Building Geronimo with Maven
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This documents how to build the Apache Geronimo Server project in command line.

This guide is intended to cover how to build Geronimo 3.0 from the latest server/trunk and server/branches/3.0. Refer to Building Apache Geronimo in the Development documents for more information on building Geronimo, including this and other branches.


If you choose to build from server/trunk, take note of the general warning about the state of trunk for building SNAPSHOT releases.


Build Machine

It is recommended that a dedicated computer used to build Geronimo 3.0 have a minimum of 2GB of real memory. The computer will also need a connection to the Internet to download artifact dependencies.

Java Developer Kit (JDK)

You will need a JDK 6.0+ (Java SE 1.6.0+) or compatible JDK to build Apache Geronimo. It is recommended you use SUN's implementation, or something compatible like Apples implementation. Other JDK vendors implementations may work, but use at your own risk.

Windows Tip


Windows users should not double-quote JAVA_HOME (or MAVEN_HOME for the same reason), according to MAVEN-666.
set JAVA_HOME="C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.6.0_20"
doesn't work, but this does:
set JAVA_HOME=C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.6.0_20

Apache Maven 2

To execute the build process you need to have Apache Maven version 2.2.1 (or newer) installed.

To check if your installation is working and you have the required minimum version run:

mvn -version

And it should produce something like:

Maven version: 2.2.1

If you have an incompatible version the server build will probably fail with a message complaining (wink)


To fetch the source code for the server, you will need to have a Subversion client version 1.5 (or newer, 1.5 is recommended) installed.

Windows Tip


Windows users are strongly encouraged to change the M2 local repository (the place where dependencies are downloaded) to a shorter path with no spaces, e.g. C:\.m2.
Using a longer path may cause the build (and Geronimo itself) to behave very strangely when it hits the 260 character limit for filenames on Windows.

In order to change the m2 local repository go to %USERPROFILE%\.m2 and edit or create settings.xml file to contain the following content:

Checkout Geronimo

svn co server



If you are using Chinese system, please change your locale to en_US. Otherwise, the maven 2.0.7(or below) can't parse Chinese characters.

Windows Tip


Windows users are strongly encouraged to checkout Geronimo into c:\g.
Using a longer path may cause the build (and Geronimo itself) to behave very strangely when it hits the 260 char limit for filenames on Windows.

You can also use Git mirrors to checkout Geronimo source code, and make sure you have a Git client installed before using the following command:

git clone git:// server

Preparing to Build for the First Time

Chances are you will need to increase the heap size for Maven. Add the following lines to ~/.mavenrc:


The following snips only set MAVEN_OPTS if its not already set, so that you can override these values on the command line if needed.

# Increase the heap size Maven
if [ "x$MAVEN_OPTS" = "x" ]; then

If you are using the SUN JDK (or a JDK with compatible flags, like the Apple JDK), you should also increase the maximum permanent size as well as the heap:

# Increase the heap and max permanent size for Maven
if [ "x$MAVEN_OPTS" = "x" ]; then
    MAVEN_OPTS="-Xmx1024m -XX:PermSize=256m -XX:MaxPermSize=1024m -XX:ReservedCodeCacheSize=64m"

Windows Tip


Windows users should create mavenrc_pre.bat under c:\documents and settings\<username>\mavenrc_pre.bat or c:\mavenrc_pre.bat depending on how the %HOME% property is set on your system.

Variables will need to use the batch set syntax:



To build all changes incrementally:

mvn install

To perform clean builds, which are sometimes needed after some changes to the source tree:

mvn clean install

Building Stages

In some cases you may need to build Geronimo in stages, such as when building OpenEJB from source to pick up local changes. Most users will not need to do this, but its documented here for clarity.

To build modules, configs and maven-plugins:

mvn install -Dstage=bootstrap

To build plugins, configs, plugingroups and assemblies:

mvn install -Dstage=assemble

As mentioned, most users will not need to build Geronimo in stages. But in some cases, when bootstrapping new versions (when no artifacts are deployed into remote repositories for the current version), then you must build the stages separately for the first build and then for all builds afterwards, the staged build is not necessary.


If you encounter errors downloading dependencies from the ibiblio maven mirror, adding the following to your settings.xml file may help avoid the problem:

Testing the Assembly

Once you have build the server fully, which will produce a number of zip and tar.gz archives from the assembly modules, you can use the geronimo-maven-plugin to start the server. From the project root directory run:

mvn -Ptools geronimo:start

Windows Tip


Windows users may need to specify an alternative installDirectory to avoid long path problems:

mvn -Ptools geronimo:start -DinstallDirectory=c:\g

And to stop, either CTRL-C or from a separate terminal, from the project root directory run:

mvn -Ptools geronimo:stop

IDE Setup

The server project does not have any IDE files checked in, they are all generated by Maven plugins. Once you have checked out the server tree and built it once, you can generate the project configuration files for your IDE.

Intellij IDEA

For the basic IDEA configuration:

mvn idea:idea

To generate a configuration which includes dependency sources and javadocs:

mvn -Pdefault,idea


mvn -Pdefault,makeeclipse

Troubleshooting and Tips

  • Use -DskipTests=true to turn off tests during server build.
  • Use -o to avoid searching remote repository.
  • Use -X to produce maven debug information.
  • Build all Geronimo dependencies to avoid out-of-date code among projects such as openEJB, JSF and so on.
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