Java, it should run on any decent implementation of Java(TM) 2 SDK, Standard Edition. People have reported success running the IDE on OS/2 and other platforms as well, but we don't have specific numbers to give you here.


On Microsoft Windows platforms you can download and run an .exe point-and-click installer, which will guide you through the required steps.

For all platforms you can download the .zip or the .tar.gz archive file and unpack it on the hard disk using your favorite tool. Then you must customize the startup parameters to tell the IDE where to find the JDK. Please read the section below for details.

After installation you must run the IDE in single-user mode at least once as a user who has write access to the installation directory even if you plan to use the IDE only in multi-user mode. This step is needed in order for the IDE to set up certain configurations.

Startup Parameters

The IDE is run by a launcher. There are several variants of it for Microsoft Windows and UNIX platforms. The launchers are placed in the bin subdirectory of the installation directory. For UNIX, the Bourne shell scripts and are the launchers. For Microsoft Windows, .EXE executables, runide.exe, runidew.exe, runide_multiuser.exe, and runidew_mutiuser.exe are the launchers. The files, runide.exe and runide_multiuser.exe are Microsoft Windows console applications. When run, a console opens on the desktop with stderr and stdout output from the Java program. You can type Ctrl-Break to get the thread dump, or type Ctrl-C to quit the whole program. The files, runidew.exe and runidew_multiuser.exe are window applications. Otherwise they work exactly the same way. This is similar to java.exe and javaw.exe. The launcher loads the JVM (1.2 or compatible), builds the IDE's classpath, passes it along with some default parameters to the JVM, and lets the JVM launch the Java application. It also restarts the IDE after an auto update. You can specify additional options:
prints usage
-jdkhome jdk_home_dir
use the specified JDK version instead of the default one. By default the loader looks into the Windows registry and uses the latest JDK available.

if the HotSpot JVM is installed it is used. The user can use the -classic flag to force the classic JVM to be used instead.

-cp:p additional_classpath
prepends the specified classpath onto the IDE's classpath

-cp:a additional_classpath
-cp additional_classpath
appends the specified classpath to the IDE's classpath

passes specified flags directly to the JVM

-ui UI_class_name
use a given class as the IDE's LookAndFeel
-fontsize size
use a given size in points as the font size for the IDE user interface
-locale language[:country[:variant]]
use specified locale
-userdir userdir runs the IDE in the multiuser mode, user settings will be stored in a specified directory instead of the installation directory
The *_multiuser variants of the launcher are used to run the IDE in the so called multiuser mode. They work like the other variants with the implicit -userdir. On UNIX the default userdir in this case is ${HOME}/nbuser. On Windows the launcher will asks the user to specify the userdir and stores it in the registry for later use.

On UNIX you can modify the shell scripts yourserlf to suit your needs.

On Microsoft Windows options can also be put in the file ${IDE_HOME>/bin/ide.cfg. The .EXE launcher tries to read this file before it starts parsing the command line options. In the ide.cfg file one can break the options into multiple lines.

Upgrading from Previous Versions

You can copy over the user settings from an existing installation of NetBeans IDE 3.0 or Forte(TM) for Java(TM), release 2.0, Community Edition.

Open a console window and change the working directory to the bin subdirectory of the new installation, set the JAVA_PATH environment variable to point to your Java(TM) 2 SDK installation (and export it if you are on UNIX) and run the or import.bat script. This script takes three parameters: the backup directory, the directory where you installed the old version of the IDE and the location of the newly installed version of the IDE. Examples

On Microsoft Windows

C:> cd C:\NB31\bin
C:> set JAVA_PATH=C:\jdk1.3
C:> import.bat C:\NB31\system_backup C:\NB30 C:\NB31

On UNIX, using Korn shell

$ cd ~/nb31/bin
$ export JAVA_PATH=/usr/local/jdk1.3
$ sh ~/nb31/system_backup ~/nb30 ~/nb31

Known Problems

Popup menus displayed at wrong locations

On Linux sometimes the popup menus are displayed at the upper left corner of the screen instead of the position of the mouse pointer. This is caused by a bug in the JVM and is reproducible only with some window managers. There is a workaround for the bug but it can make the popup to flicker several times. For this reason the workaround is not enabled by default. If you see popup menus displayed at wrong locations, try to run the IDE with
$ -J-Dnetbeans.popup.linuxhack=true

Fatal Error: Cannot find package java.lang on Classpath or Bootclasspath

Sometimes this error is displayed when the user opens a java source file or compiles java sources using the internal java compiler. This is an intermittent problem. Try to restart the IDE, the problem should go away. If it does not go away, you can mount the java runtime sources. Java runtime sources can be found in <jdk>/src.jar. Unpack it somewhere on your hard disk and mount the src directory.

When You Need Help

The Release Notes document, in the installation directory, contains the list of new features and information especially useful to users who upgrade from an older version of the IDE. To browse the online help documentation, run the IDE, go to the Help menu and choose Documentation -> NetBeans -> Help. There is extensive information on the NetBeans project website, Included on the website are an FAQ and instructions on how to subscribe to mailing lists where you can post questions, comments, or help others.
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